So much has been going on over the past few days that I never got a chance and properly reflect on the untimely passing of Nate Dogg.. Gone is a cat who was the cornerstone of an era..He was the soul of West coast Hip Hop. Nate was the ace in the hole, the cleanup batter who you called to take your record over the top and make it a hit..He represented one of Hip Hop’s golden eras.. The G Funk Era…
Nate Dogg was the constant soundtrack for a whole lot of folks who are now looking back and saying to themselves.. Homie put it down for us…He helped give voice to a generation. His smooth vocals and catchy hooks were such that he could make dog shyt sound nice..I don’t say that to be funny, but if you stop and think for a minute Nate said some hard stuff in some of his songs, but you hardly noticed because he was so seductive with his sound…Take the song ‘Regulate‘..I was playing it yesterday for my class and pointed out the irony of Nate singing about killing someone, but he did it so smooth, that we smiled and didn’t give it a second thought.
“Sixteen in the clip and one in the hole, Nate Dogg is about to make some bodies turn cold, now they droppin and yellin, it’s a tad bit late, Nate Dogg and Warren G had to regulate I laid all them busters down, I let my gat explode, now I’m switching my mind back into freak mode, if you want skirts sit back and observe, I just left a gang of those over there on the curb”
What was interesting about was Nate was he came on the scene at a time when people would frown and consider you a sell out for having singing on the hook. That sort of approach was most associated with R&B singers. Sure you had a few songs with Ki-Ci and JoJo, who were seen as legit, but for most part singers on rap songs was not fully embraced until Nate Dogg came along and showed us how it should be done..
You listen to cuts off Nate’s album ‘Music and Me‘ and it’s clear that he was under rated… Cuts like ‘Another Short Story’ and ‘Nobody Does it Better’ which I think was his best song, bare that assertion out..
Seems like everyone has a Nate Dogg story to tell…myself included. .I met dude on several occasions and he was always chill. He was accessible, not hiding behind 50 bodyguards..and even though he was from gang infested Southern Cali, you didn’t get a menacing energy when he was around.. Nate Dogg was cool..
I recall when the landmark ‘Up in Smoke Tour’ came to the Bay Area. Nate had some legal issues and wasn’t gonna show. Tyrese was scheduled to take his place. People like Tyrese and agree he’s talented, but Nate was the cat singing damn near half the hooks so him not being there was a bit of a letdown..
When Dr Dre took the stage, he ripped into the song ‘Next Episode‘. At the part when the song says ‘hold Up‘.. Instead of Tyrese, we heard Nate’s voice who suddenly appeared from behind the curtain. He had made it after all and upon hearing his voice, the crowd went nuts.. Everyone cheered and gave high fives and the show was on for real.. It was an incredible show and Nate being classy shared his singing duties with Tyrese who adlibed and added to what Nate was doing.. Dude will certainly be missed..RIP Nate. Written by Davey D for http://daveyd.com