|Cultural origins||Late 1980s and early 1990s, Pomona, California, United States|
G-funk, short for gangsta funk, is a sub-genre of gangsta rap that emerged from the West Coast scene in the late 1980s. The genre is heavily influenced by 1970s psychedelic funk sound of artists such as Parliament-Funkadelic.
G-funk (which uses funk with an artificially altered tempo) incorporates multi-layered and melodic synthesizers, slow hypnotic grooves, a deep bass, heavy use of the snare drum, background female vocals, the extensive sampling of P-Funk tunes, and a high-pitched portamento saw wave synthesizer lead. It is typically set at a tempo of anywhere between 80 to 100 BPM.
The lyrical content depended on the artist and could consist of sex, drug use (especially Marijuana), love for a city/neighborhood, love for friends and relaxing words. There was also a slurred "lazy" or "smooth" way of rapping in order to clarify words and stay in rhythmic cadence.
The trademark West Coast G-funk style of hip-hop was a very defining element of the region's music and helped distinguish it from the rivaling rap scene on the East Coast. In essence, the smooth, slow-tempo sound of G-funk accompanied the perceived "laid-back" stereotype of Californian culture whereas East Coast hip-hop typically featured more aggressive attitudes alongside a fast-paced tempo (e.g. hardcore hip hop).
Unlike other earlier rap acts that also utilized funk samples (such as EPMD and the Bomb Squad), G-funk often utilized fewer, unaltered samples per song.Music theorist Adam Krims has described G-funk as "a style of generally West Coast rap whose musical tracks tend to deploy live instrumentation, heavy on bass and keyboards, with minimal (sometimes no) sampling and often highly conventional harmonic progressions and harmonies". Dr. Dre, a pioneer of the G-funk genre, normally uses live musicians to replay the original music of sampled records. This enabled him to produce music that had his own sounds, rather than a direct copy of the sample.
Although G-funk originated in Los Angeles, the subgenre drew a large amount of influence from the earlier Bay Area-based sound known as Mobb music of the mid-to-late 1980s, pioneered by rappers like Too Short and E-40. Too Short had experimented with looping sounds from classic P-Funk records over bass-heavy tracks during this period. However, unlike Bay Area Mobb music, Southern California-born G-funk used more portamento synthesizers and less live instrumentation. Too Short's lazy, drawl-heavy delivery was also a major influence on later G-funk rappers like Snoop Dogg.
Early examples of the genre began to show up in 1989 with The D.O.C.'s It's Funky Enough and The Formula, Cold 187um, a member of Above the Law, claiming that he came up with the name and sound.the former was an early minor hit for the genre, reaching No. 12 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Two years later, in 1991, N.W.A. released another early example of the genre with their album Niggaz4Life, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and No. 2 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. The same year, Ice Cube's diss track towards N.W.A. "No Vaseline", was made in the style. Dr. Dre, who produced No One Can Do It Better and Niggaz4Life , is often seen as the originator/creator of the G-funk sound. Though these claims have been disputed with
1992 was the breakout year for the genre, with Dr. Dre dropping his album The Chronic . The album was a massive success, having three top 40 singles: "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang", the Eazy-E diss "Dre Day", and "Let Me Ride."It also reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200, and No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album was eventually certified Triple Platinum by the RIAA in 1993 for selling three-million copies, it has also been selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". Though G-funk had previously existed, Dr. Dre's The Chronic is often seen as the beginning of the genre.
The following year had numerous successful songs and albums, Ice Cube's songs "It Was a Good Day" and "Check Yo Self" both made it to the top 20, peaking at No. 15 and No. 20 respectively,and were both certified at least gold. "It Was a Good Day" is commonly placed high on best of lists for the genre, being considered "one of the best G-Funk tracks ever made". Snoop Dogg released his first album Doggystyle , which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and contained the hits "Gin and Juice" and "What's My Name?", both songs reached No. 8 on the Hot 100. The album was certified Quadruple Platinum, and both singles were certified gold. Eazy-E released the G-funk influenced album "It's On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa", which reached No. 5 on the Billboard 200, and contained the No. 42 hit "Real Muthaphuckkin G's", which was made as a response to Dre's song "Dre Day" from the previous year.
The genre's popularity grew even bigger in 1994, especially because of Warren G's song "Regulate", which was featured on the Above The Rim soundtrack. The single reached the top 10 peaking at No. 2.His album "Regulate... G Funk Era" which also contained the song, and another top 10 hit "This D.J.", reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200. Popular rapper MC Hammer went for a more gangsta image and G-funk sound on his album "The Funky Headhunter", which contained the No. 26 single "Pumps and a Bump". The G-funk group Thug Life, featuring 2Pac released their first and only album, "Thug Life: Volume 1", it peaked at No. 42 on the Billboard 200, it had one minor hit single with "Cradle to the Grave", it charted on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and on the Hot Rap Songs charts, at No. 91 on the former and No. 25 on the latter. Westcoast rapper Coolio released his debut album "It Takes a Thief" in 1994, the album peaked at No. 8, it contains the Top-10 hit "Fantastic Voyage".
