By Tamara Palmer
It’s been just over a month since the death of singer Nate Dogg and now rap producer Warren G has decided to publicly release a heartfelt tribute dedicated to his longtime friend and collaborator, who passed away unexpectedly on March 15 after suffering two strokes in recent years. A song called “This Is Dedicated To You” (featuring LaToya Williams) was recently released to digital retailers, with all proceeds earmarked for Nate Dogg’s family.
“It’s a record just to let everybody know how I felt and what I was going through during the time he was in the home and having therapy, because everybody would ask what was up with Nate,” says Warren G. “I didn’t want to tell them [too much] just for the sake of his family and his privacy. I couldn’t tell them the situation, but he was progressing, so I’d always say that he was progressing and we hoped to get him back up on his feet soon. So I did the record just to let everybody know what was going on with my homeboy.”
Warren G’s lyrics reveal more about Nate Dogg’s past few years than have been publicly discussed: “Life is such a trip, I know the world is full of madness,” he raps. “Relearning how to walk or talk again, I can’t imagine what that rehabilitation is like when the doc said you couldn’t sing on the mic.”
“It was a cold situation,” he says now. “I used to go by and cheer him up and talk to him and play him music and stuff like that. He was really progressing for real so I don’t know what happened.”
Recording the song was therapeutic, though the loss is still so fresh. “It helped relieve me as far as the pain,” he points out, “but at the same time when I listen to it or if I hear any of the music that we’d done, I get that feeling in my stomach; that hurt feeling like, ‘Damn, this is my dog, he’s not here with me. We can’t do the stuff we used to do, it’s not the same.’”
Warren G vows to keep his friend’s name alive through music and is currently working on an EP honoring Nate Dogg that he wants to put out in the summer. He did a whole album with Nate Dogg that was never released, he says, so he’ll offer up some of those songs along with new collaborations that he plans to do with friends, collaborators, and admirers of Nate; E-40, DJ Quik, The Game, and B.o.B are among those who have expressed interest in participating.
“Nate wasn’t just a hook man, he was a songwriter too,” he remembers. “He was just incredible. Back in the day I had seen how he could captivate the crowd when he sang. We’d be in the hood and he’d sing and everybody would just melt. I was like, ‘Nate, let’s go and let’s work, let’s make it happen and be successful.’ And we did that.”
What are your thoughts on Warren G.’s Nate Dogg tribute? Tweet to us at @MTVRapFix or leave us a comment below.