If you grow up listening to Hip-Hop during the 90’s you already know Warren G is a household name for his contributions to the culture. When the dominance of West Coast Hip-Hop was at its pinnacle with the Death Row Records movement including 2Pac, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, Warren G without a doubt played his part in constructing their dominant run.
Cats need to know straight up there is more to Warren G besides Regulate with Nate Dogg. Warren has a catalogue of production that needs to research from working with MC Breed, Kam, Snoop Dogg and the legendary Tupac Shakur in which he produced the classic record How Long Will They Mourn Me. Even up until now, Warren to the masses might appear out the limelight but for those who follow the game, Warren G is still moving behind the scenes.
Warren G eventually caught up with Yo! Raps taking some time to share with us what’s new in his current life. Right now, he has a hit record on the radio that he produced with Hip-Hop superstar Young Jeezy titled Leave You Alone. Furthermore, we talked about Oakland Raiders football and why, according to Warren, Peyton Manning being a Denver Bronco this NFL season means nothing. Warren even offers some insight on his late friend Nate Dogg, why the Colt 45 business deal went sour and why Tupac’s hologram performance was great for the Hip-Hop youth.
I’m here with the West Coast legend Warren G, what’s going on?
Chillin’ man, just here producing and doing my artist thing at the same time. I just produced a number one hit for Young Jeezy called Leave You Alone. I just did records for E-40, Styles P, and just working on my EP which is called No One Can Do It Better, featuring Nate Dogg.
It’s just letting people know that me and Nate still have a lot of good music… I’m keeping him alive. I’m also working on my Regulate G Funk Era Pt. 2 EP and also a compilation of all my production with top shelf artists. Other than that, I just been on the road with Snoop and been on the road on my own. I’m just doing this music and working hard!
I can’t even lie when I found out that you did the record with Young Jeezy and Ne-Yo… I was kind of surprised. For the people that don’t know, how did that situation work out with Jeezy?
I’m a producer and been a producer from day one since I started. I helped out on a lot of projects such as Doggystyle and The Chronic and I did records for everybody. As far as how the Jeezy situation happened, one of my friends was cool with one of his friends. Jeezy was in town and needed some beats. My guy told me to put some beats on a CD because Jeezy wanted to hear some. We went down there with him and he was telling how this album was the soundtrack to his life. We played some beats for him and he picked a couple. He called me in two weeks and he was like, “G, we got us one”. The next time he called he told me he was in New York at a listening party for the record and he was like, “Man, they played this record 15 times straight, rewind and played it”. He was like, “It’s a smash” and then they put Ne-Yo on it and it was a hit record. The collaboration between a great producer and two great writers was just impeccable. It was a no brainer everybody was on time with what they do and that how the record blew up.
Let me ask you though, did you have a feeling that the record would reach its current level or were you just satisfied to have a track on Jeezy’s album?
I knew the record was going to do what it did, because the track was hot off top. I know Jeezy is such an incredible writer so I knew he would nail it and Ne-Yo is an incredible writer so I knew he would nail it. I knew it was going to make some noise. It’s a good feeling and I’m glad and blessed to still be doing good music for everybody out there in the world.
You came up during an era when West Coast Hip-Hop was in its prime with 2Pac, Snoop, Suge Knight, Dr. Dre… the whole Death Row movement. Would you say Dre had influenced you?
He definitely had influence on me… that’s my oldest brother. All young brothers like to be like their oldest brother. He’s my idol so I just wanted to be like him ever since I was young. Once I got older he showed me how to produce and from there it kept going. As far as coming up under 2Pac, Snoop and all them, I ain’t never come up under none of them they all came from up under me [laughs]... It’s the other way around. I brought Snoop to Dre and that kicked off his career. I did Definition Of A Thug and How Long Will They Mourn for 2Pac. Those were records that I gave them before they were really known. It was a good thing man and I’m so glad to be a part of it.
Speaking of current times, how you felt about the 2Pac hologram performance?
