Snoop Dogg Reveals The Original Beat For Nuthin But A G Thang & Raps To It
UPDATE: DJ Filthy Rich made a blend of the song, based on the Questlove Supreme conversation:
ORIGINAL DECEMBER 19 STORY: The second song Snoop Dogg ever released to the public may be his most iconic. “One-two-three-and to the fo’ / Snoop Doggy Dogg, and Dr. Dre is at the do’,” begins 1992’s “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang.” The first inhale of Dr. Dre’s Chronic presented a laid-back side of the Long Beach, California MC first heard on the menacing “Deep Cover” earlier that year.
“G Thang” has become a time-piece. It conjures images of lowriders, and indo’ smoke, barbeques, and looking over one’s shoulder at the light. With a would-be mogul behind the wheel of the track and the dark purple ’64 Impala in its equally iconic video, it is how folks remember G-Funk. While the genesis of G-Funk is up for debate, the song that many believe best exemplifies the sub-genre of Rap is not. The song was a grand introduction for Snoopy, who would show the world how an MC did it Doggystyle less than one year later.
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However, Snoop did not write his verse to Dr. Dre’s smooth concoction of Leon Haywood’s “I Want’a Do Something Freaky To You” and “Uphill (Peace Of Mind)” by Kid Dynamite. Appearing on this week’s episode of Questlove Supreme, Snoop says his mainstream introduction was penned to another breakbeat entirely.
“[Dr. Dre’s beat] ain’t what I wrote “‘G’ Thang’ off of,” reveals Snoop. “I wrote it off [this other beat].” Snoop mimics the bassline of the track. Host Questlove points out that it’s Southside Movement’s “I’ve Been Watching You” (embedded below),” Snoop confirms, “That’s the beat [Dr. Dre] gave me. I took it [over to] my cousin’s [in Long Beach], and I wrote the whole “‘G’ Thang” song to that. [I] came back to [SOLAR] Studios, and bust that sh*t off that for [Dr. Dre].” At 3:00 in the audio clip, Snoop demonstrates his flow in the beat. Quest’ and Phonte provide some improvised background vocals.
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Southside Movement’s sample appeared that year in Beastie Boys’ “So What’cha Want.” A year later, the song was the basis for would-be Snoop collaborator Brotha Lynch Hung’s “24 Deep.”
At the top of the clip, Questlove also points out to Snoop that Dre sampled his late parents’ (Lee and Jacqui Andrews) vocals for another element of the finished song. Congress Alley’s 1973 cut “Are You Looking” is used. Quest’ demonstrates, and Snoop knows exactly what he is referring to.
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Elsewhere in the full conversation, Snoop details The D.O.C.’s input on “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang.” At 25:00 mins, he says that the Dallas, Texas Rap legend suggested the “like this, that, and this” famous part of the hook. Snoop says that The Chronic sessions yielded approximately 25 songs; Dre used 16. The rapper says his favorite cut that was not used is a song called “Hoe Hopper.” Snoop also says that until the late 2000s, he made approximately 15% of his tour revenue, because his ensemble stage shows employed 30 people at a time. Last month, his Doggystyle debut turned 25 years old.
Clip spotted at 2DopeBoyz. The full Snoop episode of Questlove Supreme is available on Pandora.
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#BonusBeat: The record containing the sample that Snoop Dogg wrote his iconic verse to: