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"Regulate...G-Funk Era" is the debut album from the West Coast rapper, and producerWarren G. The artist takes influence from the founder and pinoeer to the G-Funk style of Hip Hop, Dr. Dre (his step-brother), which was most prominate in the US from the early to mid-nieties, where Gangsta Rap had taken over the Hip Hop game.
Thsi is an absolute classic and one of the best G-Funk tracks of alltime, in the same league as "Nuttin' But A 'G' Tnang" and "Who Am I?", both Snoop and Dre collabs, but this one has the duo of Warren G and Nate Dogg come with an excellent showcase of the "G'ed Up" sound. The ay that the pair work togwther is amazing, and part of the reason why the tune is still strong after so many years of play.
2. "Do You See"
This one should be quite familiar to Hip Hop heads, but not specifically for the track itslef, because it utilises the timeless"Juicy Fruit" song by James Mtume, which has been used in Keisha Cole "Let It Go", "I Don't Care" by Alicia Keys and most famously in Biggie's "Juicy". Here you don't get the best use of it, but it is good for the way that he establishes his independance in this track.
3. "Gangsta Sermon" (lude)
Here is one of the big tunes off the album, and one whihc I have to say that I had forgotten about for quite a while. on it you get some tremendous production, complete with a Snoop sample as Warren gets the Long Beach duo, The Twinz to back him up in a strong way.
5. "Super Soul Sis"
The majority of this one is taken up by the featured artist, a female MC goign by the name of Jah Skills, who comes with so decent raps to fit in with the trends out on the West Coast of the US at the time. Really, it just shows Warren up, as she isn't that good, but clearly raps better than he does.
6. "'94 Ho' Draft Pick" (Lude)
7. "So Many Ways"
I was surpirsed by the fact that this one doens't feature any samples as it is very funky, nd a great exmple of G-Funk, displaying that he is just as talented at Dre in getting original twists out of the '70s Funk, and it matches the way that this one is perfromed by himslef and Lady Levi, who can be heard on Snoop's "Doggystyle".
8. "This DJ"
Here is one of my favourite joints by the G-Child as it has him go on some really mellow beats which you can't help but love, and the way that he complemtns them by rapping in a delicate way makes it so nice to here. Not a lot is really said in this one, but it is really laid-back, and there is little you can criticise about it.
9. "This Is The Shack"
I can't say that I enjoyed this one as much as a lot of the other tracks on the album, and this is probaly down to the fact that it is just a chance for the LBC crew of rappers, The Dove Shack to show what they are able to do. However, considering the fact that they only manged to squeeze one underground hit out of this push, they don't have too much potential here.
10. "What's Next"
This one begins with a G version of Knick Kack Paddy Wack, and it is a great way to begin the tune because it breaks down dramatically into a smooth tune to work off the hype of "Regulate", as it works in a similar way, but with less energy.
11. "And Ya Don't Stop"
Just looking at the title,. you know that any Hip Hop head is goign to feel this one, and it was correct. However, it wasn't as strong as I thought it was going to be as he did very littel to make his own personal take on the phrases which Snoop popularised.
12. "Runnin' Wit' No Breaks"
To end things off, you get a massive collabration piece, which uses Kool & The Gang's "N.T.", but unlike others whcih Death Row had, this one is rather weak as you only get people whcih were heard earier on in the album, and this doesn't include Nate Dogg.
To be honest, as a rapper Warren G is pretty weak, but his prodcution is nice, which is now surprise cnsidering how closely he worked alongside Dre, and this is the only real flaw with the piece (even though such a weakness is detremental to a rap album for obvious reasons). One big weakness to go along with the fact he simple repeated lines and wasted bars by spelling things out was the fact that G-Funk is supposed to have some G(angsta) in it, and you simply don't see this in his raps. Even when you look at the big single "Regulate", he tlaks bot being a victim in the whole gmae, so you can't take him seriously as a Gangsta Rapper.
Unlike all the other debut albums from Wst Caost rappers closely-associated with Death Row, such as "Doggystyle", "The Chronic" and "Dogg Food", this one can't be called a classic, depite the fact that it contains one clear anthem of the time. The others possessed n clear weaknesses as this one does, whichi is a shame for the rapper.
For a time there, it looked like Warren G (or Warren Griffith III, as his mother knows him) was set for Great Things. He had credentials - he was instrumental in securing Snoop Doggy Dogg's place at Death Row records, he guested on Dr Dre's The Chronic, he had, in This DJ and Regulate, two genuine bona-fide hits on his hands.
For whatever reason, though - and it's certainly nothing to do with the quality of his work - Warren G slipped off the radar.
I recently found myself listening to the debut album, Regulate... G Funk Era, for the first time in what must be a decade, and was surprised to discover that its laid-back G-funk charms remain as potent now as then.
That run of singles - the aforementioned Regulate, This DJ and Do You See - is still spectacular (the truly shocking vocals on the chorus of the latter notwithstanding), the autobiographical rhymes as sharp and witty as ever, the hooks just as contagious. This DJ, in particular, is a beautifully evocative, nostalgic number detailing a childhood spent careering about the streets of Longbeach, mingling with gang-bangers and rogues, being called in off the streets when the streetlights come on... It's one of the genuine hip-hop classics of the early nineties, and I was surprised no end to discover I still knew the lyrics word-for-word.
The album is self-produced, and bristles throughout with a whirring, boiling-point tension. It is confident, suggests a microscopic level of attention-to-detail, and it is little surprise that, as his career progressed, his work as producer became more important to Griffith than his skills as a rapper, with later albums relying more and more on contributing vocalists. The trend is suggested here by the likes of Recognize and Super Soul Sis, the former a swaggering, menacing collaboration with The Twinz, the latter featuring virtually no vocal input from the star at all, being based instead around a brilliant lead-vocal from Jah Skills.
So too This Is The Shack, which is commandeered vocally by The Dove Shack.
Whether behind the mic or in front of the mic or both, though, Griffith's talent is wholly apparent throughout. Barring the odd lazy rhyme here and there ("So open your eyes and pay attention / It's two of my homies on a motherf**ing mission" being one especially cringe-inducing moment), it's a punchy, ridiculously enjoyable, occasionally spectacular record with absolutely no skip-past tracks and plenty that you'll be nodding and bopping along with on repeat well into the night.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Regulate - Warren G, Nate Dogg
2 Do You See
3 Gangsta Sermon - Warren G, Ricky Harris
5 Super Soul Sis
6 '94 Ho Draft - Warren G, Ricky Harris
7 So Many Ways
8 This D.J.
9 This Is The Shack - Warren G, Dove Shack
10 What's Next
11 And Ya Don't Stop
12 Runnin' Wit No Breaks