March 15th 2011 marks the untimely passing of Nathaniel Dwayne Hale, better known as four-time Grammy nominee Nate Dogg. Unquestionably one of, if not the best hook singer in Hip Hop history, Nate Dogg’s deep, melodic voice and smooth delivery became a staple of the G-Funk sound and paved the way for artists such as Akon and Trey Songz. While Nate Dogg released 4 solo albums throughout his career, he is best known for his countless collaborations with artists such as Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mobb Deep, 50 Cent, Mos Def, Ludacris, Fabolous, Tupac, & Eminem.
He is most famous for his 1994 Grammy nominated duet with Warren G, ‘Regulate’, the seminal G-Funk track in my humble opinion. The song peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and helped propel Warren G’s debut album, Regulate…G Funk Era, to triple platinum status domestically (4 million sales worldwide). In an eerie twist of fate, Nate Dogg was one of the spokesmen for a high gravity malt liquor drink called St. Ides, and he died on The Ides of March (i.e. March 15th, the date of Julius Caesar’s murder).
On a personal note, since the mid-90s I’ve always said verbatim that “Nate Dogg makes everything better,” meaning that any song he was a part of was a much stronger track because of his contributions. With his solo material and many memorable collaborative efforts topping over 60 million record sales worldwide, I think it’s fair to say that I was right. Simply put, Hip Hop sorely misses Nate Dogg’s voice and presence. As Snoop Dogg tweeted the day Nate Dogg died, “all Doggs go to Heaven.” RIP Nate Dogg, JP Lime salutes your legacy. REGULATORS, MOUNT UP!