Five years ago yesterday, the hip-hop world was shocked by the loss of a legend in revolutionizing the west coast G-Funk sound of the late 80s and through all of the 90s. The influence of the genre spread through the years taking on different forms that you see in the likes of Ty$, Anderson.Paak, and BJ the Chicago Kid to name a few. But for Nate Dogg, he was more than just a talented singer. For some of ya’ll who may not know the singer, then you must have heard the smooth as f**k “Smoke Weed Everyday,” from the song “The Next Episode.” Nate was always one of the smoothest west coast R&B singers to be heard this side of the Mississippi.
He wasn’t just a feature artist, but led a successful career as a singer with hits like “I Got Love,” and “Nobody Does it Better,” featuring Warren G.
“I Got Love,” perfectly describes the nature of Nate’s sound as well as why he had an unsuccessful solo career. He started rocky and had a constant motion with features being more positively praised than his albums. Nobody was ready for an artist who strictly sang over hip-hop instrumentals. Now we overly praise it even when he keeps talking about the same stripper. What Nate Dogg transcended will forever leave a mark as the smoothest shit you’d ever hear on a hip-hop song. He’s a definitive highlight from tracks the like of “All About U” off Tupac’s All Eyez On Me, “Ain’t No Fun (If the Homies Can’t Have None)” off Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle debut, and “Can’t Deny It” from Fabolous’s Ghetto Fabulous.
I remember five years ago when I got a late night text from a friend telling me of Nate Dogg’s death. My face was full of shock, showing nothing but despair in my eyes that stayed with me the subsequent days. I remember when he started to sing, it’d sync in my mind as pure bliss. So every time he’d sing, he’d make it feel true. It didn’t help that my upbringing in the glorious eastside was from Aftermath Records and the West in general. His imprint on me as a lover of music is huge. Without him, I wouldn’t be able to expand my hip-hop knowledge. So for you today, here is the ten best Nate Dogg features.