|The Rap Sheet: April 2011 Edition|
Not just the Hip-Hop world, but the entertainment industry as whole lost an incredible voice March 15th. Nathaniel Dwayne Hale, better known as "Nate Dogg" passed away after struggling the last few years with medical issues, stemming from a stroke the artist had suffered in 2007. The stroke hadn't affected his voice but it paralyzed him on his left side. The doctors had high hopes he would make a full recovery, but before any real progress could be made he was hit with yet another stroke the very next year. After the second stroke, close friend Warren G confirmed that he WAS in physical therapy, but was unsure if Nate would ever be able to resume his career. Nate Dogg struggled with this for the last 3 years until finally losing the fight. The industry will forever miss his unique and soulful voice.
I will never forget when I first heard Nate Dogg's distinct voice in Warren G's "Regulate." I was about 13 or 14, playing Baseball for the West Inverness Rec Counsel, and I wasn't yet sure if I was a "Yo-Boy" or "Progressive"... "Progressive" at the time was what the kids called people who listened to Rock music like Nirvana, Tool, and Metallica... Pretty much anything with Guitars and Drums in it... Anyway, what I liked about that song was the dual vocal performance of Warren G rapping the verse and Nate Dogg singing the bridge. Nate had a voice that was the product of being a part of his church choir and the things he would sing about were things that the kids on the street could relate to.
Snoop Dogg and Warren G were members of the notorious "Rollin' Twenty Crips" and together with Nate they formed their first group called "213." The demo they had recorded made its way through the ears of Dr. Dre at a party and after that it was on. Nate was signed to Death Row Records in '93 and was featured on Mista Grimm's "Indosmoke" along with Warren G. However the song "Regulate" would be considered both Warren G AND Nate Dogg's break-out hit. The song was featured on the soundtrack to the movie "Above the Rim" and won the award for "Best Movie Song" at the 1995 MTV Movie Awards and "Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group" at the 1995 Grammy Awards. Nate Dogg WAS the voice of the G-Funk era... Funked out with a Gangsta twist!!!
Nate would go on to collaborate with many well-known artists in the industry, helping them to chart numerous singles on the Billboard Hip-Hop charts. Although lending his voice and talents to other artists would help them achieve success, he was never quite able to see the same in his own career.
Dr. Dre had created a sound when he released "The Chronic" and no one personified it more than Nate Dogg. The Funk samples, the Gangsta Rapping, the Soulful voices, all came together to put an image in our brains, and paint a picture in our souls. The notes of those songs resonate inside of us, to this day, and the loss of such an innovative artist will not go un-noticed. There will be a void left to be filled now, and the way things have been going, that void will get filled with garbage. The industry needs to wake up soon and recognize that it is losing its true founders and creators and when they are all gone there will be nothing left. Nate Dogg had a wonderful life and career and will be greatly missed by many, Black and White people, Rap fans to Rock fans... True talent has no boundaries!!!..... "It's the G-Funk era, funked out witha Gangsta twist!!!"
Nathaniel Dwayne Hale aka Nate Dogg
August 16, 1969 - March 15, 2011
Rest In Peace...