In mid-2014 Regulate… G Funk Era celebrated its 20 year anniversary. In 1994 Warren G delivered this debut-studio album and managed to sell three million copies in the U.S. topping Billboard and went triple platinum with this record. If that weren’t exciting in itself, Warren also received two Grammy nominations for the album.
The music being produced out of the West Coast in the early and mid 90s had a peculiar sound. Let’s just say that if your flow, delievery, and sound was equivalent to that of Snoop and Dre’s you had the right substance to blow. In Warren G’s case, the benifits of stepping out of the same region and the alliance the emcee held with both of those rappers only assisted in reaping the benifits to his success.
Thursday night, the Observatory OC in conjuction with Out Da House productions brought the Long Beach, CA native to perform that 1994 classic Regulate… G Funk Era in it’s entirety.
Twenty years (and some) later the generation that lived the “G Funk Era”, and those that arrived a tad-bit too late, got to experience the importance this album had on the West Coast and on hip hop in general on this night alone.
The venue was filled from front-to-back, side-to-side, and bottom-to-top floor. You had the OG’s in the building as well as some of the younger generations blooming from the late 80s and early-to-mid 90s.
Warren G took the stage at about 11pm, making a grand entrance to “So Many Ways” as the stage lights flickered on and off adding suspence to what was about to occur.
“11-10-70 that was my intro, but now in 94, I’m rollin a ’64…” he recited as he made his way to the forefront. The room filled with praising screams.
Warren G performed his the classic album in its entirety, although it was not quite done in exact order of the album itself.
Fans went crazy with songs like “Do You See” and especially “This DJ” (you already know why that is).
“We groovin’ to Santa Ana and we plan-on, makin’ hellafied mount of money…”, the entire room lit up in screams of pride including myself and the entire Out Da House crew. Hence, the Observatory is located in Santa Ana, CA and all of us stem out of this city.
Things got a bit more exciting when Tha Twinz made a surprise entrance and performed “Recognize” alongside Warren G. The excitement arose further when The Dove Shack was introduced onto the stage. They performed “Summertime In The LBC” and the crowd sang along to the melodic sound. For a minute I painted a perfect mental picture to the track of us being in a backyard boogie on a hot sunny day in the middle of July.
Somebody on stage gifted Warren G a bottle of Don Julio. “I don’t usually drink”, he said “but I think I’ll make an exception tonight.” That just let us know he felt all the love and respect that was flowing in the air and it all called for a moment of celebration.
Aside from being resposible for this West Coast album, Warren G has other honorable projects and he made sure he reminded people of the work outside of this classic.
“What y’all know about the 213?” (and no he wasn’t speaking of the area code), he asked as he progressed into “So Fly” by 213. For the younger generation that may not know and attended, 213 was an trio consisting of Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, And Warren G. Speaking of Nate Dogg, the 213 song performance spilled into a phenomenal tribute in his honor.
“I need a light…ain’t nobody got something for me?” A joint was passed to him and he exclaimed “Oh wow, let me get a light, I need a light. RIP Nate Dogg”, in the middle of that moment Nate Dogg’s voice was heard through the speakers “I need a light, so I can smoke away this pain…”
The room roared in approving screams and I don’t know about everyone else but I got chills. Something about the way Nate sang the chorus on that song has always been so heartfelt to me. I could feel my eyes close to watering as I sang along too.
The track was a bit of a downer at the moment but Warren lightened up the mood by having the DJ put together a mix of some of Nate’s greatest musical contributions.
It started with “Nobody Does It Better” and went on to countless classic features including “Xxplosive”, “Can’t Deny It”, “21 Questions”, “Bitch Please”, “Next Episode”, and the list went on. The tribute ended with 2pac’s “All About U” in which Warren G got his 2-step/gangsta boogie on as he held the mic to the crowd and we all sang along to Nate’s part.
Following that, Warren proceeded to thank Orange County for coming out and expressed much love.
He exited the stage with flying colors saving the best for last, taking us back to ’94 performing the chart toping hit featuring Nate Dogg “Regulate”.
During the tribute I got reminded of the amount of records that became hits solely because Nate was on the hook. That man is legendary and doesn’t get the honor and commemoration he deserves in hip hop for all his musical contribution.
Out of the times I’ve seen Warren G perform I have never experienced and been taken aback by his performance as I was this night. There must have been something in the air (aside from the overwhelming amount of indo smoke). His energy was intact from begining to end and he delivered an amazing set.
The energy the crowd reciprocated back only put one thing in perspective- Warren G is a staple to the West Coast as is Snoop, Dre, Cube, and Quik.
I feel most of us have overlooked the contribution Warren G has made to the sound we describe as being the classic definition and proper representation of the West Coast. This show reminded us all that Warren G and his G Funk Era take part in what is the original West Coast sound and will continue to grow in signifance and be nostalgically looked back upon as the left coast continues to evolve musically into something far outside of that.