Warren G

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About Warren G

Warren G is so tied to the meteoric rise of ‘90s G-funk that one would be forgiven for attributing the “G” in the genre to the rapper and producer, born Warren Griffin III in Long Beach, California, in 1970. Though gangsta-funk wasn't created by Griffin, the MC is integral to its foundation. In the late ‘80s, the Dr. Dre-led group, N.W.A., began injecting the tenets of G-funk into their work: The synths were warbling and piercing, while the drums were infused with a loose feel that landed somewhere between the tight fills of funk music and the groove of new jack swing. Inspired by the Compton pioneers, Warren G began pursuing this style in 1990 with two of his childhood friends, Nate Dogg and Snoop Dogg. Together, they formed a group called 213, named after their Long Beach area code, but the group dissolved after Nate and Snoop joined Dre’s Death Row Records and Griffin headed to Def Jam. It was there that Warren G became a star, thanks in large part to his megahit, 1994’s “Regulate,'' which featured Nate Dogg, and his follow-up single, "This D.J." “Regulate” came to embody the platonic ideal of G-funk, with its smooth and playful summertime swagger and a brilliantly utilized sample from Michael McDonald’s 1982 hit, “I Keep Forgettin.” While “Regulate” still represents Warren’s commercial peak, his pairing with Ty Dolla $ign on 2020’s “And You Know That” demonstrates that he remains a nimble soul stylist, much-coveted collaborator, and mentor to a new generation of rappers.

Long Beach, CA, United States
November 10, 1970

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