In 1995, 2Pac released the album "Me Against the World" which although not entirely G-funk, has been described as having "half the record [resound] to the boom and bap of New York" while having "the rest [shimmer] in a G-funk haze". The album reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200,and was certified Double Platinum. Later in the year, he released the G-funk classic, "California Love" which as a double A-side with "How Do U Want It", hit No. 1 on the Hot 100. In October 1995, Tha Dogg Pound released their debut album "Dogg Food" and it debuted at number 1# on the billboard, continuing G-funk's dominance in the main stream with the top 50 singles "New York, New York" and "Let's Play House".
In 1996, the super-group Westside Connection released "Bow Down", it had two hit singles: "Bow Down" and "Gangstas Make the World Go Round", they peaked at No. 21 and No. 40, respectively.The album itself peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, and was certified Platinum by the RIAA in 1997. 2Pac released his album "All Eyez on Me", which has been described as "lush G-funk" and as having a "commercial G-funk sheen", the album, just like "Me Against the World", hit No. 1.
Warren G released his second album "Take a Look Over Your Shoulder" which peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard 200,it had two Top-40 singles, a cover of "I Shot the Sheriff" and "Smokin' Me Out".
Although the majority of G-funk music has come out of California, the overall sound has been utilized by additional US rappers and hip-hop groups that were based in other states across the U.S. during the time of the style's popularity in the 1990s.Some of the most notable of these artists include Outkast (Georgia), G-Slimm (Louisiana), Bone Thugs-n-Harmony (Ohio), Tela (Tennessee), Top Authority (Michigan), E.S.G. (Texas), and DMG (Minnesota).
In the 1990s, Houston, Texas had a small, but noteworthy g-funk scene at the peak of the genre's popularity with artists such as the Geto Boys, Blac Monks, E.S.G., 5th Ward Boyz, Street Military, Big Mello, Scarface, Ganksta N-I-P, Bushwick Bill, Big 50, 5th Ward Juvenilez, and South Circle.
In the 2000s, G-funk music significantly declined in mainstream popularity.
Midwestern rapper Tech N9ne made use of the G-funk style of rap music onto his early releases - most notably on his second studio album, The Worst (released in 2000).His subsequent 2001 follow-up album, Anghellic incorporated the subgenre's characteristics to a much lesser extent.
Most recently - into the 2010s and onward - many contemporary West Coast rappers have released albums which contain strong G-funk influences, including Kendrick Lamar with Good Kid, M.A.A.D City as well as To Pimp a Butterfly , YG with Still Brazy , Schoolboy Q with Blank Face LP , Nipsey Hussle with Victory Lap , Buddy with Harlan & Alondra and Tech N9ne with The Gates Mixed Plate .G-funk also has had somewhat of an impact on the development of modern Christian hip hop/Gospel rap. For example, many of the albums by the Christian recording artists Gospel Gangstaz, who have also enjoyed relatively mainstream success in the past, have exhibited token G-funk musical elements.
Andre Romelle Young, known professionally as Dr. Dre, is an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics, and previously co-founded, co-owned, and was the president of Death Row Records. Dr. Dre began his career as a member of the World Class Wreckin' Cru in 1985 and later found fame with the gangsta rap group N.W.A. The group popularized explicit lyrics in hip hop to detail the violence of street life. During the early 1990s, Dre was credited as a key figure in the crafting and popularization of West Coast G-funk, a subgenre of hip hop characterized by a synthesizer foundation and slow, heavy beats.
Warren Griffin III, known professionally as Warren G, is an American rapper, songwriter, DJ and producer known for his role in West Coast rap's 1990s ascent. Along with Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg, he formed the hip-hop trio 213, named for Long Beach's area code. A pioneer of G-funk, he attained mainstream success with the 1994 single "Regulate", a duet with Nate Dogg. The younger stepbrother of rapper Dr. Dre, he introduced him to Snoop Dogg, who was later signed by him.
West Coast hip hop is a regional genre of hip hop music that encompasses any artists or music that originated in the West Coast region of the United States. West Coast hip hop began to dominate from a radio play and sales standpoint during the early to-mid 1990s with the birth of G-funk and the emergence of record labels such as Suge Knight and Dr. Dre's Death Row Records, Ice Cube's Lench Mob Records and the continued success of Eazy-E's Ruthless Records, and others.
