Nate Dogg: An Obituary & Spotify Playlist
, March 18th, 2011 11:13
Stool Pigeon editor Phil Hebblethwaite pays tribute to Nate Dogg, and compiles a list of his favourite tracks by the singer
To listen to the Nate Dogg Spotify Playlist, click here.
When my newspaper, The Stool Pigeon, interviewed Snoop Dogg in 2009 and asked about Nate Dogg's health, Snoop said: "It's kinda hard to explain, but he's doing alright, so y'all just keep praying for him and he'll be up out it sooner or later."
Nate, then in his late-thirties, had had a stroke. If that was shocking in itself, news that he had passed away this week devastated the rap world. Nate Dogg wasn't just the go-to-man for a golden vocal and a successful solo artist in his own right, he was adored by the hip hop community. He was one of the ultimate dudes, and a funny motherfucker at that. In 2002, he appeared on celebrity Weakest Link in the US (and came third)…
Anne Robinson: "Nate Dogg, why are you keeping your hands in your pocket?"
Nate Dogg: "So I won't steal nuthin'."
Despite what some double-barrelled-named broadsheet writers would have you believe, Nate Dogg was a singer (not a rapper), as indeed was Snoop when they started out together as 213, a group that also included Warren G. Nate and Warren would, of course, go on to have a global smash with 'Regulate' and naturally 213 — a Los Angeles area code — also got its props in the Ludacris hit 'Area Codes' that Nate memorably took the hook on.
If the devastatingly handsome Nate — real name Nathaniel Dwayne Hale — had come of age in the 1970s, he would have been in a vocal group like The Delfonics. He's a classic example of a soul singer who started out in church, then moved into entertainment. By the late-1980s in Los Angeles, entertainment meant gangsta rap and G-funk. Along with Snoop and Warren G, he was given his break by Dre and came to prominence on both The Chronic and the soundtrack to Murder Was The Case, an 18-minute film inspired by the Snoop Dogg track of the same name. The Nate song on there, 'One More Day', is my first pick in this Spotify playlist.
Nate Dogg solo LPs were patchy affairs, but always contained gems — like 'Keep It G.A.N.G.S.T.A.' from 2001's Music & Me. In fact, it never really seemed like solo albums were the priority for Nate Dogg. He'll be remembered as a singles man, but also for being among the most-in-demand male singers in hip hop. His gangsta croon often made the track he featured on, such as Eminem's 'Shake That' from Curtain Call and 'Lil' Ghetto Boy' from The Chronic.
This is a list of my favourite Nate songs. Plenty of biggies on there, but also some lesser know tracks like St Louis rapper Chingy's 'All The Way To St. Lou'. West, south, north, east — everyone always wanted a piece of Nate Dogg. He was the man who put the soul into gangsta music; the singer whose voice could flip an ordinary rap track into a global hit. Few people in hip hop could claim to be as impossibly smooth as Nate Dogg or as unique. I mean, who else is there? Akon?
Nate Dogg - 'One More Day'
213 - 'So Fly'
Snoop Dogg feat. Nate Dogg - 'Crazy'
Westside Connection feat. Nate Dogg - 'Gangsta Nation'
Nate Dogg - 'Dogg Pound Gangstaville'
Nate Dogg - 'Keep It G.A.N.G.S.T.A.'
Ludacris feat. Nate Dogg - 'Area Codes'
Mos Def feat. Pharoahe Monch & Nate Dogg - 'Oh No'
Lil John & the East Side Boyz feat. Suga Free, Oobie, Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg - 'Bitches Aint Shit'
Chingy feat. David Banner & Nate Dogg - 'All The Way To St.Lou'
Eminem feat. Nate Dogg - 'Shake That'
Dr Dre feat. Kurupt, Hittman, Six-Two & Nate Dogg - 'Xxplosive'
213 - 'The Gansgsta Clicc'
Nate Dogg - 'G-Funk'
Dr Dre feat. Nate Dogg - 'Lil' Ghetto Boy'
Warren G feat. Nate Dogg - 'Regulate'