Warren G Dicusses Re-Release Of 'Regulate... The G-Funk Era' And New Remixes [Interview]
On April 28th, 1994, Warren G. released a four minute-long narrative called "Regulate" that documented his life-threatening night in the hood of Long Beach. Thanks to the late vocalist/rapper Nate Dogg supplementing the perfect "hero" role for Warren's story, the collaborative track has gone on to become one of the most influential tracks in rap history, timeless in its creativity and message.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Regulators... The G-Funk Era's release, and Warren G along with Def Jam Records/Universal Music Enterprises have enlisted the help of a few talented EDM producers to revigorize the classic single with a 21st-century, club-driven flair. Featuring 3 remixes by JAUZ, Photek, and Destruco & Wax Motif, each approach to the classic reinforces the longevity of the legendary rappers' work, and each remix truly blew us away. Check out JAUZ's bass-heavy deep house edit of "Regulate" below:
When asked about creating a featured remix, JAUZ replied, "One of the best things about being a producer is getting to take a track that you love and put your spin on it, and 'Regulate' is a perfect example of that! It's a track that I've listened to since I was a kid, so when I found out I had the opportunity to do an official remix I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. The track itself is just such an iconic classic that you almost want to just leave it alone. But for that reason I tried my hardest to really keep the original integrity of it and add the Jauz flair where it was needed. I'm super stoked on how it turned out and so honored to have my name next to two of the biggest legends, Warren G and Nate Dogg."
EDM.com spoke with Warren G about the re-issue of the album and his thoughts on the current state of the scene. Read our exclusive interview with the hip-hop icon below.
EDM.com: Where did you find your inspiration to begin your career as Warren G?
Warren G: It was mostly all the artists that came before me, like The Fat Boys, Run DMC, N.W.A., Easy-E, LA Dream Team, Red Alert, etc. I became a fan of it, and being a fan inspired me to be like them. I started producing and rapping at the same time, cuz I not only wanted to rap on it, but I wanted to make the music too. I learn how to sample, learned the keys, and just went from there.
EDM: Things have certainly changed since you first got into the sampling game, let alone hip-hop culture altogether; what do you miss the most from the early days?
WG: I just miss the unity man, amongst everyone in hip-hop. Back then everyone was authentic and real, ya know? There's a lot of fakes and phonies out there today, and even though I know that you gotta change with the times, you still gotta keep that authenticity. It is what it is, but I miss workin with my whole crew in the studio, nowadays its just e-mails. People e-mail to do your verse, so a lot of people don't get into the studio together and really sit and come up with good records. That's how the magic happens.
EDM: It's been over 20 years since you dropped your album Regulate... The G-Funk Era, and it has since gone triple patinum and sold over 3 million copies. What was the influence of this instant success on your career?
WG: I mean, it felt good, but it just made me wanna work harder. As an artist, you gotta make sure you keep bangin' them out, and thats what it made me do. I'm still like that to this day, I still know that it has to be good for me to put it out. If I ain't satisfied then I'm not gonna move on it, I'm just gonna wait until I can really feel the record, and then I'll drop it. I don't want to lose that feelin, or that momentum, so like I said it just kept me goin and workin hard.
EDM: Well its been 20 years since that album was released, and there's an entirely new generation of people being exposed to your work thanks to its re-release from Def Jam/Universal. How does it feel to get that album out again to a new audience?
WG: It's good to be able to let the new generation know who Warren G is, and what I did back in the day. Personally, it's an achievement to know that all of the hard work that I did paid off, seeing how its been 20 years since the album was released. It feels good to be in the hip-hop game that long and to have that longevity, cuz I'm still in it and I'm never gonna get out of it. I'm gonna continue making good music and try to make another classic that's big like that. In these days and times, I don't know if its possible, but I'm gonna damn sure try. If I got a single that's really, really knockin', and I got the right people behind it to make sure it gets out there, then thats a win-win, and I'll have another record that lasts another 20 years.
EDM: Do you see anyone else in the hip-hop scene who shares that same kind of momentum and motivation to work hard?
WG: I like Kendrick Lamar and what he talks about. He knows how to be an artist, and really write songs that people can relate too. He tells his story, but he also says 'I love myself.' You ain't got nobody sayin' it like that; I do what I do for a lot of people, but if I don't love myself, I won't ever be anything. That's something a lot of guys aren't doin, they're sayin' they're a dope boy, or they're in the trap... how long is that gonna last? If you in the game and you're trying to be successful, but keep talkin' about trappin, you ain't goin' anywhere. You already been there, so start blueprintin' on how to get people to change.
EDM: J. Cole is another rapper that does a great job embodying your style, what has been your thoughts on his work so far?
WG: I met him and Drake at the same time, and I like both of them, they're great artists. J. Cole shows true artistry when he performs, and he told me that my record inspired him to do what he does. I ran into him a couple times, and we've talked about linkin up, but I got much love for him loving what I did, and making him into who he is now.
EDM: It goes without saying the work that you've done has been instrumental to the growth of hip-hop, so it's interesting to hear that you're moving into the EDM scene as well to continue building your sound and image. How did you get linked up with the remixers?
WG: I think EDM is a big platform for all genres of music being remixed in that style, so Universal saw it as a great opportunity to introduce Warren G to the EDM fans. We're just experimenting with "Regulate" so that the genre can learn what it is and what the song's about.
EDM: So what is the biggest lesson you've learned so far in your career?
WG: The biggest lesson I learned is to always have legal counsel, cuz there's a lot of bloodsuckers in this business that'll suck you dry if you don't have the right representation. You gotta have good people behind you to make sure you avoid all that, so you can support your grandkids and have a legacy, not a family that's goin broke. If you've got good people behind you, everybody can win.
Cover Photo: BET