Photo Credit: Elektra Records
Nathaniel Dwayne Hale, better known by his stage name Nate Dogg died Tuesday due to stroke complications. Nate Dogg was a groundbreaking figure in west-coast rap. In December of 2007, he suffered from a stroke that paralyzed his left side. Nate Dogg was born in Long Beach, CA on August 19, 1969. He was a high school drop out who served in the Marines for three years prior to forming his rap group 213 in 1991 with Snoop Dogg and Warren G.
Growing up in Southern California and spending many of my best years in Long Beach, CA, I knew the impact of West Coast Rap. Granted, it was never really a genre that I was particularly interested in. However, pioneers such as Nate Dogg really escalated this art form from the streets of the LBC and onto the sound systems of millions of Americans nationwide. As a musical style, west-coast rap was a definitive element of the mid-1990s culture. There is no questioning Nate Dogg’s influence on a variety of hip-hop, R&B, and Rap artists today. I remember listening to Regulate the other day with a friend of mine and we both said “wow, there really isn’t rap like this anymore.” Indeed, that is the case and even more so today with Nate Dogg’s passing.
So many people owe Nate Dogg and the G-Funk sound for their current success. Said Eminem, “Nate’s voice in music will never be replaced. He helped create the blueprint for West Coast hip-hop, and I was one of the lucky people who had the privilege to work with him and the honor to have him as a friend.” How true that is.
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