Warren G Didn’t Help Nate Dogg ‘Regulate’ Anything — Lyrical Breakdown
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In the summer of 1994, Warren G and Nate Dogg teamed up for one of hip hop’s most memorable tracks of the decade with ‘Regulate.’ As popular as the song is among my generation, I often wonder why no one ever talks about Warren G taking credit for “regulating,” when it was Nate Dogg who did all the work. Let us break it down for you.
Warren G just announced plans to re-record his classic album ‘Regulate… G Funk Era‘ because Def Jam owns the masters and, as he says, “they been living off me for over 20 years.” Correction, sir. They’ve been living off of Nate Dogg’s regulating skills for over 20 years. Let’s get this out of the way — Warren G didn’t ‘Regulate’ s— and we’re going to prove it by walking you through the events of that fateful night that the team explain so clearly in the track that can also be found on the ‘Above the Rim’ soundtrack.
First we must ask what it means to “regulate” within the context of the song. Thanks to the sample heard at the front end of the song, there isn’t much guess work to be done.
we regulate any stealing of his property
and we damn good too
But you can’t be any geek off the street,
gotta be handy with the steel if you know what I mean, earn your keep!”
A regulator is someone who prevents the taking of one’s possessions and has some sort of expertise in combat with firearms .
“It was a clear black night, a clear white moon
Warren G was on the streets, trying to consume
some skirts for the eve, so I can get some funk
just rollin in my ride, chillin all alone”
It’s night time, he’s alone, and looking for females. Thus far, unsuccessfully.
“Just hit the Eastside of the LBC
on a mission trying to find Mr. Warren G.
Seen a car full of girls ain’t no need to tweak
all you skirts know what’s up with 213″
Nate Dogg is also looking for females, has found some, but would first like to find his friend Warren… probably because he knows that the “G-Child” can’t get his own chicks and is too soft to be hanging out in the hood by himself at this hour.
“So I hooks a left on the 21 and Lewis
some brothas shootin dice so I said ‘Let’s do this’
I jumped out the ride, and said ‘What’s up?’
some brothas pulled some gats so I said ‘I’m stuck.'”
Warren’s soft ass turned down the wrong street and saw some young men playing a dice game. Lonely, and likely looking for friendship, Warren approached the men and asked if he could play their dice game with them. Not only were they not interested, they could also see that it would be quite easy to take his personal belongings. The gentlemen promptly drew their firearms and began to rob him.
“They got my homey hemmed up and they all around
ain’t none of them seeing if they going straight pound for pound
I gotta come up real quick before they start to clown
I best pull out my strap and lay them busters down”
Nate Dogg has finally spotted his friend Warren and, just as he suspected, he has already gotten himself into trouble in this rough neighborhood. Luckily for Warren, Nate Dogg is a “regulator” and is well-versed in combat with firearms. He then expresses his intentions (as part of his internal monologue, obviously) to approach the assailants using stealth and open fire, thus preventing them from doing further harm to his friend.
“They got guns to my head
I think I’m going down
I can’t believe this happenin in my own town
If I had wings I could fly
let me contemplate
I glanced in the cut and I see my homey Nate”
Warren, as helpless as a turtle lying on the back of its shell, is being held up at gunpoint. He also says he thinks he’s “going down,” which likely means he is about to expire at the hands of these dubious armed gentlemen or, and this is a less popular theory, he was contemplating offering fellatio to said gentlemen in exchange for safe passage out of their neighborhood. We may never really know what he meant. Luckily, he saw that his friend Nathaniel Dwayne Dogg was about to come to his aid.
“Sixteen in the clip and one in the hole
Nate Dogg is about to make some bodies turn cold
now they droppin and yellin
it’s a tad bit late
Nate Dogg and Warren G had to regulate”
Nate Dogg is telling us how much ammunition is held in the clip of his firearm and expresses his intent to cause fatal injuries to the would-be-robbers. He then confirms that he successfully executed his targets and comically gives Warren G partial credit for said “regulation.” This is likely an error. Warren was actually the cause and benefactor of the regulating, but partook in none of it himself.
“I laid all them busters down
I let my gat explode
now I’m switching my mind back into freak mode
if you want skirts sit back and observe
I just left a gang of those over there on the curb”
Nate, presumably as a reminder of favors now owed to him, recaps the homicides (aka “regulating”) he just committed on behalf of Warren. Without hesitation, he announces his wishes to continue his pursuit of female companionship, which was so rudely interrupted by Warren’s distress. He also takes the leadership role, basically asserting to his friend that he will now demonstrate his skill in the art of courtship, which Warren must not be very adept. In fact, he informs his partner that he had already engaged a group of females and they are located nearby.
“Now Nate got the freaks
and that’s a known fact
before I got jacked I was on the same track
back up back up cause it’s on
N-A-T-E and me
the Warren to the G”
Warren recognizes Nate’s talent at courting females and claims that he, too, was attempting to do so prior to the shootout. We all know this is not true, because (as he stated in a previous verse) he was admittedly trying to gain the friendship of gentlemen, but this latest statement was likely made to cover the embarrrassment he feels due to his lack of success with female interaction as it pertains to sexual relations on this night.
“Just like I thought
they were in the same spot
in need of some desperate help
the Nate Dogg and the G-child
were in need of something else
one of them dames was sexy as hell
I said ‘ooo I like your size.’
she said ‘my car’s broke down and you seem real nice,
would ya let me ride?’
I got a car full of girls and it’s going real swell
the next stop is the Eastside Motel”
Nate, fully in command of his own destiny, returns to the females he spotted earlier and asserts himself as the alpha male. Interestingly, the females assess that Nate Dogg is “real nice,” despite the fact that he just committed multiple homicides just yards away from their location. Despite all of that dubious behavior, the females are receptive to his advances and agree to accompany him to a temporary overnight lodging of his choice. Nate will most certainly be able to have his choice of sexual partner as well, while Warren, who has contributed nothing to the multiple homicide or the female courting at this point, will be lucky to receive an over-the-pants HJ from the chubbiest one in the group.
into a whole new era
step to this
I dare ya
on a whole new level”
Warren, desperately trying to prove his worth to both Nathaniel and the females, attempts to rattle off some poetry, which turns out to be little more than gibberish that sort of rhymes.
“the rhythm is the bass and the bass is the treble”
Nate is stating his confusion about the settings on the stereo system in their motel room. Perhaps Warren G can contribute something to the group afterall.
where rhythm is life
and life is rhythm”
Instead of helping Nate with the stereo, Warren begins speaking of stringed instruments, which is clearly more useless gibberish. At this point, he’s lucky that he doesn’t end up on the receiving end of some regulation.
“If you know like I know
you don’t wanna step to this
It’s the G-Funk era
funked out with a gangsta twist
if you smoke like I smoke
then you high like everyday
and if your ass is a buster
213 will regulate”
Not only has he regulated and persuaded a group of females to engage him in pre-marital sexual relations, he also makes it clear that he is providing all of the marijuana, from which the group will get great enjoyment. This makes it clear that his friendship with Warren G is out of obligation and not opportunity. He literally just spent an entire night babysitting a grown ass man that is admittedly incapable of protecting himself from neighborhood ruffians and completely out of his depth with the fairer sex. All of us would be lucky to have a friend like Nate Dogg. Rest in Peace.