Happy Birthday, Nate Dogg!
Dr. Dre's Compton album received a lot of love when it dropped this month, but fans couldn't help but feel like one thing was missing. For many, it was Nate Dogg's vocals. The late West Coast hook man would've been 46 years old today (Aug. 19).
Nate Dogg was the melancholic voice of the hood. His baritone often anchored a song's emotional core, whether his hooks were about smoking your way into eternity (Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's "The Next Episode") or propelling anthems (Eminem's "Till I Collapse"). One of the Long Beach native's most famous collaborations came courtesy of Warren G's 1994 track "Regulate."
Nate also released his own albums, although they're looked over in favor of his song contributions. G-Funk Classics, Vol. 1 & 2, Nate's debut LP, had two Billboard hot 100 singles ("Never Leave Me Alone" and "Nobody Does It Better"), but legal issues with Death Row Records forced the album to drop in 1998, well after hip-hop's focal point moved from West to East Coast. In his lifetime, Nate released two more albums with Elektra Records.
Sadly, his health started to deteriorate toward the end of the last decade. In 2007, he suffered a stroke and just a month later, a more devastating stroke that left him paralyzed on his left side and slurred his speech. Nate passed away in 2011, of stroke-related complications. The void he left in the music industry still hasn't been filled, as his vocal talent is irreplaceable.
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