Watch Nate Dogg Freestyle A Hook & See Why He Will Forever Regulate (Video)
Five years ago today (March 15, 2011), the world lost Nate Dogg. The four-time Grammy-nominated hit-maker and founding member of 213 injected a Gospel Soul sensibility into Hip-Hop through three solo albums, a group record, and hits for Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Tupac, Ludacris, Mos Def, Eminem, and countless others.
In his career, Nate Dogg (born Nathaniel Hale) knew how to channel G-Funk with his gifted voice. The somber, often deadpan presence of the Long Beach, California representative only enhanced the street-savvy reputation of Tha Dogg Pound collective and the talent-bed of 1990s Death Row Records. A preacher’s son since his days growing up in Mississippi (and a U.S. Marine veteran), Nate had the training on how to croon, and lived experience to make it palpable.
After contributing memorable singing to Dr. Dre’s The Chronic and Snoop Doggy Dogg’s Doggystyle, Nate Dogg and Warren G (2/3 of their early ’90s group 213) would strike platinum through “Regulate.” The April, 1994 hit would appear on the soundtrack for Above The Rim, and later Warren G’s debut LP.
In some rare video footage, in the days of their hanging out, Nate and Warren G are seen riding around in a limousine with the Pound, riffing on “Regulate” (which is playing in the background). What’s especially notable is that in this freestyle version, Nate chooses to sing Michael McDonald’s original 1983 chorus from the sampled “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near).” Just as he would in the film’s closing song, his own breakout hit, and in the popular ’94 video, Nate Dogg puts that G-Funk into everything he does. Then, after the G-Child sings a bit, Nate Dogg melodically busts some bars that show his improvisational, multi-talent genius.
The freestyle cypher travels around the limo in this 1993-1994 time-capsule, when it was “just another day in the LBC” for these superstars reaching their dreams.
Rest in Peace Nate. You may be gone, but never forgotten.