Warren G grew up in Long Beach, California listening to his parents’ collection of jazz, funk and soul; nurturing a deep love for music. In 1990, he formed the group 213, named after the Long Beach area code, with his friendsNate Dogg and Snoop Dogg. The current area code in Long Beach, California is 562. While practicing with “213,” and working a full time job, the young Warren used all his free time on creating his own sound and dreamed of making it big.
The trio “213” dissolved when two of its members signed with Death Row Records. Although Warren G had the option of joining Death Row and work with his step-brother Dr. Dre, Warren preferred, from the very beginning of his career, to focus primarily on his solo career. True to his independent spirit, Warren G dedicated himself to creating his own sound; a distinct style that was later to become known, worldwide, as the legendary G-Funk.
Throughout his early solo career, Warren G worked with artists like MC Breed and 2Pac, but his big break came when his vocal collaboration with Mista Grimm, on Indo Smoke, appeared on the Poetic Justice soundtrack in 1992. His outstanding rap lead to a serious collaboration with Dr. Dre. Dedicated to hard work, that same year, Warren G made major contributions to Dr. Dre’s album ”The Chronic,” released in December 1992, including sampling for Nuthin’ but a G-Thang.
Worldwide recognition as a solo artist came immediately after Warren G dropped the smash hit Regulate; a duet with Nate Dogg, which topped the charts in 1994. The accompanying album “Regulate…G Funk Era” is a monument to the originality and smooth hip hop that is Warren G. The debut album went triple platinum with This D.J. becoming his second Top 20 hit. One year after its release, the album had sold four million copies worldwide, with three million of those sold in the US (certified 3x platinum). Had Warren G signed with Death Row, he would have been one of the label’s biggest selling acts at the time.
1994 would also see Warren G doing a track with former NBA Slam Dunk Champion and NBA All-Star Cedric Ceballos on “B-Ball’s Best Kept Secret,” a rap album with tracks done almost exclusively by early 90s NBA players. He would score a #2 hit on the UK singles chart with Adina Howard with What’s Love Got to Do With It, from the soundtrack album to the movie “Supercop.”
Warren G’s second album was entitled “Take a Look Over Your Shoulder” (Reality) and was released in 1997. It featured two singles: The hit I Shot the Sheriff (US #20, UK#2), a gold single in the US; and Smokin’ Me Out (US #35, UK#14). The album would be certified gold in America.
Together with the Norwegian superstar soprano Sissel Kyrkjebø, Warren G had a hit in several European countries in 1998 with Prince Igor on the concept album “The Rapsody Overture”. The album combined American rappers with European opera singers. Sissel sang an aria from Borodin’s opera Prince Igor during the chorus, while Warren rapped.
Warren G had signed to the independent label Restless Records by the release of his third album “I Want It All” in 1999. The album offered a jazz-rock fusion style and featured a host of guests including Snoop Dogg, Mack 10, Kurupt, and Eve. The first single, I Want It All (US #23), sampled the song I Like It by DeBarge. Second single Game Don’t Wait peaked at #58 on the US R&B Chart. The album was certified gold in the US.
For his fourth album, Warren G returned to major label distribution as Universal Records released his “The Return of the Regulator” in 2001. The album had one single released, Lookin’ at You, which peaked at #72 on the R&B singles chart. By 2004, Warren G, Snoop Dogg, and Nate Dogg had reunited their group 213 and released the album “The Hard Way” on TVT Records, which contained the single Groupie Luv. The song topped at #48 on the R&B Chart. The album, however, peaked at #4 on the US Top 200 Album Chart, and was certified gold.
Warren G released a new album on October 11, 2005, called “In the Mid-Nite Hour.” In December 2005, he signed with UniqueInc LTD (UK) for the UK & Éire, Craze Productions of London is doing the digital distribution and sales on Mobile and online and Hawino Records for the North America release. Warren G also appeared on Celebrity Fit Club.
In 2006, he produced the theme song for Ice Cube’s TV show, Black. White. On March 22, Warren G made a song called Mr. President, addressing the 2008 presidential candidate race and encouraged everyone to vote. He also appeared in Celebrity Rap Superstar as a mentor.
Three of Warren G’s albums have featured a song by 213: Game Don’t Wait appeared on his third album “I Want It All”; Yo’ Sassy Ways appeared on his fourth album “The Return of the Regulator”; and PYT appeared on his fifth album “In the Mid-Nite Hour.”
In 2009 he released his 6th studio album titled The G Files. The album takes a more conservative approach, with the fewest appearances since his 1994 acclaimed debut. The G Files tries to encompass too many dimensions, demonstrating a quite different and perhaps unconventional portrayal of G-Funk.
After the devastating early death of Nate Dogg in March 2011, Warren G released the song This Is Dedicated To You to honor his childhood friend and close musical collaborator. This Is Dedicated To You continues the laid back, chill, and confident sound of G-funk that has always been the voice of Warren G. It is a loving and fitting tribute to a life time friend and brother in music. The song received positive reviews and continues to perform well. To honor the life and work of Nate, all proceeds from the sale of this song go directly to Nate Dogg’s mother, family, and charity organization.
Although deeply affected by the death of Nate Dogg, Warren G has carried on as a solo artist and works tirelessly on multiple projects. He has made multiple public appearances to promote various charities and musical venues.