Pioneer. Visionary. Icon.
I think it’s safe to safe that nobody did it quite like Nate Dogg. The West Coast singer and rapper defined the West Coast music scene in every sense possible. He was regarded to have been one of the founding fathers of gangster rap and went on to create the genre we know today as G-Funk. Unlike most gangster rappers, Nate Dogg carried an air of composure and nonchalance.; an air that separated him from the rest and one that gave him the ‘Certified G’ status that everyone craved but no one could match. The Dogg went on to release six studio albums and a bunch of bootleg tapes, alongside collaborating with such other G-Funk/Gangster rappers as Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre, Kurupt, 2pac and many more throughout his illustrious career. In my opinion Nate Dogg was one of the Hip-Hop artists to have been very unlucky in missing out on a place in the music hall of fame as his contribution to the genre was unprecedented. Sadly, the multi-talented pioneer passed away in 2011 from a series of strokes in his spiritual home of LA.
This week’s track of the week ‘The Hardest Man In Town’ comes from Nate Dogg’s 1999 album ‘Ghetto Preacher’. The song and album were released on K-Town Records, a German Hip-hop record label which had long term affiliations with Gangster rap and the west coast as a whole. ‘First We Pray’, like all of Nate Dogg’s songs, sees the Dogg lace a perfectly composed, bouncy and hard-hitting bass line. His serenade is met with the bars from the kingpin himself, Kurupt. Together the two create a harmony quite like no other, on packed with lyrics about gang-banging and murder, but yet, at the same time, an essence of class. Like most G-Funk, ‘First We Pray’ offers that multi-layered synthesized musical goodness that we so dearly crave; without forgetting to mention the heavy kick of the beat, combined with the fiery but composed lyricism.
As mentioned before, Kurupt wasn’t the only artist to work with Nate Dogg. The supreme West Coast icon worked with a plethora of hip-hop talent and will be remembered by all as the legend he truly was.
Listen & enjoy here –