On this day in the Hip Hop history books, we salute and remember one of rap and R&B‘s GOAT’s, a pioneer of the “G Funk” sound and a man for whose honor many folks “smoke weed everyday”. On March 15, 2011, Nathaniel Hale a.k.a Nate Dogg passed away in his hometown of Long Beach, California. It would be from that day forward that a cherished eternal legacy be preserved for generations to come, as there’s no question to the validity of Nate’s impact on music, pop culture, and undoubtedly the cannabis culture.
Unlike some of his peers, Nate Dogg was the real deal—he actually lived the life he described in his music. He had many brushes with the law and fathered many children to several women. While it might have been deemed cooler to sing about parties and how fly one looked, Nate Dogg was pushing the envelope by unapologetically belting out infectious melodies about busting off shots and toking the ganja.
Nate, or “Buddy” as his family would call him, grew up on a farm in Mississippi with his father who was a pastor and his mother who was in charge of the children’s choir. His family was aware of his talent at a very young age, to the point of his mother placing him and his siblings in a singing group together called Pam, Buddy, and Sam.
As a young teenager, his parents got divorced and he moved to Long Beach, California with his mother. This was a move that really changed things for Nate Dogg. Obviously the musical landscape was way different from Mississippi, but moreover, he attended Polytechnic High School in 1986 where he would befriend a classmate named Snoop Doggy Dogg—and the rest is history…sort of.
Nate actually ended up joining the US Marine Corps for a few years. Evidently, the military was not fit for the singing legend, who ultimately returned home a few times unauthorized and was consequently discharged. When he returned to the LBC, he reunited with his old friend Snoop, who introduced him to Warren G. This legendary linkup was the birth of their group, “213.”
The newly formed group was able to create demos at the recording studio located in the back of Long Beach landmark, VIP Records. These demos were the keys to Warren G opening the door to making music with his older step brother, Dr. Dre. By this time, Dre was a certified super- producer who had just cut ties with Eazy E and NWA to begin a new era with Suge Knight and Death Row Records.
While Nate Dogg and Warren G weren’t signed to Death Row immediately, Nate was featured on Dr Dre’s, The Chronic, with a powerful performance on “Little Ghetto Boy.” However, it wasn’t until Warren G signed to Def Jam and released the Above The Rim soundtrack, that the world would properly get introduced to Nate Dogg. Their groundbreaking single, “Regulate,” which was essentially a detailed description of a robbery gone wrong, was so infectious, it topped the charts and changed music forever.
Nate Dogg was officially on the map, the song was a certified smash, but due to complications with the extremely controversial Death Row Records, it would be ages before Nate would actually release a debut album of his own. Ironically, it wasn’t until his departure from Death Row that tremendous career-boosting occurrences would start happening for Nate.
As soon as he was able to tap into the East Coast rap scene, he immediately began making anthemic hits with the kings of the underground, including Mos Def and Pharaohe Monch’s “Oh No” record. He and Fabolous brought all the women to the dance floor with “Can’t Deny It,” and also pretty much made grown men cry on 50 Cent’s “21 Questions.” Needless to say, money was rolling in, and Nate was getting the respect as an artist that he truly deserved.
Remembering Nate Dogg
On March 15th, 2011, the world lost an amazing artist and musical legend. He was involved in a car accident in 2007, and had health issues ever since then. The exact cause is unknown, but in any case, the loss to his family, the Hip Hop and cannabis communities, and the entire world, is unmeasurable.
It is more than appropriate to celebrate the illustrious life of such an incredible weed smoker. With that being said, a collection of hand-selected favorite cannabis-related quotes from Nate Dogg has been gathered for your enjoyment and appreciation:
- “If you smoke like I smoke, then you’re high like everyday. And if yo’ ass is a busta, 213 will regulate.” —“Regulate” by Warren G featuring Nate Dogg.
- “All the real smokers know, Nate ain’t passing nothing’ but dro indeed. Real trees, chronic leaves, no seeds…”
“…Don’t wanna treat you wrong, Don’t wanna lead you on. Here, baby, hit the bong, While the West Coast rolls along.”—”Xxplosive” by Dr. Dre featuring Six2, Hittman, Kurupt & Nate Dogg
- “This is where I wanna be. Right here with my loved ones, Smokin’ on some weed. You’ve got chronic won’t you light it up?”—“Where I Wanna Be” by Shade Sheist featuring Kurupt & Nate Dogg
- “I’ll bring the bag of weed. You can bring the bottle of wine. Call me whenever, we can get together, and have us a real good time.”—“Bag O’ Weed” by Nate Dogg featuring Big Tray Deee
- “Hey, hey, hey, hey. Smoke weed every day.”—“The Next Episode” by Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg & Kurupt
To this day, no realer or truer words have been spoken. However, to conclude this remembrance, longtime Nate Dogg friend and collaborator Daz Dillinger has some remarkably true words to leave fans with:
In your opinion, what made Nate Dogg stand out from everyone else in music?
Nate grew up in a Baptist church. When he started singing way back then, he understood singing in rhythm and using his voice as an instrument. So when you called Nate for a feature, he would ask about the song, tell you to play the beat, and bam-boom! You’ve got a hit record. Nate had a gift from God, and that’s what made him the best when it came to making a hit record.
Do you remember any stories involving smoking or buying weed with Nate Dogg?
Oh shit, yes! When Snoop dropped Doggystyle, we were all still broke. I can remember being at the studio, and somebody called the weed man. Well, when he arrived, Nate was outside waiting on him, and robbed his ass! [Laughs] We was smoking for days! We never knew Nate robbed him because dude never came inside the studio. After a couple of days, the homie who called the weed man got beat up by the weed man’s homies. I guess dude thought he got set up lol.
Did he have a favorite strain/method of smoking?
His favorite was OG Kush. He didn’t smoke blunts, but he liked rolling papers
What are some of your favorite Nate songs?
“These Days” featuring Daz Dillinger, and “One More Day.”
Anything else to say in memory of Nate Dogg?
RIP cuzz, Doggpound fo’ life. Nate D O Double G!