This. Song. Will. FOREVER. Be. In. My. Rotation!
As soon as that beat comes on, I turn into a West Coast Rapper/Crooner. Yes, crooner because I sing and rap both parts. Always. This Hip Hop classic samples a song from a middle aged white man, yup, you read that right. Michael McDonald released “I Keep Forgetting” in 1982, 12 years prior to the Warren G and Nate Dogg version that we know and love. Not gonna lie, I was surprised to say the least, but thank you to that man because this song is STILL a bop damn near 30 years after it was released!
I know that “Regulate” belongs to Warren G, it’s his smooth voice that we hear flow the very first line, “It was a clear black night, a clear white moon, Warren G was on the streets trying to consume…“, but dammit if Nate Dogg don’t steal the whole damn show on this track! Yes, we all know Warren’s verses, that’s a given, but when Nate Dogg comes in talking bout, “Just hit the East side of the LBC on a mission tryna find Mr. Warren G…” it’s a wrap. We ALL rap along with Warren and then patiently wait to get into Nate Dogg’s verses. We don’t care if he talking about “16 in the clip and one in the hole” or “laying them busters down” we singing along happily, whether we have a gangsta bone in our body or not.
What’s so dope about this song, and Warren G and Nate Dogg is that it’s the first time we really hearing this type of laid back, mellowed out melodic West Coast rap. Even though they talking bout pulling out gats and getting jacked, it sounds pretty! Ahead of their time son. The whole G Funk Era. I’ma go ahead and say it, if there wasn’t no Nate Dogg there wouldn’t be no Drake. Yup. Mind you, Drake might break down crying after he sing his verse and Nate Dogg might have sipped a 40 and shot a round, but ya’ll get what I’m tryna say. R.I.P Nate Dogg, a pioneer for real.
Warren G and his cute azz face hold a special place in my heart. He was probably my first “Thug Crush”. I taped the “Regulate” video and had it on a VHS that I would play over and over, now all I have to do now is hit repeat on Spotify to get the same thing, just minus his cute azz face in the video. Even if he was getting robbed, he got robbed cute. The moral of the story is “Regulate” was then and is still now a dope song. Whether you smoking to it or riding to it, when that beat come in, you know you saying, “Regulatorrrrrr….”.
“Regulate” was released in 1994. It was featured as the lead single from the Above The Rim movie soundtrack. The song was actually produced by Warren G, who learned how to produce from his step-brother, Dr. Dre.