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Regulate (song)

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Warren G - Regulate.jpg
Single by Warren G featuring Nate Dogg
from the album Regulate...G Funk Era and Above the Rim (soundtrack)
ReleasedApril 28, 1994
  • Nate Dogg
  • Warren G
Producer(s)Warren G
Warren G singles chronology
"This D.J."
Nate Dogg singles chronology
""Indo Smoke" by Mista Grimm"
"One More Day"

"Regulate" is a song performed by hip hop artists Warren G and Nate Dogg. Released in the spring of 1994, the track appears on the soundtrack to the film Above the Rim and later Warren G.'s album Regulate...G Funk Era. The song reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100[2] and No. 8 on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart.[3] It is considered the breakout single for both artists.[citation needed]

The track makes heavy use of a four-bar sample of the rhythm of Michael McDonald's song "I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You're Near)".[4] It also samples "Sign of the Times" by Bob James and "Let Me Ride" by Dr. Dre. One mix of the song is referred to as "I Keep Forgettin' to Regulate".

The song also starts with a quote sampled from the film Young Guns.[5][6] The music video featured scenes from Above the Rim, including an appearance by Tupac Shakur.

It was number 98 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop[7] and number 108 on Pitchfork Media's Top 200 Tracks of the 90s.[8]


In an interview with NME, Warren G explained the thought process behind the song. "That record was things that I went through, and friends of ours went through. We'd witnessed that and we'd been a part of it. We just told the story, and then on the hook we just let everybody's imagination flow. After hearing that you're going: 'Wow, he went through this' and then: [sings] 'I laid all them busters down, I let my gat explode' and you roll right back into it. It's on again!"[9]


Warren G is driving alone through Eastside, Long Beach, California at night, looking for women. He finds a group of men playing dice and tries to join them, but they pull out their guns and rob him instead. Thinking he's about to die, Warren G sings out, "if I had wings I would fly"; one critic describes this moment as "the hook" of the song.[10][11]

Meanwhile, Nate Dogg is looking for Warren G. He passes a car full of women, who are so fixated on him that they crash their car. He finds Warren G and shoots at the robbers, dispersing them. The two friends then return to the women and ride away with them.[11]

In the third verse, Warren and Nate explain their G-funk musical style; the song "constructs itself as inaugurating a new era".[12]

Track listing

Regulate was released as a maxi single by Interscope, catalog number 6544-95917-0 (12-inch vinyl)[13] and 6544-95917-2 (CD),[14] along with three other tracks.

  1. "Regulate" - Warren G (feat. Nate Dogg)
  2. "Pain" - 2Pac (feat. Stretch)
  3. "Mi Monie Rite" - Lord G
  4. "Loyal to the Game" - 2Pac (feat. Treach, Riddler)

Impact and analysis

"Regulate" became Def Jam's biggest single.[15]

During much of the summer of 1994, the video stayed number one on the MTV charts.[16] In the video as played on MTV, the lyrics are censored with the word "cold" being blanked from the line "Nate Dogg is about to make some bodies turn cold"; an action that Spin equated with racism because more explicit songs by white artists like Johnny Cash were not being censored.[17] The video contained "everyday footage" from the film Above the Rim, as well as new footage,[16] although guest vocalist Nate Dogg did not appear due to conflict between Suge Knight and Def Jam.[18]

The lyrics have been described as "a surreal pastiche of half-sung lyrics about fighting and fucking".[19] Craig Marks recommended "Regulate" for its "lite rock synth lines and rippling bass" but thought that Warren G's rapping abilities were "average".[17]

The mockumentary series Yacht Rock featured Regulate in its episode No. 7,[20] where Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins make a bet about the popularity of the song, "I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You're Near)". Ten years later, the Long Beach-based rappers accidentally hit McDonald with their car and kidnap him back to their house, where they sample McDonald's smooth keyboard groove.

