West Coast-bred rapper/producer Warren G dropped his debut album, Regulate…G-Funk Era, in 1994. Featuring his late homie Nate Dogg, G-Funk‘s lead-single “Regulate” went on to be a major hit and catapulted the album to selling over 3 million copies.
Over the last 20 years, Warren has released several solo albums, including Take a Look Over Your Shoulder, I Want It All, The Return of the Regulator, In the Mid-Nite Hour, and The G Files. He’s produced for the likes of 2Pac (“How Long Will They Mourn Me”), MC Breed (“Gotta Get Mine”) and Knoc-Turn’al (“What We Do”) and collaborated with a host of artists such as Mack 10, Raekwon, Snoop Dogg, Bishop Lamont, Ray J, Kurupt, Tha Eastsidaz, El DeBarge, Ron Isley, just to name a few.
Warren G took time out of his busy schedule to talk to XXL about the new EP, the possibility of another 2.1.3. album, Regulate the G-Funk Era..Pt. 2, the vaulted material he has with Nate Dogg, and so much more.—Chad Kiser
On this upcoming Nate Dogg/Warren G EP, what can we expect from the project? Are you handling all the production?
Warren G: Yeah, on this I’m handling all of the production. Yeah, you know because it’s just like… all these motherfuckers can say they are down and say this and say that, but then when you reach out to them it’s a different story. So I just said to myself, rather than just sit up there and try and reach out to people I will just do it myself. Me and him made hit records anyway.
So, will Snoop, Daz, Dre, Butch — will any of those guys make the album?
On the EP it’s me, and Nate, Game and Bun B. I don’t want to mention the other cat’s names yet because they are confirmed, but they haven’t done their parts yet. So when they do their parts then, BOOM, they will be a part of it. But there are a lot of people coming in to be a part of the project. But you know it’s just an EP, not like it’s a full album. It’s showing love to the home boy and keeping his music up in the air and letting people hear unreleased music that we did that they keep asking for.
How many tracks are on the EP?
I was thinking of doing 6 to 8, but I’m only going to do 4.
Why the change?
Because it didn’t make sense to do that many or I might as well do a whole album. We are just going to give them a little touch of what I’m doing and what me and my homeboy did together as a crew.
Any plans for a full-length project down the road?
I’m doing Regulate the G-Funk Era part 2. That’s going to be my last project. Then I’m tying up my chucks. I’m taking off my chucks, tying them together and hanging them up on the wire. I’m doing straight production after that.
So, no more solo albums from Warren G?
Well, I’m going to do Regulate the G-Funk Era..Pt. 2, and then I may do something, maybe a part 3. If part 2 does as well as I think it is, I may do a three, but I’m not really trippin’. I’m thinking I’m just going to do part two and then I’m going to shut it down. Then just work with new artists, new young talent, because I know a few cats that I really want to work with. They know how to make good records; they know how to make songs. A lot of rappers can rap music, but they don’t know how to make a record. You can’t talk about rims and all this throwing up money, all that shit all the time. You got to touch on real shit sometimes. And Dre is an example of an artist that knows how to make a real record. And I hope you all let this nigga hear what I am saying about him. Send it to his people so he can understand and know that. He is an artist that knows how to make a good record, the Game is another. And a new cat, Kendrick Lamar. I heard some of his stuff and he knows how to make a good record. There’s a lot of artist that know how to make good records, but then you got a lot of motherfuckers that’s just doing shit just to do it. And stupid shit too. Ain’t nobody trying to upgrade the next generation; nobody’s trying to help their generation understand that it’s not all about big rims and this, that and this.
I’m going to go there on Regulate the G-Funk Era..Pt 2 because that’s what I do. The EP this is just real life, how we do it. But in Regulate G-Funk Era part 2, I’m going to really go into real life situations like, I have a song called “She blowing up my phone”. It’s like relationship shit that a young teen today is going through, you understand me? But I think a lot of new artist’s got to get into that, and especially a lot of old artists like myself need to start steering these guys in the right direction too because these motherfuckers nowadays is wild. They really wild and there ain’t no morals no more. Most people just doing any God damn thing. It’s time for us being older artists to step it up.
Considering you guys have so many joint classics, why hadn’t you and Nate done an official collaborative project before?
It was the label situations. Because this label and that label, say another artist had a song over here at this label they wanted to clear but they didn’t clear so they had to take it out on this project. That type of shit. When we did the 2-1-3, I was free, I wasn’t with no label but Nate was still connected with Elektra, and Snoop was still on Geffen. That kind of conflicted with our first single. All of a sudden, out of the blue, Interscope dropped it like it was hot on top of what we had. So it was just some crazy shit with these labels. But now motherfuckers can’t tell me shit. I’m a grown man.
Is there a chance another 2-1-3 project could be born with you doing the production?
Most definitely! I already got it. All Snoop got to do is come do his part. I got that already, it’s there. But Snoop’s doing his thing right now so I’m not mad at him. But he’s out there working it doing his thing with his solo. Hopefully when he finishes it he will come on down and we can do the 2-1-3.
And this time around you’re going to handle all of the production on it, right?
Yeah, I will do most of it, but I do want to go and get with other producers, too, like Battlecat, he was great with us on the first 2-1-3. And then I like them niggas Cool and Dre, I like them man. I like what they do. And a hopefully we get Dr. Dre.
With Snoop Dogg, you have been a featured rapper on several of his albums, but you have never produced on any of them. Why is that?
