“That just what I was, the ‘G Funk Era,’” says Warren G. “I’ma tell you this, 187 (Cold 187um), Laylaw, KMG, Go Mack, K-Oss (DJ Total K-Oss)…those are the first guys, they introduced me. They brought me in. It was pretty much like a clique.”
Warren G rattles off these facts seamlessly and smoothly, making sure to pay homage to those that paved the way for him. Such is the theme throughout G Funk: The Untold Story of Warren G, a new documentary that premiered July 11 on YouTube Premium, that lays out the West Coast rapper and producer’s rise from a forgotten man at Death Row Records to a Hip-Hop legend.
The documentary has been years in the making, and Warren G says plenty of people reached out about producing the film. However, they didn’t necessarily want to deliver the realness.
A certain Blood gang affiliated honcho’s rep also scare folk off.
“They wanted to dumb it down,” Warren G told Hip-Hop Wired. “Not saying some things, like the Suge Knight stuff that’s in there. They didn’t want that in there ‘cause they was scared or whatever. I’ma tell the story how I want to tell it.”
Suge Knight is currently in jail facing a murderwrap, but Warren G still managed to flourish even while the infamous Death Row founder was at the peak of his career.
As detailed in the doc, Suge never signed Warren G to Death Row, despite being Snoop’s advocate when people weren’t checking for him or being Dr. Dre’s half-brother.
Nevertheless, Warren G still managed to finesse a record deal with Def Jam, and draw the ire of Suge Knight in the process thanks to his “Regulate” single’s massive success. It sounds simple enough, but the doc goes into sordid details better than any Shondra Rhimes TV show.
“Just saying humble and out the way. Just working man, doing what I do,” is how Warren G says he thrived despite Suge basically hating on him. “And staying loyal and humble at the same time, but I’m not a punk, a buster. Push up on me hard enough I’m a push back. But I’m not gonna go out and be the type of the guy that they say, ‘Don’t f*ck with him.’ I don’t want that image. I’m a guy that’s trying to help the next guy be a superstar and learn this industry at the same time. All these guys in the industry know it.”
Also, in hindsight, it’s amazing that Warren G, Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg (aka 213), despite their skills, were constantly getting the cold shoulder.
“It was hard man. It was real hard,” says Warren G about the struggle to get put on. “All the stuff that we was going through… That’s pretty much what I want artists and just people in general to get out of it—to see what it takes to become a so-called legend or superstar. The things that we went through that set it off for us to become that. It’s a really big part of history.”
The documentary is the story of Warren G, which in turn covers a big and important swath of West Coast Hip-Hop history. So it turns out Warren naming his first album Regulate…G-Funk Era was prophetic.
“What I did was when I started doing my music, my sound, I wanted to make it more instrumental more smoother,” explains Warren. “Not saying that there’s wasn’t it, but this part of the G-Funk era is what changed it and made it worldwide where now people are considering it a genre.”
He humbly adds, “I’m one of the founders to make that happen. Along with Dr. Dre & Snoop and 187 and Laylaw and KMG, Go Mack amd K-Oss. I took it to the next level. The g-funk era, that was my era, that was story, my soundtrack to my life, the things that I was going through. It changed the world, it changed the game.”
Where is the lie?
The Karam Gill-directed G-Funk: The Untold Story of Warren G is out now YouTube Premium. Watch the trailer below.