Sample Sunday Vol. 2: Warren G/Nate Dogg & Michael McDonald

I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say “What’s Happening!!” (a triumph in both comedy and unnecessary punctuation) was one of the greatest television programs in history, and although difficult to choose just one, perhaps the show’s finest moment came during the two-episode arc titled “Doobie or not Doobie.” In case you missed it (it’s available right here on YouTube, along with a whole bunch of other episodes — Internet, you’ve done it again), Rerun falls in with some shady characters who persuade him to bootleg a Doobie Brothers concert using a shoebox-sized cassette recorder hidden under his trench coat. If you’re too busy to watch the full episodes (70% of the second episode is just a Doobie Brothers concert, not that anyone’s complaining) right now, a few key notes to consider:

1. Rerun has one job: sit still. Sometimes the voice of reason, Dwayne clearly instructs him not to jump around and risk dislodging his gigantic tape recorder.
2. Rerun is literally the first person at this concert to stand up and start dancing (spoiler alert: the recorder falls out).
3. The Doobie Brothers feature multiple lead singers, but the one who got the crowd dancing was, of course, Michael McDonald.

That should be no surprise to any of you, because Michael McDonald is a gosh-darned national treasure, and in his first post-Doobie album, he gave the world “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every time you’re near).” Enjoy this video, in which a young McDonald, armed with nothing but a piano and silky smooth baritone, exorcises a spirit before ultimately beginning his life anew with David Bowie from Labyrinth.

12 years later, Warren G and Nate Dogg teamed up to release “Regulate,” the lead single off of Warren G’s debut album Regulate…G Funk Era (and the soundtrack to Above the Rim). Let’s just get straight to the video and meet back here in four minutes, because we have a lot to talk about:

Now, let’s take a moment to discuss exactly what’s taking place in this song.

Okay, so Warren G’s hanging out and playing dice when his competitors decide to rob him at gunpoint. Now, fresh off of driving away from a car accident (without stopping to check on the health of any of the women involved), Nate Dogg shows up out of nowhere and murders everybody. Then he hops back in his car, drives back to those abandoned women, picks them up and takes them to a motel like he didn’t just murder a bunch of people. Isn’t there anything else you need to be concerned with immediately after murdering a bunch of people? Not Nate Dogg, no sir. In fact, Nate doesn’t wait for a new verse or anything — he drives up, kills everybody and in a matter of seconds, has already switched his mind back on to freak mode. Hopefully those women thanked him for the ride to the hotel, got out of the car, said “We’ll take it from here, thanks” and called AAA or something, because Mr. Dogg was clearly a psychopath.

Now, as for his esteemed colleague, Warren G (arguably the greatest rapper [who shares his name with a president] of all time) has since lived a life far more intriguing than you may be aware, with his stint on Celebrity Fit Club serving as merely the tip of the iceberg. Look, I warned you I was going to get some of this information from Wikipedia, remember? Well, here, I’ll just cut and paste the whole thing, because a) there’s no way you’d believe me otherwise and b) whoever runs Wikipedia will probably stumble across this information and erase it soon enough, because it can’t possibly be true.

See you next week for another Sample Sunday. If you enjoyed this post, kindly click “recommend” so other folks on Medium will see it.

Previous entries:

Vol. 1: Notorious B.I.G. & The Isley Brothers

Welcome to Sample Sunday

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