Today in Hip Hop History: June 7th 1994
Warren G’s Regulate…G Funk Era
If you grew up on the West Coast and had an inkling of interest in hip-hop then you know who Warren G is. Dr. Dre’s stepbrother, along with Dre himself, helped usher in an era of music that would define the West Coast for decades, a movement’s influence that’s still being seen in modern artists. That movement is G Funk, which, thanks to an album by the title of Regulate…G Funk Era, launched West Coast hip-hop into prominence. Artists such as Dr. Dre structured their life’s work around these sounds and Warren G was no different.
Regulate was released on June 7th, 1994 and still bangs as hard as any modern day album, regardless of its age being a little over two decades. This was still gangsta rap but Warren G did something with it that no other MC had done before: he mellowed it out and made it funky. This wasn’t a task accomplished on its own though, as the album is littered with random, now-unrecognizable features, save for the secret ingredient that helped change everything: Nate Dogg. Nate is featured on “Regulate” the title track and the track to have the single greatest commercial success off the album. The out-of-this-world production had people entranced, as did the story that Warren G unfolded with his lyrics. While Warren G’s lyricism was great, it’s Nate Dogg’s one-of-a-kind crooning that makes this record a smash hit and so undeniably catchy.
Regulate…G Funk Era was well received by critics and garnered some award nominations, with “Regulate” of course getting the nomination for Best Rap Performance or Group, which unfortunately wasn’t won. Still, the album has had so much success and has earned itself a place in hip-hop history that Warren G now occasionally attaches “the Regulator” as part of his name. It’s safe to say that hip-hop wouldn’t be close to where it is today without this album and its sounds, so pay some respect and make your way over to the East Side Motel for a little listening of some classic G Funk.