I thought it was cool to let the younger generation kind of get a feel on how Pac used to do it on stage. Just letting them know that he meant a lot to Hip-Hop. It was great man, it was cool and we did a dedication to Nate Dogg, it was a good thing.
Once Nate Dogg passed, how were you able to live with yourself and continue to make music and keep the name spreading out throughout your career?
I mean it’s hard because a lot of the records that I would do Nate would kill them. God don’t make no mistakes so I have to keep moving and keep my friend’s name alive. I’m going to keep working for my homeboy because I was at a point where I didn’t want to do this no more. I just wanted to get into something else and change my career. But I couldn’t do it because this is all I know and he wouldn’t want me to do that. I’m going to keep pushing for him and what we stand for.
Now before Nate Dogg passed was a new 213 album in the process?
The 213 album was done in 2001 I think. We been had the 213 album that was through a company called TVT and they went bankrupt without paying us our royalties. That album got kind of lost but we were going to get control of that record still.
What I was asking was a part 2 of 213 coming as well?
Well, that’s up to Snoop. I still got records done with Nate so if he’s down to do it cool and if not that’s cool too, but I’m going to keep pushing for Nate regardless.
This is about the third time we’ve talked. I remember a couple years ago when you told me of your situation with Colt 45, what happen with that?
It didn’t work, the whole thing was basically they was trying to get with Snoop. I introduced them to Snoop and they basically cut me out the deal. Snoop had the deal with Colt 45 and he was doing his thing. It didn’t turn out good, because I got cut out the deal so I don’t even want to talk about it.
Can you reflect on being in the game for so long and still having fans after so many years?
It feels good! As far as the projects, I got the one coming with Nate Dogg and Warren G, I got features on there. E-40, Too Short, Young Jeezy, Bun B and I got the EP coming titled Regulate To G Funk. I may make it an album, I’m not sure yet but I may make it an album. Plus I’m going to make my compilation where it’s going to be top shelf artist on there where I display my production.
You came up in a time where Hip-Hop beef was real. A lot of people say nowadays when a rapper is beefing these days it’s usually corny and wack. How you feel about the situation where you experienced Hip-Hop beef to what it’s like these days?
It ain’t never been no serious Hip-Hop beef, I don’t even get into that. If someone say something about me we can have a phone call. I’m not going to go get a gun, go try to find him and smoke him. I’m going to talk to him and see what it is as far as the problem. There were a couple of things that were happening in Hip-Hop with 2Pac and Biggie, which were taken out of proportion the way I see it. Hip-Hop is not about beef it’s about Hip-Hop, our lifestyle. This is what we do and as far as the beef part I was signed to Def Jam, so that tells you how much beef it was. I was signed to Def Jam and I used to walk around the streets of New York and everyone showed me love.
Switching lanes, everyone knows you’re a die-hard NFL fan and you love the Oakland Raiders, so how you feel about the upcoming season for the black and silver?
Man, I can’t wait! We had two promising years but been going through a lot with different coaches but everything is going to change. I look forward to us winning the AFC West, so that’s what it is. Peyton Manning came over to the Broncos but that don’t mean nothing, he will be up against a real defense now.
So you are telling me the Oakland Raiders will win the AFC West you sure about that?
I don’t know [laughs]. Are you happy with Carson Palmer being the starter this year?
Carson Palmer is cool. I think they should’ve kept Jason Campbell because he would’ve gelled in with the players. Carson worked real hard with the guys during the offseason but Campbell was the man I think this would’ve been his breakout year. Carson is not a bad quarterback, he is good too but he has to learn the system a bit more.
I do agree they should’ve kept Campbell only because he played in the system. In my personal opinion I never thought Carson was that good, I never liked quarterbacks from USC.
Aw man, I can’t call that one [laughs].
I will say the Chargers will win the division. I like Peyton Manning so I think the Broncos go 10-6, but I like the Chargers to take the division this year.
Oh ok, you would take my rival [laughs].
Well, I’m an Eagles fan myself, but I will say California breeds football players because I love DeSean Jackson.
Yeah that’s what we do.
- By Quinton Hatfield