Well, man you saying a lot of shit that a lot of people always ask me. You got to ask them motherfuckers that shit. I don’t know why the nigga ain’t got me on his album producing. It looking like some funny ass shit to me. That’s what it’s looking like to you because you asking me. You gotta ask that nigga how come I didn’t do anything on that. I can’t tell you. I guess he just wanted to do some other shit with some other motherfuckers. I can’t tell you. Just like I can’t tell you how come me and Dre haven’t done a record. I can’t tell you. You gotta ask that nigga. I’m here. I’m down. On 2-1-3 I’m down to rock some shit with Dre. You gotta ask Snoop, and you gotta ask Dre. I don’t know what the fuck the niggas be thinking. I mean, I guess they don’t want a nigga on they shit. I mean it would make sense to be on there. I think it would be huge. But you all gotta ask them niggas that shit. And I hope you do ask them because I want to know. (laughs)
A lot of people are fascinated with the vaulted music your brother Dr. Dre has, what’s the Warren G vault look like?
I got a nice vault. I got a hell of a vault. A lot of my stuff, a lot of my shit that I had, they all on ADAT. I got to transfer that stuff. Know what I’m saying? I haven’t transferred that stuff yet. I got stuff you wouldn’t believe. Incredible shit that just couldn’t come out, you know because of the label situations. There are plenty of times that I would have done records with motherfuckers and it couldn’t come out because of the labels and shit.
So what kind of things do you have in there that can’t come out? Like, who have you worked with?
I worked with everybody, know what I’m saying? But they can come out now (laughs), because we hungry now. But I got songs with Dogg Pound, E-40, everybody, but label situations prevent a lot of shit. But you’re there. But why these motherfuckers ain’t worked with Warren G that’s what you said. But I can’t really explain that you have to ask motherfuckers out there. Like you gotta ask motherfuckers how come niggas ain’t needed their shit….because that’s what it look like, a motherfucker hating, bottom line. But that’s all I can tell you. But, it’s not like that with me because I will ride and die with them niggas period. Know what I’m saying? I can’t explain why this nigga didn’t do a song with me, or why this nigga didn’t take a beat from me. You gotta ask them niggas that shit. Let the industry know, let the world know so they can ask them. Let them tell the world, shit (laughs). I can’t explain it and that’s real because I don’t know. If I knew I would tell you. But I really don’t know. It’s fucked up. You know I’m going to be real with you it’s fucked up and it hurts because I am the motherfucker that made all this happen. But at the end of the day it’s a business, so I guess motherfuckers need to stick to their business and do what they do.
So of all the unreleased songs you have with Nate, what are some of the ones you are really proud of and can’t wait for the fans to hear?
“Party We Will Throw Now”. I Got one called ‘Ol’ Girl”, but that’s actually going to be on my “Regulate G-Funk Era..Pt 2” project. We got a song called “Hustle” and that’s dope. We got tons of shit. One called “My House”, and it’s dope. A song called “Saturday” that’s dope. A Bunch of shit man!
Do you know if Nate recorded any Gospel material before the first stroke happened?
As far as me and him, yeah, we recorded like 8 songs, regular songs. Then he started on the Gospel record, but Fredwreck has got a lot of stuff that he recorded because they were working together at the time.
Were you going to be involved with Nate’s Gospel project?
TMZ reported that Nate Dogg’s kids wanted to follow in their dad’s footsteps into the music industry. What are your thoughts on that?
I’m not mad at them. I mean I will do something with them.
Have you talked to them about it at all?
No, I haven’t heard them sing or rap or anything. But those are my homeboy’s kids so I’m in.
What are your thoughts on the music industry these days in terms of sound and substance?
Fake, fraud, and fictitious! Nah, but you got some good people in this industry. I think there needs to be a solution for artists to start really getting big numbers back up on albums. I think it’s cool to give away a free song here and there but at the same time we got to survive this is our job. Giving away free material, I mean I know it will lead up to when you drop your real material but man, it’s just free shit.
Besides the upcoming EP, and Regulator part 2, what else do you have going on?
Straight production, doing film and TV, you know just expanding myself more than just producing and as an artist. I also can act. You know just getting behind the scenes on a lot of stuff. That’s about it.
What are your thoughts on the capture and killing of Osama bin laden?
Man, I don’t really get into all that. I’m worried about what’s going on here. I ain’t got time for all that. I guess you can say justice was done. If he had something to do with 9/11 situation then justice was done. Because I knew people that worked in those buildings. But I don’t really know all that stuff so I can’t speak on it. I don’t really know what’s happened with all that. But I’m worried about what’s going on here. You know I’m worried about our Ozone layer which needs to be taken care of. We need to do a lot of shit to stop this motherfucker from evaporating. You know motherfuckers think that shit is a joke.
What’s up with the Firm XL endorsement? How did that come about?
I’m a partner. You know Extenze did $400 million last year, and I’m a partner. You know I did the commercial man, but it’s all in fun man. It’s all in fun. It’s mainly for, you know a lot of guys have ED due to diabetes. So that’s something that can help them. And then alcohol causes a lot of ED so it’s good for them too. It’s for males in general. You ain’t gotta have ED or this that and this. I mean sometimes, shit, a lot of motherfuckers sometimes will be like damn; my shit won’t get hard and ain’t got ED. It may be the situation or the girl, or you just might not be feeling her right there. Pop one of them motherfuckers I bet you will feel it in an hour. (laughs). It’s just a good product. I tried it, it’s cool. It works. But I don’t use that shit on a regular basis I don’t need it. But, it works. I will tell you that. It definitely works.