Warren G is a Grammy Award nominating American West Coast rapper and hip hop producer. He rocketed to fame in 1994 with the hit single “Regulate,” featuring longtime friend Nate Dogg. The song became his first Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 2, and went platinum in the US. It brought him her first Grammy nomination for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. “Regulate,” which was featured on the soundtrack to the film “Above the Rim,” also earned the artist an MTV Movie nomination in the category of Best Movie Song. His debut album, “Regulate...G Funk Era” (1994) went triple platinum in the US. In addition to “Regulate,” the album also featured the Grammy nominating song “This D.J.,” which charted at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming his second consecutive top 10 hit in the US. Following the gold records “Take a Look Over Your Shoulder” (1997) and “I Want It All” (1999), which produced the No. 1 rap hit of the same name, G suffered setback with a string of unsuccessful records like “The Return of the Regulator” (2001), “In The Mid-Nite Hour” (2005) and “The G Files” (2009). Meanwhile, in 2004, he got some attention through his reunion with his rap group 213, also featuring Nate Dogg and Snoop Dogg. Their album, “The Hard Way,” made it to the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 and reached No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Warren G also has collaborated with various artists such as Adina Howard, Sissel, Mack 10, Ron Isley, Ice Cube, and Ray J, among others.
Warren Griffin III
Childhood and Family:
Warren G was born Warren Griffin III on November 10, 1970, in Long Beach, California. His father, Warren Griffin, later was married to Verna Young, the mother of André Romelle Young (born February 18, 1965), who would later be popular as Dr. Dre. Warren also has three sisters. Warren grew up listening to his parents' large collection of jazz, funk, and soul records, which inspired him to enter the music business.
Warren is married to Tennille Griffin. The couple have four children.
I Want It All
As a teenager, Warren G formed a rap group called 213 with his friends Nate Dogg and future superstar Snoop Dogg (then known as Snoop Doggy Dogg). Unluckily, all three were involved in criminals and had to spend time in jail. The experience prompted them to find jobs, while continuing working on their music. They were finally given the opportunity to practice and record in a back room of the local V.I.P. record store. It was around this period that Snoop made the demo “Super Duper Snooper,” which G played for his stepbrother, Dr. Dre, at a party. Dre was impressed and invited the trio to his studio. However, only Snoop Dogg and later the late Nate Dogg were signed to Dre and Suge Knight's record label, Death Row Records, while G was not. Therefore, he decided to pursue a solo career.
In 1993, G signed a record deal with Violator Records, which had a distribution deal with Polygram through Def Jam Records. His debut album, “Regulate...G Funk Era,” which he also produced, was launched on June 7, 1994. The album received some positive reviews from critics. It debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and reached the No.1 spot on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. The album went triple platinum in the US and gold in Canada. The lead single “Regulate” (featuring Nate Dogg) was a smash hit and became the breakout single for both artists. The song reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 1 on the Hot Rap Singles, No. 7 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks and No. 5 on the UK Singles Chart. It was certified platinum by the RIAA. “Regulate” was nominated for a 1995 Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group and a 1995 MTV Movie Award for Best Movie Song. The follow up single “This D.J.” marked another success for the artist. It peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming his second consecutive top 10 single on the chart, and went gold in the US. The song also charted at No. 3 on the Hot Rap Singles, No. 14 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks and No. 12 on the UK Singles Chart. “This D.J.” was nominated for a 1995 Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance. A second collaboration with Nate Dogg, the third single “Do You See” (featuring) failed to achieve the same level of success as its predecessor, but the song maintained to enter the Billboard charts, peaking at No. 42 on the Hot 100, No. 45 on the Hot R&B / Hip-Hop Songs and No. 11 on the Hot Rap Singles. In the UK, the song made it to No. 29 on the country's singles chart.
Still in 1994, G collaborated with ex-NBA Slam Dunk Champion and NBA All-Star Cedric Ceballos on the song “Flow On,” which was included in “B-Ball's Best Kept Secret,” a compilation album released by Epic Records that featured NBA players performing songs with hip hop artists.
