Pic courtesy of ErikVoake.com
Guys, I messed up.
A few weeks back, my long-standing request for a Smoking Session with West Coast pioneer Warren G was finally granted. As an artist I literally grew up listening to and who helped enlighten my musical taste-buds at an early age, the rare opportunity to speak to an idol was something I’d been bugging Gotty™ for since day one. So, it was quite stellar to hear that after years of waiting in the wings, our connects came through in the clutch, hooking up a phone interview to help promo his appearance in the VH1 Hip-Hop Honors tribute to his former label Def Jam, along with an upcoming seventh record from the Long Beach vet, The G-Files.
I got the call a few weeks later and, as expected, Warren was cooler than a cucumber and the interview came & went without a hitch. Until, of course…I got home to my Google Voice account and saw I’d pressed 4 an extra time on my piece-of-shit flip-phone to un-record the entire conversation/interview.
From one peak to another, I was suddenly wrapped up in guilt, as I had not only let down myself and the TSS Fam, but an artist I’d supported in some way, shape or form since I started listening to rap almost fifteen years ago. I couldn’t believe it. In the weeks building up to the interview, I’d debated with TC over the warrant of Warren’s legend status – referencing his longevity, leadership and legitimate tandem of talents – and geared the majority of my questions in ways which G-Dub could reaffirm readers to my bias beliefs – which he did, with head-shaking stories and insight into the business only a seasoned pro could describe. But, since I’m a moroon, the transcript is somewhere in the sky and the only way left to properly push the legacy of Warren Griffin III is to let it speak for itself.
In no order, I proudly present The Warren G Highlight Reel.
Mistah Grimm Feat. Warren G & Nate Dogg – “Indo Smoke” from Poetic Justice (Original Soundtrack) (1993)
This forgotten production gem from The G-Child’s catalog came when one-hitter-quitter rapper Mistah Grimm enlisted Long Beach’s 1-213-punch of Warren and Nate for his superior single from the Poetic Justice soundtrack. The Reno MC then fell off the face of the earth, only to resurface on Return Of The Regulator almost a decade later. Are you high yet?
Warren G Feat. Ron Isley “Smokin’ Me Out” from Take A Look Over Your Shoulder (1997)
The first single to Warren’s highly-anticipated second studio album from Def Jam, “Smokin’ Me Out” never really hit with the mainstream public, but is revered as a staple in his stash thanks to a perfect compliment of twangy, baritone bass and the high-pitched crooning of Mr. Biggs.
Warren G Feat. El Debarge & Val Young- “G-Spot” from I Want It All (1999)
After critics eagerly dubbed Take A Look Over Your Shoulder a sophomore slump, a Restless Warren G left Def Jam and came back bigger than ever with his unrestricted third LP, I Want It All. Despite being his first album with prominent features (Snoop, Tha Dogg Pound, Jermaine Dupri, Ruff Ryders and Memphis Bleek), it’s replay value mainly perspires through the sleek beats, leaving Warren the opportunity to shine on album cuts like the irresistible “G-Spot.”
Warren G – “G-Spot”
Cedric Ceballos Feat. Warren G – “Flow On” from B-Ball’s Best Kept Secret (1995)
How do you legitimize awkward punch-lines and piercing adlibs from former Phoenix Suns All-Star and all-around let-down Cedric Ceballos? You pay current XXL cover boy Warren G some shoe money to lay down a live bassline hotter than an Arizona offseason. That’s how.
213 – Groupie Luv (G-Funk Remix) from 213 The Hard Way (2004)
The anticipation from the DPGCrazy fanbase had exploded through the ceiling by the time their Detoxian joint project, The Hard Way, was released by TVT 10 years after their peak. To the dismay of many, it didn’t feature a single track produced by Warren and ended up tanking. A month later the G-Man’s grown-up “Groupie Luv” G-Funk Remix hit the Net, rubbing in what could have been great.
Warren G Feat. Damone- “Intro” from Return Of The Regulator (2002)
Probably the second most spun in my complete collection of Warren G CDs, the under-appreciated Return Of The Regulator has some serious joints, but surprisingly the intro steals the show, as Warren’s West-Coast whistling ‘rats & roaches funk’ make it a perfectly placed alley-oop to a worthy – and shamefully, long forgotten – MC named Damone. A personal favorite.
Warren G – “Intro”
2Pac Feat. Nate Dogg, Big Syke, Rated R & Macadoshis- “How Long Will They Mourn Me?” from Thug Life Vol. 1 (1994)
A greatest hit from Shakur, but also a key turning point in Warren’s career, which the Long Beach describes in detail in this enlightening exceprt from Jake Brown’s Tupac Shakur : The Studio Years (1989-1996).
‘When I wasn’t nothin,’ I was NOTHING back in the days, I was trying to get put on. This dude calls me at 10 o’clock at night, I’m laying on the floor at my sister’s house, no money, glasses on with the tape on the side, I got a needle trying to hold on an arm…(Tupac) calls…’Warren you got a beat?’ We did ‘How Long Will They Mourn Me.’…Launched my career.
Warren G Feat. Jah Skillz- “Super Soul Sis” from Regulate…The G-Funk Era (1994)
While the song or featured female flame-spitter Jah Skillz never got proper recognition, this One Way-sampling album cut not only highlights the depth of Warren’s classic introductory album, but also the noble knack for showcasing up & coming talent he’s shown his whole career.
Warren G. Feat. Jah Skillz – “Super Soul Sis”
Dove Shack – Summertime In The LBC (Prod. By Warren G) from This Is The Shack (1995)
Simply put, this carefree ode to kicking back at Kings Park from one of Warren’s many offshoot acts from Long Beach, The Dove Shack, is quite possibly the best BBQ song ever made. Now, ‘lemmie hear you say ooooooohhhh, ahhhhhhhh….’
Dr. Dre Feat. Dat Nigga Daz, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Nate Dogg & Warren G – “Deeez Nuuuts” from The Chronic (1992)
Even though Warren has unfortunately never seen a bar on one of his step-brother’s albums, The Good Doc featured his fam on what would end up becoming perhaps the most quoted skit ever on a rap album, and G-Dub’s patented trademark for years to come.
Dr. Dre Feat. Warren G – “Deeez Nuuuts”
One of the most lewd, raunchy and degrading songs you’ll ever hear at the club, and also one of the best. Featuring an unparalleled beat from
Daz Dr.Dre and questionably Warren’s most memorable verse, “Aint No Fun” is probably the most essential song for any party playlist. Ahem…any good party playlist.
Peep Game: Nothing. There’s no song quite like “Aint No Fun.”
Warren G Feat. Nate Dogg – “Regulate” from Regulate…The G-Funk Era (1994)
No explanation needed. “Regulate” is a song that every rap fan knows all the words to, has been done at hundreds of high school talent shows across the world and will get burn at my wedding. A timeless classic that will keep Warren G’s pockets set for life – and probably Michael McDonald‘s too.
Bonus — “Regulate” Live W/Travis Barker & DJ AM @ The Roxy in Hollywood (2008)
Previously Posted — “The West Is Back” – Review Of Warren G’s The G-Files