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Nate Dogg Portrait Session

Nathaniel Dwayne Hale, better known as Nate Dogg, would have been 47 years old today. To celebrate, we’ve rounded up five songs featuring the West Coast pioneer that you may have forgotten about.

R.I.P. to a legend.

Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz Feat. Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg, Suga Free, & Oobie – “B*tches Ain’t Sh*t”

Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz‘ fifth and final album was a star-studded affair. Crunk Juice, which included the memorable crunk ballad “Lovers & Friends,” featured everyone from Ice Cube to Chris Rock, but perhaps the most notable appearance belonged to none other than the Top Dogg. “Back in the days I use to like b*tches,” he unapologetically hums in his signature baritone. “But I tell you now days B*tches Ain’t Sh*t.” Nate was never one to sugarcoat, but those velvety melodies made even the brashest of statements sound sweet as honey — just ask the ladies.


Ludacris Feat. Nate Dogg – “Child Of The Night”

For Ludacris‘ “Child Of The Night,” the ATL sensation tapped Cali’s elite crooner to lend his voice over a sample of Teena Marie’s “Portuguese Love.” While a wistful Portugal love affair may not immediately scream hip-hop, Nate manages to flip Marie’s melody into an ode to life’s everyday struggles. “How do I begin to, do this sh*t right?” he questions on the hook. Life is tough and we all experience pain, but Nate and Luda make it all okay.


The Game Feat. Nate Dogg – “Where I’m From”

The Game‘s 2005 debut album was heralded by many as the best hip-hop album to come from Cali in a while. Pitchfork called it “the best West Coast street-rap album since DJ Quik’s 2002 LP Under tha Influence,” while Rolling Stone positively noted Game’s preference for “emotional impact” over “dazzling wordplay or laughs” — which gives “Where I’m From” an even higher meaning. “I’mma B-L-double-O-D,” Game raps on the first verse. “Inside a Ferrari with the D-R-E / Run up I let it sing like Nate D-O-double-G.” The Documentary found Game staying true to his roots despite breakthrough mainstream success, and what better way to showcase that than with one of the West Coast’s pioneers.


Jermaine Dupri Feat. Nate Dogg – “Ballin’ Out Of Control”

“Ballin’ Out Of Control” was great for two reasons: 1) Bryan-Michael Cox 2) The song dropped during a pretty pivotal time in mainstream hip-hop (see: Outkast‘s “Ms. Jackson” and City High‘s “What Would You Do?”). Jermaine may have only dropped two studio albums, but — with Nate’s aid — this song’s a reminder of why So So Def once reigned supreme.


DJ Quik Feat. Nate Dogg – “Black Mercedes”

Ahhh, sexy women and nice cars. In “Black Mercedes,” DJ Quik finds himself enthralled by a goddess in a luxurious whip and it’s love at first sight. “Can’t believe I might be likin’ this chick. She might be somebody’s wife in this b*tch,” Quik ponders as Nate sings the hook. He continues, “But she dance like a model, make me wanna bang her full throttle.” Misogyny doesn’t quite equate to romance, but Nate’s on the track, so we’re all singing along anyway. #TheNateDoggEffect


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