In 1996, G recorded “What's Love Got to Do with It” with Adina Howard for the soundtrack of the action film “Supercop.” Although the soundtrack album did not enjoy big success, only peaking at No. 133 on the Billboard 200, their cover of Tina Turner's classic 1984 song became a hit. The song made it to No. 32 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming his third top 40 single, and No. 5 on the Hot Rap Tracks. The single gained greater success in the UK in which it made it to No. 2 on the UK Singles chart.
G returned with his second studio album, “Take a Look Over Your Shoulder,” on March 25, 1997. The album, which he produced, reached No.11 on the Billboard 200, No. 4 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and No. 20 in the Canadian Albums Chart. It eventually received gold certification in the US. The album yielded two Top 40 hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100 with “I Shot the Sheriff” and “Smokin' Me Out” (featuring Ron Isley), which peaked at No. 20 and No. 35, respectively, with the first going gold in the US. The singles also charted at No.2 and No. 14 on the UK Singles Charts, respectively.
1997 also saw G collaborate with Norwegian soprano Sissel Kyrkjebø on the song “Prince Igor,” on which Sissel singing an aria from Borodin's opera “Prince Igor” during the chorus, while G rapping. The song was included on the concept album “The Rapsody Overture,” which combined American rappers with European opera singers, and peaked at No. 15 on the UK Singles Chart.
On October 12, 1999, G released his third studio album, “I Want It All” on the indie label Restless Records. The album offered a jazz-rock fusion style and featured a host of guests including Nate Dogg, Kurupt and Daz Dillinger from Tha Dogg Pound, Mack 10, Jermaine Dupri and Slick Rick. It peaked at No. 21 on the Billboard 200 and No. 4 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, and has been certified gold by the RIAA. The title track, which he co-wrote with Dedrick Rolison and produced, reached No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 11 on the Hot R&B / Hip-Hop Songs, and No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles. Produced by his step brother, Dr. Dre, the next single “Game Don't Wait” (featuring Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg & Xzibit) only charted at No. 58 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
G returned to major label for his fourth studio album, “The Return of the Regulator,” which was released via Universal Records on December 11, 2001. Produced by G, Dr. Dre, and Soopafly, the album charted at No. 83 on the Billboard 200 and No. 14 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. It generated one single, “Lookin' at You” (produced by Dr. Dre), which reached No. 72 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and No. 60 on the UK Singles Chart, but did not crack the US Hot 100.
2004 found Warren G, Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg reuniting their group 213. They released the album “ The Hard Way” on August 17, 2004 through TVT Records. It reached at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. The album generated two singles, “So Fly” (#27 US Rap) and “Groupie Love” (#48 US, #24 US R&B, #23 US Rap). “The Hard Way” went gold in Canada.
On October 11, 2005, G resurfaced with the fifth studio album, “In the Mid-Nite Hour,” which was released on the label Lightyear Entertainment. It charted at No. 80 on the Billboard 200 and No. 15 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. “Get U Down Part 2” (featuring B-Real, Side Effect, Snoop Dogg, & Ice Cube) and “I Need a Light” (featuring Nate Dogg) were released as singles from the album but none charted on the Billboard charts.
In 2006, G produced the theme song for Ice Cube's television show, “Black.White.” Two years later, he made a song titled “Mr. President,” which addressed the 2008 presidential candidate race and encouraged everybody to vote. 2008 also found G being arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to sell. He was eventually released on $20,000 bail. Because of insufficient evidence, all the charges were later dropped.
G released the sixth studio “The G Files” on September 29, 2009 via Koch Records / TTL Records. The album, which featured guest performances from Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Cassie Davis and Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, failed to crack on the Billboard 200. It sold 3,000 units in its first week.
In addition to music, Warren G has also collected several acting credits. He made his debut as Brentley Shaw in the Nickolas Perry 1999 film “Speedway Junky,” starring Jesse Bradford, Jordan Brower and Jonathan Taylor Thomas. He was featured as studio musician in the Emmy Award nominating biographical television film “Little Richard” (2000), starring Leon as the title character, played himself on the Todd Phillips comedy feature “Old School” (2003), starring Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn and Jeremy Piven, and guest starred as an officer in an episode of the television sitcom “All of Us” called “Focus.”