The Long Beach Native, The Californian Colossal, Warren Griffin III, or better known simply as Warren G. Warren G began his love for music early in his life when first “listening to his parents’ collection of jazz, funk, and soul.” He then formed his own group, “213,” in 1990 with Nate Dogg and Snoop Dogg. The name originally came from Long Beach’s area code, “213,” but since then has been changed to “562.” Even while perfecting his skills with 213, Warren G used every spare second in creating music and trying to form his own personal spin on music. Warren G released his first debut record Regulate…G Funk Era in 1994, only two years after his producing work with step-brother, Dr. Dre’s all-star album, The Chronic. With Producing credits under his belt, Warren G was already on the fast track to being able to release his own full length album that would eventually go triple platinum.
Leading the introduction to the opening track, “Regulate,” Warren G uses a sample from the film Young Guns, “Regulators. We regulate any stealing of his property. We’re damn good too… You gotta be handy with the steel, if you know what I mean. Earn your keep. Regulators, Mount up.” This is going to be the calm before the slick and buttery smooth production style that Warren G represents. He brings about a new style of his original roots of funk and love for soul music. The instrumental consists of mostly acoustic bass, a gentle two-step percussion beat, and an electric piano that creates the classic sound of West Coast rap that balances between beautiful and classy.
Warren G and Nate Dogg also deliver on both fronts of verses with a tag-team style where they almost trade lines together and tell similar stories in different perspectives. Warren G starts with, “They took my rings, they took my Rolex, I looked at the brother, said, ‘Damn, what’s next?’” Nate Dogg then comes in trailing right behind with, “They got my homie hemmed up and they all around, can’t none of them see him. If they goin’ straight pound-for-pound, they wanna come up real quick before they start to clown.” This continues and is an ongoing synergy between Dogg and G in a team-working style, “If I had wings, I would fly, let me contemplate. I glanced in the cut and I see my homie Nate.” Nate Dogg then adds, “Sixteen in the clip and one in the hole, Nate Dogg is about to make some bodies turn cold.” It is a dynamic rap duo that has this perfect amount of chemistry that builds each other’s verse up and creates a gentle transitional flow that continues through Regulate…G Funk Era.
Being part of the soon all-star crew of “213,” Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg are going to be the primary features on Regulate…G Funk Era. Their featured verses are always welcomed and they both fit as substantial additions along side Warren G. On the following track, “Do You See,” Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg feature here and they both rap their verses in almost reminiscing style. Snoop Dogg recollects on his earliest days in “213,” the original group featuring Warren G, Snoop, and Nate Dogg, “You say everywhere we roll, you can say we roll thick. Way back then, 2-1-3 was the clique.” Nate Dogg then comes in with his verse stating, “We’d talk, and him and Nate’d conversate on the phone. He kept saying, ‘nigga, it wont be long before a little skinny nigga like me’ll be home.’” This look into the past gives more of a personal connection to The Regulators and even gives new generations of music listeners new facts about the names of Snoop Dogg or “Snoop Rock” as he was formally called.
A short skit and then it is right back to the smooth action of “Recognize,” which features Trip Locc and Wayniac, or better known as The Twinz. There is also a sample of Snoop Dogg’s verse off of his debut record, Doggystyle which was the first debut album to become a number one hit during first week of sales. Warren G would use Snoop Dogg’s unique lyrical style to contribute an additional level of technique that would be distinctively different from both Warren and Nate Dogg. That was what made Regulate…G Funk Era such a triple threat of an album, the different styles that combined to create this hydra of lyrical ability and the funky sound of the production created a consistent contrast between the subject matter and the more up-beat grooves.
Jah-Skillz then comes on and leads the entire lyrical attack of “Super Soul Sis,” Snoop Dogg and Warren G do show up to add their input for the choruses, but Jah-Skillz is the primary lyrical aspect that delivers three different verses during her feature. While not a strange concept to perform, it is interesting to see both Snoop and Warren G take a backseat on their own track, letting another MC flow on the lively track. Jah-Skillz delivers clever word play and some head turning lines, “All you MC’s desire to run through my pyre, I’m turning heads like the Exorcist flexing this.” Even going so far as to say, “And then I hear rhyme callin’ I won’t give it a rest, That’s how I got the motherfucking Super on my chest.” As her verse slowly fades into silence, the track segues into another skit track, “’94 Hoe Draft.”
While the skits do break up the straight forward attack of the music, they are not really significant enough to truly stand on their own or to fully discuss. Warren G does a better job of strictly sticking to the musical aspect and his following track, “So Many Ways” is another prime example of how Warren G can rhyme, produce, and leave room for features in a prolific way. This track, “This D.J.,” and, “This Is The Shack” are similar in sound, but “This is The Shack” is more of an upbeat, almost 1970’s funk track that features rap verses over the bass ridden and electric guitar primed instrumental. The chorus and the verses by The Dove Shack are outstanding and completely create a duality within the track. On one side, the instrumental is a funky, and ultimately beautiful arrangements of synthesizers and acoustic instruments. On the other hand, the verses involve lines that promote, “I let the AK ripper cut that ass in half, I dwells, I bells in the LBC. The real menace to society.” Even the chorus states, “This is the shack, this is how we act. Caps I peel, flex my steel.”
Warren G is a Long Beach Legend and with a team consisting of Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg, there is no way that he could not win. He creates funky instrumentals and backs them up with slick verses that can resonate over the consistent contrast of the upbeat style of upbeat production and gangster verses. The group of regulators that came to destroy everything in their path, using one lyric at a time.