Of all the friends, fans and collaborators Nate Dogg touched over the years, perhaps none are as strongly associated with the late hip-hop star’s early career as Warren G. Together, the two friends from Long Beach rose to prominence in the mid-'90s on signature G-funk anthems like "Indo Smoke" and "Regulate." After mourning Nate at a memorial service this past weekend in their hometown, Warren took a moment to chat with BET.com about the loss of his friend and plans to carry on Nate’s legacy.
"I've been really, really hurt, but I felt a lot better because he ain’t suffering no more," Warren says of his emotions following Nate’s death on March 15 after years of battling myriad health issues. "It was messing me up knowing what he was going through, but now he's in a better place.”
The West Coast rap veteran says the duo recorded several unreleased songs together over the years, and he plans to put those tracks on a new collaboration album as a tribute to the fallen singer. The project will likely feature guest spots from various big-name rappers.
"We've got a lot of songs we did,” he says. "They're really great songs. It's gonna trip people out how dope he is."
Though Warren believes this tribute album should be viewed as the definitive musical commemorative for his deceased homie, he appreciates everyone in the hip hop community who has paid homage to his friend. In previous interviews Warren had expressed anger with some of the musical tributes that came out soon after Nate’s passing.
"I was upset at some other artists who were trying to do tributes before we could get around to paying our proper respects, but I was just emotional," he confesses. "I said some crazy things and I didn’t mean that. I wanna send a shout-out to every artist and DJ who showed love to Nate Dogg. Much love to them. It really does mean a lot. That’s real."
Surely hip hop has more than enough love to spread around for Nate Dogg.
"The world lost a truly soulful artist," Warren says. "It ain't no hit if Nate Dogg ain't on it. That was our motto."