Nathaniel Dwayne Hale, better known by his stage name Nate Dogg, passed away last Tuesday. He was 41.
Nate Dogg helped shape the sound of West Coast hip-hop. His vocals made appearances on tracks from 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Ludacris, Dr. Dre and Warren G. The rapper brought a “smooth, sweet vibe” to the genre and forever changed it, Wron G., the uncle and manager of Warren G., told the Long Beach Press Telegram.
Wron G. went on to say the hit 1994 song “Regulate” changed the game in rap and hip-hop.
“That song opened hip-hop to white kids, and I challenge anyone to grill me on that.”
Ill Doctrine’s Jay Smooth’s new video (posted at the top of the story) took the time and space to honor Nate Dogg but reminds he leaves another legacy — he made misogynist lyrics sound beautiful.
From Jay Smooth:
Nate Dogg perfected the art and everyone who came after him from T-Pain and Akon on down owes Nate Doog a huge debt of pitch corrected gratitude. And to me he stands out from all those guys that came after him because no matter how many tracks he was on in his hey day — and he was on a lot — I don’t ever remember rolling my eyes and saying ‘oh God, it’s Nate Dogg again.’ I mean, I might roll my eyes about what he’s saying about women but from a musical standpoint Nate Dogg was able to put that same trademark sound on a thousand different tracks without it ever getting stale.
I should note again that one of his gifts was knowing how to make disrespecting women sound really catchy. He had a knack for what may be the most dangerous kind of hatefulness - where you know how to take something hateful and make it sound really happy, upbeat and catchy and infectious so that it keeps worming it’s way in to your brain until one day you realize you’re singing it aloud in Starbucks and everyone is staring at you. That should also be part of his legacy that should be discussed and not swept under the rug. But I do think it’s only right to take a minute when someone just passed on to honor and focus on the good that they gave us with their human presence.
On Twitter, collaborator and friend Snoop Dogg tweeted, “We lost a true legend n hip hop n rnb. One of my best friends n a brother to me since 1986 when I was a sophomore at poly high where we met.”
Nate Dogg is survived by his parents, Daniel Lee Hale and Ruth Holmes; five siblings, Daniel Hale Jr., Samuel Hale, Manuel Hale, Pamela Hale-Burns and La Tonia Hale-Watkins; and six children, Debra, Whitney, Aundrane, Nathaniel Jr., Niajel and Milana.