"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 and No. 8 on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart. It is considered the breakout single for both artists.
|Single by Warren G featuring Nate Dogg|
|from the album Regulate...G Funk Era and Above the Rim (soundtrack)|
|Released||April 28, 1994|
|Warren G singles chronology|
|Nate Dogg singles chronology|
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)". 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".
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!"
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.
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.
Impact and analysis
"Regulate" became Def Jam's biggest single.
During much of the summer of 1994, the video stayed number one on the MTV charts. 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. The video contained "everyday footage" from the film Above the Rim, as well as new footage, although guest vocalist Nate Dogg did not appear due to conflict between Suge Knight and Def Jam.
The lyrics have been described as "a surreal pastiche of half-sung lyrics about fighting and fucking". Craig Marks recommended "Regulate" for its "lite rock synth lines and rippling bass" but thought that Warren G's rapping abilities were "average".
The mockumentary series Yacht Rock featured Regulate in its episode No. 7, 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
- Best Movie Song – "Regulate" by Warren G. and Nate Dogg (nominated)
- Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group - "Regulate" by Warren G. and Nate Dogg (nominated)
Charts and certifications
End of year charts
Remixes and covers
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- "Regulate Lyrics - Warren G". Lyricsfreak.com. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
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- Yacht Rock - I Keep Forgettin, episode #7
- "Australian-charts.com – Warren G & Nate Dogg – Regulate". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
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- "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Warren G. & Nate Dogg; 'Regulate')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
- "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.
- "Best-Selling Records of 1994". Billboard. BPI Communications. 107 (3): 57. January 21, 1995. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
- "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.
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