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 friends Nate 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 aspired to make 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, Warren preferred, from the very beginning of his career, to focus primarily on his solo career.
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 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 1990s 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 with Def Jam 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 went double platinum in America, selling two million records.
Overall, Warren G has sold eight to ten million records.
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