First Impressions: The 50 Best Album-Opening Songs in Rap History

36. Warren G "Regulate" (1994)

Producer: Warren G
Album: Regulate...G Funk Era
Label: Def Jam/Death Row/Interscope Records


Regulate...G Funk Era is a great album—classic even, depending on how close you live to 21st and Lewis—but there is no question that this is an example of an album hopelessly overshadowed by its leadoff title song. Sometimes it takes dozens of records to get a point across. Other times an artist's entire aesthetic purpose can be essentialized in one four-minute single. Such is the case with "Regulate," a work of perfect symmetry: Warren G. and Nate Dogg alternate 16 consecutive verses with infallible consistency. There is no chorus, only the recurring nonverbal motif of the whining synth (and the lingering bearded ghost of Michael McDonald, who composed the song that this song is based on). In 500 years people won't come to Los Angeles to see the Hollywood sign. Instead tours will trace the ruins of the Eastside Motel. Sam Sweet

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