Crazy Town Frontman and Rapper Shifty Shellshock Has Died at the Age of 49

Shifty Shellshock had been open about his struggles with addiction throughout his life.


Jun. 25 2024, Published 9:56 a.m. ET

Shifty Shellshock at the opening of Rockefella in 2023.
Source: Getty Images

More than 30 years after founding Crazy Town and launching himself and his band to prominence, Shifty Shellshock, the band's frontman, has died at the age of 49. Shifty Shellshock, whose real name was Seth Binzer, reportedly died at his residence on June 24.

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Following the news of his death, many wanted to better understand what had happened to him and why he had passed away. Here's what we know about Shifty's death, and about the legacy that he left behind both in music and outside of it.

Shifty Shellshock performing at Heaven and Hell in 2020.
Source: Getty Images
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What was Shifty Shellshock's cause of death?

No cause of death has been disclosed in Shifty's death yet. In the past, though, he had been open about his struggles with addiction. In 2012, he was admitted to the hospital after losing consciousness and fell into a coma, and he was most recently arrested in 2022 for a DUI. He has also appeared on shows like Celebrity Rehab, where he discussed his ongoing battle to stay clean.

Given that we don't know exactly what happened to Shifty, though, for now fans will have to spend their time focused on the legacy that he left behind. Shifty and Crazy Town had a huge influence on the genre of rap rock just as it was becoming more mainstream, and even scored a No. 1 hit around the turn of the new millennium.

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Seth Binzer and Bret Mazur formed Crazy Town in 1992.

Shifty met his Crazy Town co-founder Bret Mazur in 1992, and the two initially started making music together under the name Brimstone Sluggers. By 1999, they had changed the name to Crazy Town, and added Rust Epique, James Bradley Jr. (aka JBJ), Doug Miller, Adam Goldstein (aka DJ AM) and Antonio Lorenzo “Trouble” Valli. They released their first album "The Gift of Game" in 1999, and toured with The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Source: Instagram/@therealcrazytown
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In October of 2000, the band had their biggest hit with the release of "Butterfly," their third single from the album. The track climbed all the way to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and held that spot for two non-consecutive weeks. Crazy Town's follow-up album was not the same level of success, and the band disbanded after its failure.

Shifty then pursued a solo career, and collaborated with Paul Oakenfield on “Starry Eyed Surprise,” another moderately sized hit. He then released his first solo album, which was received warmly in Europe.

He had not released a major US single in roughly two decades prior to his death, but even so, many fans still remembered him fondly for the songs that he became inextricably connected to.

Shifty leaves behind three children, Halo, Gage, and Phoenix. In 2022, it was reported that he was dating childhood friend and former Punky Brewster star Soleil Moon Frye. It's unclear whether that relationship was ongoing, but Shifty leaves behind a legacy of music that people loved either way. Next time you hear "Come, come my lady," you can remember the rapper who made those words famous.

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