March 17, 2011

WHO WILL BE THE FIRST RAPPER TO DIE OF OLD AGE?:

Nate Dogg, Hip-Hop Collaborator, Dies at 41 (JON CARAMANICA, 3/17/11, NY Times)

Born Nathaniel Dwayne Hale on Aug. 19, 1969, Nate Dogg spent much of his childhood in Clarksdale, Miss., where he sang in the choir of the church where his father was the pastor, before moving back to Long Beach. There, following a stint in the Marines, he formed the group 213, after the local area code, with his high school friends the rappers Snoop Doggy Dogg and Warren G.

The group’s demo was heard by the superstar producer Dr. Dre, who eventually got Nate Dogg signed to the emerging hip-hop powerhouse Death Row Records. He made his recording debut in 1992 on Dr. Dre’s multiplatinum album “The Chronic” (Death Row/Interscope), which became the foundational document of G-funk, the smooth, lethargic style pioneered by Dr. Dre that was a central element in hip-hop’s crossover to the pop mainstream.

Nate Dogg remained in the orbit of Death Row Records for a few years, appearing on Snoop Doggy Dogg’s “Doggystyle” and 2Pac’s “All Eyez on Me” among other albums. His 1994 duet with Warren G, the platinum single “Regulate” (Def Jam), was one of the most popular hip-hop songs of the era.

Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, as hip-hop began to experiment more with melody and as the lines between rap and R&B became more porous, Nate Dogg remained an in-demand collaborator, working with 50 Cent, Fabolous, E-40, Mos Def and dozens more. A chorus by Nate Dogg, in his signature voice that spanned tenor and baritone ranges, became an imprimatur of a certain brand of hip-hop: tough yet accessible, menacing yet alluring. He also served as a template for later generations of male singers who gained notice primarily as collaborators on rap songs — Akon, T-Pain and Bruno Mars, among others — though none had his stoic force.



Posted by at March 17, 2011 5:57 AM
  

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