The Chronic was a massive hit and introduced a whole new fan base to Snoop Dogg. It was the perfect platform from which to launch Snoop's debut solo album Doggystyle which was the first album in the G-Funk genre. Suddenly the West Coast style of hip hop became popular everywhere - even on the East Coast. It sold 806,000 copies in its first week. These days it has sold over 11 million copies worldwide.
"As real as I was," said Snoop, somewhat surprised, "As gangsta as I was, white America accepted it faster than black America."
Ice T said, "Snoop had an original flow, an original cadence and an original look."
Seven months later, Warren G's first album, Regulate... G Funk Era dropped and ended up going triple platinum. In a move that was a surprising unity of West and East coast, the single Regulate appeared on the Above the Rim soundtrack, which was released by Def Jam rivals Deathrow. Not only that, it featured Nate Dogg, who at the time was still signed to Deathrow.
This did not go down well with Suge Knight. In the documentary, The D.O.C. suggests Suge was sore that he missed the chance to sign Warren G and was always trying to find a way to make money out of him. Suge's anger over the collaboration of Nate and Warren on Regulate had them so rattled they employed extra security when performing at the Billboard awards.
Some Examples of G-Funk from the Three Pioneers of the Genre
There's a lot more to the story of course. G Funk reveals a little insight into the rivalries between Suge Knight and Puffy, the deaths of Tu Pac and The Notorious B.I.G., and the exodus of Snoop, Dre and Nate from Deathrow. Even if you're not a huge hip hop fan, you're still likely to find the story engaging.
People who love credits will be rewarded for staying until the end with a few bonus vox pops from famous hip hop artists. All of them agree G-Funk was a game-changer, a huge influence and the most popular strand of hip hop music. It didn't just unite funk and hip hop, it united East and West coast rappers, black and white music fans and rival artists from rival labels.
Three childhood friends grew up, followed their dreams and achieved so very much. G Funk changed hip hop dramatically and forever. Those three friends brought an underground movement into the mainstream. Now corporations use hip hop to sell products. The music is found in movies, video games and adverts. While Nate Dogg passed away in 2011 (the film is dedicated to him) Snoop and Warren continue to make music and attract millions of fans worldwide to this day.
Warren said, of working with Snoop and Nate in the early days, "Music, family and just friends. That's what it was."