Nate Dogg died last night at age 41. The singer, whose unique voice is associated with the G-Funk style of hip hop that came out of the West Coast in the '90s, had suffered strokes in 2007 and 2008, but the cause of his death last night in his Long Beach, California home is still unknown.
Nathaniel Dwayne Hale, a.k.a. Nate Dogg, is now known for singing the hooks on tracks with Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent and Ludacris among others. But it was his appearance on Dr. Dre's legendary album "The Chronic" followed by his song "Regulate" with Warren G. that really first gained him recognition. "Hale, who boasted a soulful commanding voice, had a talent for making songs seem fresh and old-school at the same time," writes the Wall Street Journal staff at the Speakeasy blog. "He often sang the most memorable and melodic parts of a song, and in a genre full of disposable hits, made the tunes on which he was featured seem worthy of nostalgia."
Fans of that nostalgic sound are mourning Nate Dogg's death today, on Twitter and on YouTube. The "Regulate" video alone has reached 3,252,362 hits this morning and the comments section are filled with messages for the late performer, such as "another old-school rapper has gone...R.I.P. Nate Dogg! Say hello to Pac!"
Nate Dogg's friends and collaborators are also sharing their memories. Snoop Dogg tweeted this morning: "We lost a true legend n hip hop n rnb. One of my best friends n a brother to me since 1986 when I was a sophomore at poly high where we met." Dave Chappelle called for a "moment of silence for a hip-hop legend; RIP Nate Dogg. You will be missed, G Funk Era forever." Ludacris declared: "There is a certain void in hip hop's heart that can never be filled. Glad we got to make history together. 50 Cent reflected on his work with the singer, telling followers, "I wrote the chorus to 21 questions I needed nate to sing it for me. He had a way of making everything feel hard."
Remember Nate Dogg's contribution to hip hop by enjoying the song that made him famous, below.