Nate Dogg, whose real name is Nathaniel D. Hale, was arguably the "Golden Voice" of West Coast hip-hop. He delivered his smooth, velvety tones on song choruses for artists like Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Fabolous, Warren G, Ludacris, Eminem and many others.
In a 2001 interview with MTV News, Nate said that he sees himself as an “ambassador of hip-hop” and he’s willing to do songs with any artist and it doesn’t matter if they are from the East or West Coast. “We ain't got nothing but love. There's so much money if we get out there,” he said.
Nate credits his success with his unbreakable bond with music.
"That's all I know how to do, just make music," he said. "Wherever I go with my life, even the good times and the bad parts, only two people are with me, God and my music.”
Sadly, Nate Dogg passed away on March 15, 2011 from complications related to a pair of strokes he suffered in 2007 and 2008. Today (Aug. 19), would have been Nate’s 49th birthday if he was alive and well.
In honor of the late crooner's birthday, The Boombox wanted to celebrate his musical contributions to West Coast hip-hop with our list of his most memorable songs that feature his infectious hooks.
There’s no denying it, Nate Dogg was the king of hooks and he will be sorely missed.
Eminem, "Shake That" Feat. Nate DoggFrom Curtain Call: The Hits (2005)
Eminem portrays himself as the diabolical Slim Shady on this bumping club track where he spits hedonitiic rhymes about women, booze and f---ing. "I'm a menace, a dentist, an oral hygienist / Open your mouth for about four or five minutes," raps Shady.
This is one of Nate's last big songs before his strokes, retirement and subsequent death. The hook king gets a devilish on the chorus with his infectious baritone vocals.
"Two to the one, from the one to the three / I like good p---- and I like good tree / Smoke so much weed, you wouldn't believe / And I get mo' ass than a toilet seat / Three to the one, from the one to the three / I met a bad bitch last night in the D / Let me tell you how I made her leave with me: Conversation and Hennessy..."
Westside Connection, "Gangsta Nation" Feat. Nate DoggFrom: Terrorist Threats (2003)
Westside Connection (Ice Cube, Mack 10 and WC) is recruiting new members for their Gangsta Nation but they don't want no soft-ass busters joining their movement. Nate delivers a cautionary verse on the organ-driven song.
This game right here is rough as f--- / These hoes out here about the bucks / These fools out here afraid to bust / I have no fear, afraid of what / And with my peers I'm comin' up / Fools talk real loud but don't run up / When we come through they'll run'n'duck / We still right here so what the f---..."
Snoop Dogg, "Bitch Please" Feat. Nate Dogg & XzibitFrom: No Limit Top Dogg (1999)
This is a classic banger from Snoop Dogg's fourth studio album, No Limit Top Dog. Produced by the great Dr. Dre, the Doggfather and Xzibit spit braggadocios rhymes over a crackling beat and whining synthesizers. Nate appears at the end with an infectious call and response hook.
Aiyyo.. aiyyo aiyyo! / You don't wanna step to me / Still claiming D.P.G. til the day I D-I-E..."
Jermaine Dupri, "Ballin Out of Control" Feat. Nate DoggFrom: Instructions (2001)
Hitmaker Jermaine Dupri - under the rap alias Don Chi Chi - is balling out of control on this bouncy track from his Instructions album. On the song, the veteran hitmaker is bragging about popping bottles and bagging women in the club. Nate Dogg delivers his smooth vocals on the hook detailing the party life of Don Chi Chi.
"It's five o'clock in the mornin' / I've already downed five, I've already downed five Mo's / See ya around my block on the weekend / All we do is chase bad hoes, all we do is chase bad hoes / Pass me the weed if it's chronic / If not then I just say no, then I just say no / Three girls a date, that's my limit / We ballin outta control, we ballin outta control-ol..."
Nate Dogg, "Nobody Does It Better"G-Funk Classics, Volumes 1 & 2 (1998)
This is a great Nate Dogg song. Produced by Warren G, the late hook king gets reflective about his early rap grind in Long Beach, Calif. Not only does Nate sing the chorus, he also raps a couple of bars on the track.
"Always into somethin, that's my name / Only out for money, hey cause that's the game / People always ask me why I'm out for scratch / He who had the most is he who won the match...
