Words by Alex Osborne
As Reverend TaaaDow says in the intro: “It’s time once again to regulate… Touch your neighbour right now and say regulate.” That’s right; Warren G has just put out Regulate…G Funk Era Part II EP.
Those familiar with the ‘94 album Regulate…G Funk Era will be as ‘G’d’ up as me with this release, having finally arrived, a mere 21 years later. We’ve been missing the G Funk sound in hip hop lately, but now, it’s back. Four years on from Nate Dogg’s passing, the game is still yearning for a soulful baritone. Here, Warren G delivers and satisfies that lust. While the album is not an official homage, each track (after the intro) features the late, great Nate.
Speaking to Billboard last month, Warren said, “Artists like E-40, Too $hort, Young Jeezy, Bun B are vets of hip-hop. [They’re] artists that me and Nate loved.” Now, each name features on the release, which serves as a touching tribute to Nate, who had reportedly wanted to work with them before his untimely death in 2011.
At it’s essence, the album is a compilation of Nate Dogg that have been remastered by Warren G. Young Jeezy’s verse on Keep on Hustlin’, is the only actual shout out per se, and he’s listed among two of the greats, Tupac and Biggie.
According to the Warren G, fans “have been asking for years; ever since he passed away and even before he passed away, they wanted music from me and him.” And they won’t be disappointed. Second track Saturday immediately transports you back to 1994, with that familiar, chill, Californian summer sound. DJ Easy Dick (who you might know from Snoop Dogg’s Ain’t No Fun) contributes a short intro, and as soon as Nate’s voice fades in, you could swear he was still alive or you had an old CD in the stereo.
It’s an ambitious project, and admittedly it does seem to lose momentum by the last couple tracks, but Warren G’s raps are as clean and razor sharp as they always were. The only real downside to this EP is that it only lasts for five tracks, but it’s an enjoyable album and a great throwback to that west coast sound.
The timing of the release is interesting. While we all reel in the long-awaited release of Dr. Dre’s Compton, Warren G, Dre’s stepbrother, does what he does best: tremendous background work. He is a silent assassin, no warning, no hype just produces killer music and drops albums on his own time.
This EP is not to be missed by fans Warren G and for anyone missing the hook king Nate Dogg’s voice.