Seth Binzer of Crazy Town and “Butterfly” Singer Dead at 49

Seth Binzer has died, lead singer of Crazy Town and their hit "Butterfly"
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Seth Binzer has died, lead singer of Crazy Town and their hit "Butterfly"
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Photo Credit: Crazy Town Twitter (Seth Binzer Far Right)

Shifty Shellshock (real name Seth Binzer) the frontman for rap group Crazy Town has died. The group’s most well-known hit was “Butterfly.” He was 49.

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner has not confirmed a cause of death for Binzer, only noting that he died at his residence on Monday. Binzer founded Crazy Town with Bret Mazur in 1992. The duo began their music career under the name Brimstone Sluggers, but changed the name to Crazy Town. Members Rust Epique, James Bradley Jr., Doug Miller, Adam Goldstein, and Antonio Lorenzo “Trouble” Valli later joined the band during their support of the Red Hot Chili Peppers tour in 1999.

The group released “Butterfly” in October 2000 as the third single from their album, The Gift of Game. The song features a sample of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ song “Pretty Little Dirty” with Binzer rapping over the track, “Come my lady, come-come my lady, you’re my butterfly, sugar baby.” After release, “Butterfly” reached the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for two non-consecutive weeks, making the song Crazy Town’s biggest and most well-known hit.

Crazy Town dropped their second album Darkhorse in 2002, but after the album failed to capture an audience the band broke up. Binzer pursued a solo career, later collaborating with Paul Oakenfold on the 2002 hit “Starry Eyed Surprise” which peaked at #41 on the charts. In 2004, Binzer released his first solo album, Happy Love Sick, which was more successful in Europe than North America.

Binzer was open about his struggles with drug addiction and appeared on several reality shows including two seasons of the VH1 show, “Celebrity Rehab.” He also featured in two seasons of the follow-up show “Sober House.” Binzer was admitted to the hospital in 2012 after losing consciousness and falling into a coma. He was recently arrested for a DUI in 2022.

Seth Binzer is survived by three children including Halo, Gage, and Phoenix. His former group posted two pictures to X/Twitter to highlight Binzer’s work in Crazy Town, saying “may you find the peace and tranquility you were always looking for.”