50 Cent, "21 Questions" Feat. Nate DoggFrom: Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2003)
Arguably, this is one of 50 Cent's most popular songs in his music catalog. Initially, Fif was going to rap-sing the chorus but thankfully Dr. Dre suggested that he get Nate Dogg to handle the hook duties.
"Girl, it's easy to love me now / Would you love me if I was down and out? / Would you still have love for me? / Girl, it's easy to love me now / Would you love me if I was down and out? / Would you still have love for me?"
Thug Life, "How Long Will They Mourn Me?" Feat. Nate DoggFrom: Thug Life, Volume 1 (1994)
Thug Life's song is an elegiac tribute to their fallen comrades of the streets. According to Warren G, who produced the track, 2Pac's friend Big Kato was shot and killed in Detroit during a car jacking, so he asked him if he had a track that he and Big Syke (who was also Kato's friend) could rap to. He played them the instrumental and enlisted Nate Dogg to perform hook duties. "Nate came up, rocked it and then we had ‘How Long Will They Mourn Me,'” he told HipHopDX.
"I wish it would have been another / How long will they mourn me? / How long will they mourn my brother? / How long will they mourn me?"
Nate Dogg, "I Got Love"From: Music & Me (2001)
Nate Dogg delivers a soulful vibe on this flossed-out single where he salutes his homies, his LBC hood and all of the players getting cheddar by any means necessary.
I got love / I, got, love, for my n----s on my family tree / I got love / Love for the ghetto, down for whatever / If you was down before, then you still gonna be down with me / I got game / I, got, game, cause, the game was given to me / Say my name / Say, my, name, cause, ain't nobody tighter than me / Give it up / Give, it, up, if, you like the way I'm rocking this beat / I don't know / Know nothin' better, chasin my chedder / If you in love with a whore -- you ain't never listened to me..."
Jadakiss, "Time's Up" Feat. Nate DoggFrom: Kiss of Death (2004)
Although Nate Dogg is from the West Coast, he wasn't afraid to rock it on the East Coast. The late crooner has appeared on several songs from New York artists. Jadakiss tapped Nate to deliver a cautionary hook on the Scott Storch-produced banger.
The time to talk is up / So bring the heat, playtime is over / While you running your mouth I'm creeping up over your shoulder / A gun, a knife, a bat, a brick, anything I can get my hands on / Call my bluff, start acting up, and I'll leave you underground..."
Nate Dogg, "Me & My Homies" Feat. 2PacFrom: G-Funk Classics, Volumes 1 & 2 (1998)
Nate Dogg and 2Pac salute their homies who are down for whatever on this finger-snapping track.
"When I'm alone in my room / And I don't have no one to talk to / I catch a girl with my phone / And cause some folks who know what I go through / After I smoke a joint, come on / To keep my temper low, I parlay with my friends / There's really no where else to go..."
Ludacris, "Area Codes” Feat. Nate DoggFrom: Word of Mouf (2001)
On the Jazz Phae-produced hit, Ludacris is rapping about the ladies he has stashed in various area codes. Per usual, Nate delivers another infectious hook ("I got hoes / In different area codes").
"Is it cause they like my gangsta walk? / Is it cause they like my gangsta talk? / Is it cause they like my handsome face? / Is it cause they like my gangsta ways? / Whatever it is, they love it and they just won't let me be / I handles my biz, don't rush me, just relax and let me be free / Whenever I call (I call), come running / 2-1-2 or 2-1-3 / You know that I ball (I ball), stop fronting / Or I'll call my substitute freak (hoes)"
Dr. Dre, "Xxplosive" Feat. Hittman, Kurupt and Six-TwoFrom: 2001 (1999)
Another West Coast classic from Dr. Dre, Kurupt, Six-Two and Nate Dogg. The late crooner pulls double duty on the track - singing the hook and dropping a smooth gangsteristic verse.
"All my real doggs still kick it with me / All my down hoes still tricking with me / All the true gangstas know / Nate ain't never love no ho / All the hoodrats still shake it for me / All my true fans still checking for me / All my true fans still checking for me / All the real smokers know / Nate ain't passing nothing but dro indeed / Real trees, chronic leaves, no seeds..."
Xzibit, "Multiply"From: Man Vs. Machine (2002)
On this thumping track, Xzibit vows to stay real and not let money or fame change his persona or rap style. Nate delivers X's mantra on the chorus.
