Regulators, mount up! If you've noticed more rhythm in your bass and more bass in your treble than usual, it's because the Guardian of the G-Funk Mr. Warren G has dropped his first release in six years, and it's a sequel to his classic. Regulate… G Funk Era, Pt. II, which is available now on iTunes, is a five track EP that not only boasts the dearly missed Nate Dogg on every track, but features some dream collaborations, including Nate and Warren joined by fellow legends E-40 and Too $hort on the same track.
We spoke to Warren about his new EP, his feelings today on the original and what his interactions with Kenny G have been like.
What made now feel like the right time to do a sequel to Regulate… G Funk Era?
I mean, people been asking me “when you gonna bring the G Funk back?” I decided, I'm tied to that, I can't let my people down. I said I'll do this real quick, give them a taste for right now, before I drop jewels on them.
You last project was released in 2009. How far back did you start work on the new EP? Have any songs been in development for the full six years?
Yeah, I had them for a while. I just redid some things to a lot of them, touched them up. I said I like these, these are the ones.
What's the biggest difference between releasing Regulate… G Funk Era Part II now compared to releasing the original over two decades ago?
It sounds a little bit more modern. The drums and certain things. The production is a bit more stepped-up a little bit. But hey, it's the shit that they wanted, and I gave it to them.
The EP features four tracks with Nate Dogg, along with a few other guests. What made you decide who to bring on board to guest on the project and were any of these songs completed before Nate's passing?
No. Too $hort's and E-40 what came to my mind and I always wanted to work with them. I thought they would fit perfectly, and they did.
Going back to the original “Regulate,” it first appeared on the Above the Rim soundtrack three months before it came out on your Regulate… G Funk Era album. How did that first come together?
That happened, I was at the studio one day with Dre and I played it for one of his friends, Mike Lynn. He loved it, and from that point on the deal was made for Above the Rim and it wound up being the first single. It was amazing.
Do you think having “Regulate” on the Above the Rim soundtrack helped or hurt the sales of your Regulate… G Funk Era album three months later?
Well, it definitely helped. If guys get the record, it helps. “If he's dropping an album, we need to get his album because we love what he did on the Above the Rim soundtrack.” And Def Jam licensed the single, and re-released it, and blew it up again even more. They put another push behind it, and it blew my record up.
I recently had the chance to watch a copy of the 2000 American Music Awards where you presented an award with famed saxophonist Kenny G.
Oh wow, forgot about that. Kenny G and I, we both got the last name G. It's a G and a G. That's a trip because recently he and I did Jimmy Kimmel. We performed together not too long ago, and it was something I had 30 minutes to put together. It turned out to be epic, so many people had seen that. Kenny G is a very, very, very cool cat. One of the coolest guys I've met, I'm glad I was able to do stuff with him, that was classic.
Finally, given how prolific you've been as an MC and producer, is there any track of yours that you're particularly proud of that you wish was more well known?
“Indo Smoke.” That's one, it was big, but it could have been bigger than that. If that was brought out today, it'd be the biggest record today. Look at how we're living now. Weed is a big part of the culture. I wish I could re-release it right now if I could.
And much love to O.C.! I'm an Orange County guy. I'm from Long Beach, but I've been to Orange County and I love it. A lot of good people.