One of the most distinct voices of the G-funk era in hip-hop, rapper Nate Dogg, passed away yesterday, March 15th, the rapper's family confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter. He was 41. Nate Dogg, born Nathaniel D. Hale, had suffered strokes in both 2007 and 2008, but his death has been attributed to "complications from multiple strokes," his lawyer Mark Geragos said. Often recruited to adorn choruses in Death Row Records' glory days, Nate Dogg exploded onto the music scene as Warren G's gat-busting partner-in-crime on the hit "Regulate." Nate also frequently collaborated with his high school friend Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, Tupac Shakur, Eminem, and 50 Cent.
The biggest tracks to feature Nate Dogg, a four-time Grammy nominee, include Dr. Dre's "The Next Episode," Ludacris' "Area Codes," 50 Cent's "21 Questions," Eminem's "Shake That" and, our personal favorite, his own solo track "Never Leave Me Alone" with Snoop Dogg. In addition to appearing on every great rap album from The Chronic to Doggystyle to All Eyez on Me to Get Rich or Die Tryin', Nate released three solo albums on his own. He also made the "Eastside Hotel" one of the most famous locales in hip-hop history.
"We lost a true legend in hip-hop and R&B. One of my best friends and a brother to me since 1986 when I was a sophomore at Poly High where we met," Snoop Dogg said on Twitter. "You will always be with me forever and a day. You put the 'G' in 'G funk', you put the '1' in '213' and you put your stamp on everybody you ever did it with. I miss you because I am so sad but so happy I got to grow up with you, and I will see you again in heaven, because you know the slogan about 'all doggs go to heaven.' "
Some of Nate's greats:
"Never Leave Me Alone" featuring Snoop Dogg
"Regulate" with Warren G.
Editor's note: This morning Yahoo! ran an incorrect photo in its Front Page coverage of the death of Nate Dogg. Unfortunately, the wire service had misidentified him in that photo. It was corrected ASAP. Apologies -- RIP Nate Dogg.
[Photo: Mark Sullivan/WireImage.com]