Hip-hop crooner Nate Dogg (né Nathaniel Hale) passed away March 15 at 41 after suffering multiple strokes in recent years. Best known for his guest appearances with fellow California icons Snoop Dogg, producer Dr. Dre, and Warren G, Nate and his stern yet mellow vocals were a staple on hit records throughout his career. ”Nate’s voice in music will never be replaced,” said collaborator Eminem in a statement. ”He helped create the blueprint for West Coast hip-hop. Nate will be sorely missed.” Here are five of his most notable performances.
? Warren G’s ”Regulate” (1994)
Sampling Michael McDonald’s ”I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near),” Nate’s collab with Warren G was an instant classic and put both performers on the hip-hop map.
? Dr. Dre’s ”The Next Episode” (1999)
Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre both have stellar verses on this cryptic banger, but it’s Nate’s ill-willed closing lines that steal the song.
? Dr. Dre’s ”Xxplosive” (1999)
On Dre’s guitar-tinged cut, Nate sings with pride of how he’s pleased that he and his partners are ”still making gangsta hits.”
? Ludacris’ ”Area Codes” (2001)
While Ludacris spends three verses bragging about his collection of girls all over the world, Nate coolly sings about his harem.
? 50 Cent’s ”21 Questions” (2003)
When 50 Cent needed a voice manly enough to be taken seriously but soft enough to express love on a single from his debut album, he knew who to call. ”[Nate] had a way of making everything feel hard,” 50 wrote on Twitter.