The sad news has filtered through of the passing of West Coast G-Funk legend, Nate Dogg, tragically sad at the age of just 41. He had been battling health complications since a massive stroke over Christmas 2007, and hip-hop and R’n’B have lost a true great. And so let’s just stop for a moment to pay homage to Nate Dogg, as I know it is not just us at Twelve Bar who thinks that the melodious G-Funk chorus-provider extraordinaire is an absolute legend of the musical world – the proclaimed king of hooks, and the sweetest voice on the westside.
As if his work on Death Row with Dre, cousin Snoop, best friend Warren G, and Tupac amongst others was not enough to grant him supreme status amongst hip-hop heads, can we also just take a moment to consider the supergroup 213. Snoop, Warren G and Nate, the Long Beach massive. I know many were unimpressed with their 2004 long-player “The Hard Way”, but come along now people – just the concept itself is enough to make us go wild. Not only, in the world of false unions and forced collaborations, is this a genuine group album made by three friends who honestly seem to have enjoyed the experience, but the album is simply huge, under-rated by many but to us a true monster.
Going back to their roots and staying true to their influences and the very streets that raised them, “The Hard Way” is a classic slice of laid-back G-funk ripe for any summertime. We all love the sound, and we all love the rappers, and most of all we love Nate’s singing. There are too many big Nate Dogg moments to pick out just one. Tributes will be sure to fly in, and our thoughts go out to family and friends at this sad time. The west coast will not be quite the same place again without those honey smooth vocal stylings. Rest well top Dogg.