Warren G, You Useless, Useless Bastard
(In honor the sixth anniversary of Nate Dogg’s passing, here’s a celebration and critical analysis of his finest moment: Regulating.)
The song “Regulate,” by Warren G and Nate Dogg, tells the story of a dramatic night in the LBC. There is sex, there is violence, there is bass, there is treble. Nate Dogg cruises for skirts, guns down rival homies, and beds down triumphantly at the East Side Motel. Nate emerges the ideal G-Funk man. By contrast, Warren G tries to join a craps game, gets mugged, and is nearly killed. He comes off as completely ineffectual, dependent on Nate for protection, and trick acquisition.
In the first verse, Warren G rides in a car alone, scanning for women. When he attempts to shoot dice with some homies, he is instantly robbed of his rings, watch, and presumably, his dignity. It’s not just the egregiousness of this assault which stands out, but also the quickness. Warren G is jacked impossibly fast, and does absolutely nothing to help himself. His most notable action is rhyming “contemplate” with “homie Nate.”
In the third line, Nate Dogg locates a car entirely full of skirts. By the end of the next verse, Nate Dogg will have so charmed these horny tricks that their vehicle crashes. Nate has laid the foundation for an evening of pleasure at the East Side Motel by the time he arrives on the scene and shoots many attempted takers of Warren’s wealth (I originally heard this lyric as “I can’t believe they’re taking Lawrence Welk.” I guess I thought it was some arcane ghetto drug/polka slang I didn’t understand). And he’s not done. Before his nine has even cooled, Nate is back in freak mode.
The rescued Warren G claims that he was in freak mode earlier, before the robbery, though he obviously made little progress. Nor does he do much to facilitate the East Side Motel car-full-of-girls/Dogg and G hookup. Nate Dogg smoothly informs one of the dames of how much he likes her size, and the rest is history. It is notable perhaps that Nate Dogg only acknowledges one particular dame as being “sexy as hell,” so we have no idea the quality of Warren G’s romantic lot. Once again, Nate Dogg commands the action, while the useless Warren G rides along. One almost expects an additional verse where Warren G needs Nate Dogg to tie his shoes and wipe his ass for him as well.
One can only infer that when Nate Dogg has to “regulate,” that means he’s shooting thugs, having various kinds of intercourse with horny sluts, and generally kicking ass. When Warren G has to “regulate,” that means he’s receiving a severe pistol-whipping and getting sloppy seconds from Nate Dogg’s ho’s. One shudders to think what life is like for Warren when he isn’t regulating.
The toughness and unstoppability of 213 also appears to be purely a function of Nate Dogg’s badness and/or motherfuckerness. Saying that 213 is difficult to step to is sort of like saying that Barry Bonds and Benito Santiago combined to hit 62 home runs in 2002: it’s true, but somewhat deceptive. Both Dogg and Bonds would be intimidating regardless of their partners. Dogg may as well say “Nate Dogg and Sean Keane have to regulate;” at least I’ve still got my watch. Warren G contributes little to the duo, aside from the questionable interior rhyme of his “Chords/ Strings/ We brings/ Melody” freestyle. The only possible reason I can think of for Warren G to include this tale on his album is to distract rap fans from the song “This DJ,” which contains the immortal lyric, “I hit the gate and I hops on my Schwinn/ And I tell the homie ‘Aight then’” Regardless, Warren G comes off poorly, and in my opinion, does not fully recover until his pro-nut-juggling entreaty at the end of Snoop Dogg’s “Ain’t No Fun.”