Last night, TVOne aired Nate Dogg’s Unsung episode. Before I run it back, let’s start this thang off right.
- Nate grew up singing in church with his sister and brother in Mississippi. He’s the product of a pastor and first lady. (That explains why it always sounded like he should be leading devotions instead of bragging about his hoes in different area codes. Am I the only one who was ever conflicted? Like, I would sing along about him making bodies turn code, but a part of me wanted to wave my hand and sway like it was Sunday morning and I was on the tenth pew.)
- He moved to Long Beach when he was 14 after his parents got divorced. Of course, he was exposed to a completely different lifestyle there.
- He met Snoop Dogg in school and the two of them, along with Warren G, formed the group 213.
- Warren played one of their tapes for his step-brother (or is it half-brother?) who happens to be Dr. Dre. Dre loved what he heard, but only ended up signing Snoop.
- Oh, but not to worry! Warren G and Nate Dogg had their turn. Regulate was and still is that fiyah. Warren and Nate were innovators, rapping and singing within the same verse and such.
- Nate wasn’t a gangsta, per se, but he wasn’t to be fucked with. If you caught him at the wrong moment, that was apparently your ass.
- He wore a bulletproof vest to the studio while dealing with Suge Knight and Death Row because he didn’t feel safe and never went without his guns. (That’s not life! LAWD!)
- Nate tried to do a solo album, but Suge kept putting it on the back burner, and he felt some kinda way. When he finally did release an album, it didn’t do very well. (Let’s be honest, though. As much as I liked me some Nate Dogg, he was no real crooner. His voice was unique and the hooks he sang were catchy. THAT’S what worked for him. And THAT was okay… with me.)
- He might have loved one other thing as much as he loved the ladies:
- His people said it was nothing for Nate to down a fifth of Hennessy by his damn self – sometimes two – in a day. A day! Like, even when he was in the hospital recovering from one of his strokes, there was a bottle next to the bed.
- The consensus was that Nate was a good father and spent time with his children as much as he could. (He fathered nine.)
- One of his babymamas was on there, giving her account of him. She said they were really good friends, and she always wanted the best for him. (She must’ve put all the money he gave her for their son toward his needs ONLY, because she was missing a tooth. I commend her for distributing the coins appropriately because I can’t say I wouldn’t have gotten my tooth replaced. You wouldn’t catch me on TV letting you play peek-a-boo with the depths of my throat when I speak. But whatever.)
- If you’re a fan, you know that Nate Dogg passed away in 2011 at the age of 41. In 2007, he’d suffered a stroke that left the left side of his body paralyzed (and he was left-handed), but his voice was okay. He suffered another stroke and was unable to walk or talk. Warren G and Snoop Dogg spoke of how hard it was to see their homie like that. His mother even came up with ways for him to communicate with her in spite of his disabilities because she said his brain was very much intact. (Real mamas come through every time!)
This was a great episode. It was tough to see his hardcore friends break when it was time to discuss his death. Nate Dogg truly left his mark while he was here. His voice was unique and I don’t believe we’ll hear anyone that comes close. R.I.P.
- I forgot how handsome Nate was. He didn’t, though. That explains dem nine chil’ren.