“Regulate”: One Of Hip Hop’s Smoothest Moments

The G-Funk era: funked-out with a gangster twist.

1. On April 28, 1994, the single “Regulate” by Warren G And Nate Dogg was released and quickly shot to Number 2 on the Billboard charts, selling 3 million copies in the U.S.

The Island Def Jam Music Group

The song tells the story of one night in the life of Warren and Nate as they encounter gang violence and beautiful women in their hometown of Long Beach, California. The lyrics fluctuate between cocky boastfulness and a surprising vulnerability. Warren’s tale of getting assaulted and then rescued by his friend Nate gives at least one verse of the song a sense of honesty and powerlessness.

Death Row Records

Warren G. is the step-brother of Dr. Dre. He was also childhood friends with Snoop Dogg, and along with Nate Dogg, formed a rap trio named 213. Snoop eventually left to become a solo sensation, leaving Warren and Nate to have huge success with “Regulate”.

Amanda Edwards / Getty Images

4. Wikipedia at one point had an epic synopsis of the song:

Here’s a sample:

On a cool, clear night (typical to Southern California) Warren G travels through his neighborhood, searching for women with whom he might initiate sexual intercourse. He has chosen to engage in this pursuit alone.

Nate Dogg, having just arrived in Long Beach, seeks Warren. Ironically, Nate passes a car full of women who are excited to see him. He insists to the women that there is no cause for excitement.

Warren makes a left at 21st Street and Lewis Ave, where he sees a group of young men enjoying a game of dice together. He parks his car and greets them. He is excited to find people to play with, but to his chagrin, he discovers they intend to relieve him of his material possessions. Once the hopeful thieves reveal their firearms, Warren realizes he is in a considerable predicament.

Meanwhile, Nate passes the women, as they are low on his list of priorities. His primary concern is locating Warren. After curtly casting away the strumpets (whose interest in Nate was such that they crashed their automobile), he serendipitously stumbles upon his friend, Warren G, being held up by the young miscreants.

Warren, unaware that Nate is surreptitiously observing the scene unfold, is in disbelief that he’s being robbed. The perpetrators have taken jewelry and a name brand designer watch from Warren, who is so incredulous that he asks what else the robbers intend to steal. This is most likely a rhetorical question.

and so on…

This is the intersection of 21st Street and Lewis Avenue in Long Beach where the events of the song take place.


You can visit the exact location in real life or with Google Street View.


The Eastside Motel where Warren and Nate take their new female friends is no longer in existence, but there are still many motels in Long Beach that you can stay at if you are planning a “Regulate”-themed reenactment tour.

The track makes heavy use of a sampled hook from former Doobie Brother Michael McDonald’s 1982 hit “I Keep Forgettin’.” So smooth.

Warner Brothers

The spoken dialogue in the beginning is sampled from the 1988 film Young Guns. Casey Siemasko’s speech about joining a group of outlaw gunmen, is an insight into how Warren G and Nate Dogg see their own lifves on the mean streets of Long Beach.

20th Century Fox

“Regulate” was featured on the soundtrack to the film Above The Rim, which came out the following summer. Clips featuring Tupac in one of his few acting roles are seen throughout the “Regulate” video. Notably, though all of these West Coast rappers were involved with the song and movie, yet Above The Rim was set in New York City. This was at the peak of coastal beefing.

New Line Cinema

11. The origins of “Regulate” were fictionalized by writer/director JD Ryznar in episode number 7 of his hilarious web series Yacht Rock.

Warning: The intro to this episode is a bit jarring, but worth making it through.

http://JD Ryznar / Via Youtube

12. Sadly, Nate Dogg passed away in 2011 at the age of 41.

Toby Canham / Getty

But he will always live on in G-Funk, where rhythm is life and life is rhythm.

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