Awards and nominations

1995 MTV Movie Awards

  • Best Movie Song – "Regulate" by Warren G. and Nate Dogg (nominated)

1995 Grammy Awards

  • Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group - "Regulate" by Warren G. and Nate Dogg (nominated)

Charts and certifications

Remixes and covers


  1. ^ "9 of the best Michael McDonald songs of all time". Smooth.
  2. ^ "Hot 100". Billboard. 1994-07-02. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
  3. ^ "R&B/Hip-Hop". Billboard. 1994-06-25. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
  4. ^ Miller, Michael (October 1994). "G Whiz". Spin.
  5. ^ "Regulate by Warren G. & Nate Dogg Songfacts".
  6. ^ "Young Guns (1988)".
  7. ^ "100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs". The Greatest. Episode 186. 2008-09-28. MTV Networks. VH1.
  8. ^ "The Top 200 Tracks of the 1990s: 150-101".
  9. ^ Kevin EG Perry (9 July 2018). "Warren G on G-Funk, making Annie Lennox starstruck and the immortal 'Regulate'". NME. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  10. ^ Weisbard, Eric (September 1994), "Platter du Jour: WARREN G. / Refulate...G Funk Era / Violator/RAL", Spin, retrieved 9 April 2012
  11. ^ a b "Regulate Lyrics - Warren G". Retrieved 2010-08-19.
  12. ^ Quinn, Eithne (2004) [1999], "Chapter 7, "It's a Doggy-Dogg World": Black Cultural Politics, Gangsta Rap and the "Post-Soul Man"", in Peter John Ling, Sharon Monteith (eds.), Gangsta Rap and Cultural Politics (1st paperback ed.), p. 205, ISBN 978-0-8135-3438-1CS1 maint: uses editors parameter (link)
  13. ^ "Warren G.* & Nate Dogg - Regulate". Discogs.
  14. ^ "Warren G.* & Nate Dogg - Regulate". Discogs.
  15. ^ Life and Def: sex, drugs, money, and God by Russell Simmons, Nelson George
  16. ^ a b Experiencing music video: aesthetics and cultural context by Carol Vernallis
  17. ^ a b "Platter du jour" SPIN Sep 1994
  18. ^ The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop by Dan Charnas
  19. ^ "Tony! Tony! Tony!". SPIN. December 1994.
  20. ^ Yacht Rock - I Keep Forgettin, episode #7
  21. ^ " – Warren G & Nate Dogg – Regulate". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  22. ^ " – Warren G & Nate Dogg – Regulate" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  23. ^ " – Warren G & Nate Dogg – Regulate" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  24. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  25. ^ " – Warren G & Nate Dogg – Regulate" (in French). Les classement single.
  26. ^ " – Warren G & Nate Dogg Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  27. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Warren G & Nate Dogg" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  28. ^ " – Warren G & Nate Dogg – Regulate". Top 40 Singles.
  29. ^ " – Warren G & Nate Dogg – Regulate". VG-lista.
  30. ^ " – Warren G & Nate Dogg – Regulate". Singles Top 100.
  31. ^ " – Warren G & Nate Dogg – Regulate". Swiss Singles Chart.
  32. ^ "Warren G: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  33. ^ "Warren G Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  34. ^ "Warren G Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard.
  35. ^ "Warren G Chart History (Hot Rap Songs)". Billboard.
  36. ^ "Official Charts > Warren G". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  37. ^ a b "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles 1994". (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  38. ^ "End of Year Charts 1994". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  39. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1994". Retrieved 2010-08-27.
  40. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Warren G. & Nate Dogg; 'Regulate')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  41. ^ "British single certifications – Warren G & Nate Dogg – Regulate". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Regulate in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  42. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1994". Billboard. BPI Communications. 107 (3): 57. January 21, 1995. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  43. ^ "American single certifications – Warren G and Nate Dogg – Regulate". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  44. ^ "Georgia Theatre Athens, GA 2/28/2007". Umphrey's McGee. 2007-02-28. Retrieved 2010-08-02.

External links