This Week in Hip-Hop/R&B History: Warren G Releases Regulate…G Funk Era

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— On this day back in 1994, West Coast Hip-Hop pioneer, Warren G, released his debut album, Regulate…G Funk Era .

Regulate…G Funk Era was released by Violator Records and distributed by Def Jam Records on June 7th 1994.The album became an instant classic and helped to establish Warren G as the West Coast pioneer that he is seen as today. Some might say that with Dr. Dre as a stepbrother and mentor as well as Nate Dogg as a childhood friend, Warren G was destined for greatness. However, it’s clear to see that Warren G carved out his own sound and was able to successfully capitalize on his own talents and surrounding environment to create this classic.

The album opens up with its biggest hit, “Regulate”, which features Nate Dogg and offers a detailed depiction of the rough and unruly West Coast gang life of the 1990s. “Regulate” was even featured on the soundtrack of the 1994 film, Above the Rim, and has been a part of countless pop culture references. “This D.J.” featuring O.G.L.B. was also a top ten hit. Other stand out tracks include “Do You See”, “Super Soul Sis”, “So Many Ways”, “What’s Next”, and “This is the Shack”.

In regards to production, Warren G handled it all himself and didn’t disappoint. Warren G is highly respected for his production alone and Regulate…G Funk Era was his first chance to showcase his skills on a full-length project. Smooth basslines and whining synths were staples, however, Warren G came with a more laid-back approach to the West Coast G-Funk sound than other artists of the subgenre. Even lyrically, Warren G wasn’t quite as interested in hardcore gangbanging as some of his G-Funk peers. Although still wrapped up that hostile West Coast environment, Warren G focused his lyrics more on smoking fat blunts, riding in low riders, and making good music.

As far as features go, Nate Dogg was easily the most popular and long-lasting talent to assist on Regulate…G Funk Era’s creation. However, despite not having illustrious careers, artists like The Twinz, Jah Skillz, Wayniac, Lady Levi, O.G.L.B., The Dove Shack, Mr. Malik, Bo Roc, and G Child all held their own on this album. Warren G even called on B-Tip and the late great comedian Ricky Harris for the hilarious skits, “Gangsta Sermon” and “’94 Ho Draft”.

Regulate…G Funk Era also did very well commercially, selling 176,000 copies in its first week and debuting at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart. As of August 1st 1995, the album has been certified triple platinum, having sold 3 million records at that point.

Now that it’s summertime, this would be the perfect opportunity to vibe to some of the smooth sounds of this album. So, fire up your grill, call up some friends, and make some memories this summer—sponsored by Warren G.

Written by Simo Haier