RIP Nate Dogg

Nathaniel Dwayne Hale (aka Nate Dogg)

August 19, 1969 – March 15, 2011

The west coast mourns the loss of our “Hook King” Nathaniel Dwayne Hale, aka Nate Dogg who passed away on yesterday at the age of 41. Nate Dogg had suffered two strokes previously, once in 2007 and again in 2008, but the cause of his untimely death is still unknown. The legendary musician collaborated on hit songs with many top recording artists including Warren G, 50 Cent and Eminem.

In tribute, here are some of the BI family’s favorite Nate Dogg-laced tracks:

Kurupt – Girls All Pause

Warren G. – Regulate

Oh No – Nate Dogg, Mos Def, and Pharoah Monche

Xxxplosive – Kurupt

Let’s Play House – Dogg Pound

Ain’t No Fun – Snoop Dogg

Mista Grimm – Indo Smoke

The Next Episode – Dr. Dre

Black is…Snoop Dogg

Say what you want about Snoop: yes, he is still crip walking, rocking the blue bandana, and throwing up gang signs at almost 40. But Cordozar Calvin Broadus is a businessman before he’s any kind of gang banger, and last night’s True Blood Tribute that aired after the episode confirmed that.

Snoop’s place in music history is undeniable, though many will argue against the imagery his stage persona perpetuates. In spite of that, Snoop has managed to build a brand that, while steeped in urban myth and stereotype, manages to have crossover appeal. Snoop stated last year that True Blood was his favorite show and he wished for a cameo appearance. HBO clearly saw this as advantageous and opted for a single instead. In usual Snoop style, the track is catchy, with some racy lyrics smeared throughout  – creepy gangsta, is what I would call it.

For HBO, the promotional benefit of having an artist like Snoop promote their #1 show is far-reaching. Gangsta rap or not, Snoop has maintained nationwide crossover appeal for almost 20 years and his influence on entertainment in general is still seen today through the many artists that emulate him.