"(We) back on line (We) came to ride / (We) build (We) stack (We) multiply / (We) stay on the grind (Until) we die / And back for mo', cause we can't get enough..."
E-40, "Nah, Nah..." Feat. Nate DoggFrom: Loyalty and Betrayal (2000)
For E-40, a song isn't complete without Nate Dogg singing the hook. For this G-funk banger, 40 Water had to call his good friend and he delivered.
"Nate Dogg, a true talent. He made a lot of people great hits," said E-40 (via Genius). "I say the hook is very important. You could put someone else on the hook and you’ll say, ‘Okay, this is clapping.’ But when Nate Dogg get on the hook, now you’re saying, ‘This is remarkable!’ That’s how Nate Dogg was."
"I do what I wanna do, just cause I want to / Don't care too much about you, hell naw / Nah nah-nah-nah-nah-nah / Nate Dogg ain't gonna force you, I'll wait until you want to / If not then I'll erase you, you know / Nah nah-nah-nah-nah-nah..."
Snoop Dogg, "Lay Low" Feat. Nate Dogg, Eastsidaz, Master P & Butch CassidyTha Last Meal (2000)
Produced by the almighty Dr. Dre, this West Coast banger features Snoop, the Eastsidaz, Butch Cassidy and Master P spitting tough bars over a trunk-rattling beat. Nate Dogg comes through and sings a cautionary verse to anyone who wants to test Snoop and his crew's gangster.
"For the n---- who be talking loud and holding his d---, talking s--- / He better lay low / For the bitch that said I shot some s--- up out of my d---, now she sick / She better lay low / For the n----s who be claiming my hood / And really ain't from my gang, better lay low / I hope he don't be thinking I'm just talking / And I won't do a thing, really hope so..."
Mos Def, "Oh No" Feat. Pharoahe Monch & Nate Dogg From: Lyricist Lounge 2 (2000)
Nate Dogg teams up with lyricists Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) and Pharoahe Monch to deliver a cautionary verse on the Rockwilder-produced track.
"Oh No! / N----s ain't scared to hustle / It's been seven days, the same clothes / Ask them originals cause they know / Mos Def, Nate Dogg and Pharoahe / Step away from the mic they too cold / The funk might fracture your nose..."
Snoop Dogg, "Ain't No Fun" Feat. Nate Dogg, Warren G & KuruptFrom: Doggystyle (1993)
Nate Dogg sets the tone for Snoop Dogg's sexually perverse (and some say misogynistic) jam with his ribald yet infectious hook.
"When I met you last night, baby / Before you opened up your gap / I had respect for you lady / But now I take it all back / 'Cause you gave me all your p---- / And you even licked my balls / Leave your number on the cabinet / And I promise baby, I'll give you a call...
Fabolous, "Can’t Deny It"Ghetto Fabolous (2001)
Y'all can't deny it, Fabolous delivered a hot banger in 2001. Of course, Nate puts down another memorable, sing-along hook.
"It ain't really dat hard, to get fucked up / Its really quite easy, just step up / I'mma knock him so hard, on his butt / Just like he been drinkin, like he drunk / The fat bitch stood up, just stood up / She bout to be steamin, turn it up / You won't hear a thang, know you won't / You too busy sleepin, won't wake up / You can't deny it..."
Warren G, “Regulate” Feat. Nate DoggFrom: Regulate... G Funk Era (1994)
This is undoubtedly one of the greatest songs from the G-funk era. Warren G and Nate Dogg narrate a story about an attempted car-jacking that goes bad for the car jackers. Nate sings of the car jackers' demise on the chorus.
"Sixteen in the clip and one in the hole / Nate Dogg is about to make some bodies turn cold / Now they droppin' and yellin', it's a tad bit late / Nate Dogg and Warren G had to regulate..."
Dr. Dre, "The Next Episode” Feat. Nate Dogg & KuruptFrom: 2001
Another classic banger from Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. Nate Dogg is only used on the outro but it's still a potent and memorable hook.
Hold up, hey / For my n----s who be thinkin' we soft, we don't play / We gonna rock it 'til the wheels fall off / Hold up, hey / For my n----s who be actin' too bold, take a seat / Hope you ready for the next episode / Hey, hey, hey, hey / Smoke weed everday."