interview NATE DOGG - Music & Me | Review By: Incognito

After having his debut album, "G-Funk Classics Vol. 1 & 2" overlooked by many in 1998, Nate Dogg has made sure this album will be felt by everyone in the industry. "Music & Me" is a collection of 13 songs that chronicle Nate's relationship with music. Nate Dogg ushers in artists from all corners of the rapping world, making this the difference between "Music & Me" and his first record. Somewhat like Xzbit with "Restless," Nate wants to be recognized by peeps from all over with this album.

"I Got Love" starts the album off, the track has this classical-gangsta-lounge feel to open up the album. Nate does what Nate Dogg does as he rips up this Bink Dog beat with his cocky lyrics. This is the first single, but I only hear the Remix getting airplay on the radios and t.v. That's because the Remix would sell more, with mainstream artist Fabolous on it. "Keep It G.A.N.G.S.T.A.," the album's second single, it's a thumping Megahertz concoction with a heavy bass, outlined with vocorder samples to spice up the beat. Nate is joined by Lil Mo on vocals and an aggressive Xzibit doing his usual damage. Moving on, "Pledge Of Allegiance" is a booming Mel-Man track where Nate bursts out over this ill baseline alongside rapper Pharoahe Monch. Jermaine Dupri returns the favor for "Ballin Out Of Control" with, "Your Women Has Just Been Sighted" a agile drum shuffling track very reminiscent of a Neptunes beat. It's another good song with Nate on the addicting vocals. J.D.'s verse isn't needed though, he should of stayed behind the boards. Nate keeps it gutter on "Concrete Roots" by stating ain't a dam thing changed, "I'm gone letcha hoe call/I'm gone ball till I fall/Keep it gangsta just for all a y'all." "Ditty Dum Ditty Doo" is one of the more entertaining songs on the album with the digital soundscape provided by Fedwreck, (Back from his identity crisis as Dr. Dre). Nate is accompanied by his Long Beach homies Tha Eastsidaz for one of the dopest tracks on the CD. The songs Nate does come solo on are his best, "Another Short Story" is one of them. He raps about one of many women in his life that have come and gone, leaving only one thing important to him, "I...Keep...My...Mind...On/My-Money." One of my favorites on the CD.

Unlike his first album though, Nate makes less songs like the deep "Music & Me" track. I feel this is what the album is missing, more songs like these. That song is the best on the album, it's Nate Dogg in his purest form, singing about more relevant topics. His first album was full of solo ballads like these, "Music & Me" only has about 3. This song sums up what the album is about, and who Nate Dogg is as an artist...his deep connection with music. Songs like that bring out the true artist in Nate. Maybe the only song I skipped over is "Real Pimp" with Ludacris, just not feelin it as much as the other 13 tracks.

To attract some of the non-West coast fans, Nate collaborates with some of the more 'pop' rap acts today, like Fabolous, Jermaine Dupri and Ludacris to boast sales. Many long time Nate listeners where disappointed when they discovered the tracklisting with all these names on them, but they don't really stall this album. All the songs on the album are basically a good listen. Nate doesn't bore you with one mood in his music, but switches the pace from song to song. On the production side, I think Bink really suits Nate's musical style. Two of the songs he blessed Nate with, "I Got Love" and "Back Door" are really tight. The blending of such producers as Mike City, Megahertz and Battlecat really make this a good album for Nate. BUT, there is one producer who suits Nate Dogg's flow the best, Warren G, who does not appear on this album at all. Why? Did Nate get in his share of appearences on "The Return Of The Regulator?" Was there no time for the two to have a collabo? I don't know, but that is something that is missing here. They make the best music together, "Regulate" and "Nobody Does It Better." All in all, the best songs here are "Music & Me," "Your Wife," "Another Short Story," and "Concrete Roots." I think since Nate only offers 12 original songs, this album fly's by and you feel like there should be more past the 14th track. Go out and buy 3 copies of this album now

3.75/5 Dubs!


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