Nate Dogg passed away yesterday at the age of 41. Here is some short history of this great hip hop icon.
Nate Dogg was born in Long Beach, California. He was the friend and partner in the rap game with rappers Snoop Dogg, Warren G, RBX, Daz Dillinger and was the cousin of Butch Cassidy and Lil’ ½ Dead. He began singing as a child in the New Hope Baptist Church in Long Beach, and at Life Line Baptist Church in Clarksdale, Mississippi, where his father (Daniel Lee Hale) was a pastor. At the age of 16 he dropped out of high school in Long Beach, California and left home to join the United States Marine Corps, serving for three years.
Nate, Snoop Dogg and Warren G, who all belonged to the Rollin 20 Crips gang formed a rap trio called 213, which recorded its first demo in the back of the famed V.I.P record store in Long Beach. The demo was later heard by Dr. Dre at a house party, who was impressed with Nate’s soulful voice.
Nate Dogg made his debut on The Chronic. Singing in what later become his trademark style, he was well-received by fans and critics alike, and would go on to sign with Death Row Records in 1993. Nate Dogg was also featured on Mista Grimm’s “Indosmoke” with Warren G. Then in 1994 he produced his first hit single “Regulate” with Warren G. Nate Dogg was also featured in many Tupac releases, including his collaboration record Thug Life: Volume I. In 1998, after a tumultuous time at Death Row Records, he released another album. The double album was titled G-Funk Classics Vol. 1 & 2 and was followed up in late 2001 with Music & Me on Elektra Records. Music & Me peaked at number three on the Billboard hip-hop charts in 2001.
In 2002, Nate Dogg appeared on a celebrity episode of the Weakest Link, making it to the last three players before being eliminated by Xzibit and Young MC.
Nate Dogg was arrested in Arizona in April 2002 and was charged with firearms and drug offenses. He pleaded guilty in May 2002 and was subsequently sentenced to probation and community service. He was also ordered to attend drug counseling sessions.
Nate was generally more successful in collaborations with other hip-hop artists. As of 2004, Nate Dogg has featured in and contributed to over 40 chart singles.
After a number of delays and an original release date of April 2004, his self-titled album Nate Dogg was released on Affiliated Entertainment Group on June 3, 2008.