Warren G Reflects on VH1′s Def Jam ‘Honors’
VH1 will broadcast its annual ‘Hip-Hop Honors,’ celebrating iconic label Def Jam, tonight (October 13) at 9PM ET/PT. Over the course of the past 25 years, Def Jam has been responsible for the careers of LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Rick Ross and Young Jeezy, as well as Warren G, whose 1994 album ‘Regulate….G Funk Era’ is one of the label’s all time best sellers.
So, it’s fitting that the show — which was taped September 23 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music — features a performance by Warren G — who will turn out a version of ‘Regulate’ on stage with with Trey Songz.
“It just let me know that all the hard work I put in it paid off,” Warren G tells the Boombox of the ‘Honors’ treatment. “I know that a lot of people say I’m a legend, but I’m still young! But that let me know that I do … I guess I can say I’m a legend.”
Warren G signed with Def Jam at a time when everyone was going (or trying to go) with the West Coast label, Death Row, which exploded after Dr. Dre‘s landmark ‘The Chronic.’ G could have gone either way, but it was the treatment he received and the label’s legacy that influenced his ultimate decision.
“The whole thing is the history with Def Jam and that’s what made me sign with them,” he recalls. “As opposed to signing with Death Row — there was a waiting list. But Russell [Simmons] was rolling out the red carpet and they had a lot of history. I went there and unfortunately at that time with things were crazy, but like Russell said, if it wasn’t for the war and album, it wouldn’t be where it was.”
When we pressed Warren for any backstage hi-jinx he might have witnessed or been a part of at the Hip-Hop Honors’ taping, he confessed that before his performance he kept things low key in his dressing room. “Me and Trey Songz were eating buffalo wings and I had me some couple drinks,” he says.
Legends … they’re just like us.