The Chronic is the debut studio album by American hip hop producer and rapper Dr. Dre. It was released on December 15, 1992, by his own record label Death Row Records and distributed by Interscope Records. Recording sessions for the album took place in June 1992 at Death Row Studios in Los Angeles and at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood. The album is named after a slang term for high-grade cannabis, and its cover is an homage to Zig-Zag rolling papers. It was Dr. Dre's first solo album after he had departed from hip hop group N.W.A and its label Ruthless Records over a financial dispute.
Doggystyle is the debut studio album by American rapper Snoop Dogg, then known as Snoop Doggy Dogg. It was released on November 23, 1993, by Death Row Records and Interscope Records. The album was recorded and produced following Snoop's appearances on Dr. Dre's debut solo album The Chronic (1992), to which Snoop contributed significantly. The West Coast style in hip-hop that he developed from Dre's first album continued on Doggystyle. Critics have praised Snoop Dogg for the lyrical "realism" that he delivers on the album and for his distinctive vocal flow.
Nathaniel Dwayne Hale, known professionally as Nate Dogg, was an American singer and rapper. He gained recognition for providing guest vocals for a multitude of hit rap songs between 1992 and 2007, earning the nickname "King of Hooks".
Tha Dogg Pound is an American hip hop duo made up of rappers Kurupt and Daz Dillinger. They were signed to Death Row Records in their early careers and were key to the label's success.
Murder Was the Case is a 1994 short film and soundtrack album starring and performed by Snoop Doggy Dogg. The 18 minute film was directed by Dr. Dre and Fab Five Freddy and chronicles the fictional death of Snoop Dogg and his resurrection after making a deal with the Devil. The film's title comes from Snoop's song of the same name from his debut album, Doggystyle, which had been released a year earlier.
Eazy-Duz-It is the debut studio album by American rapper Eazy-E. It was released on November 23, 1988, by Ruthless Records and Priority Records. The album charted on two different charts and went 2× Platinum in the United States despite very little promotion by radio and television. Three singles were released from the album, each charting in the US. The remastered version contains tracks from the extended play (EP), 5150: Home 4 tha Sick (1992). The 25th anniversary (2013) contains two bonus tracks, a 12" remixes of "We Want Eazy" and "Still Talkin'".
"Gin and Juice" is a song by American rapper Snoop Dogg. It was released on January 15, 1994, as the second single from his debut album, Doggystyle.
2001 is the second studio album by rapper and hip hop producer Dr. Dre. It was released on November 16, 1999, by Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records as the follow-up to his 1992 debut album, The Chronic. The album was produced mainly by Dr. Dre and Mel-Man, as well as Lord Finesse, and features several guest contributions from fellow U.S. rappers such as Hittman, Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, Xzibit, Eminem, and Nate Dogg.
"Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" is a song by American rapper Dr. Dre, featuring fellow American rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg, on Dre's debut solo album, The Chronic (1992). The album's first single, "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang," reaching number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 on March 20, 1993, behind "Informer" by Snow, outperformed The Chronic's other singles, "Fuck wit Dre Day ", which peaked at number 8, and "Let Me Ride", which peaked at number 34. The single also reached number 1 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, and was a hit in the UK, where it reached number 31.
"Real Muthaphuckkin G's," or "Real Compton City G's" in its radio edit, is a song released in August 1993 by American rapper Eazy-E with guest rappers Gangsta Dresta and BG Knocc Out. Peaking at #42 on Billboard's Hot 100, and the most successful of Eazy's singles as a solo artist, it led an EP, also his most successful, It's On 187um Killa. This diss track answers Eazy's former N.W.A bandmate Dr. Dre and his debuting, guest rapper Snoop Dogg, who had dissed Eazy on Dre's first solo album, The Chronic.
"Let Me Ride" is a 1993 single by rapper and producer Dr. Dre, and the third single from his debut studio album, The Chronic. It experienced moderate success on the charts, until it became a massive hit when Dre won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance for the song during the Grammy Awards of 1994. The chorus is sung by Ruben and Jewell, and Snoop Dogg raps the line "Rollin' in my 6-4" and appears in some background vocals.
Get Rich or Die Tryin' is the debut studio album by American rapper 50 Cent. It was released on February 6, 2003, by Interscope Records, Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment, Eminem's Shady Records, and 50 Cent's G-Unit Records. After signing with Eminem, 50 Cent also worked heavily with Dr. Dre, with the duo acting as the album's executive producers, who worked to combine the gangsta rap and R&B combo prevalent in New York hip hop. Additional production is provided by Mike Elizondo, Sha Money XL, Mr. Porter, Rockwilder, Dirty Swift, Megahertz, and more.
The discography of American record producer, sound engineer, and rapper Dr. Dre consists of three studio albums, forty-two singles,, two compilation album, one soundtrack album, and twenty-one music videos.
All Eyez on Me is the fourth studio album by American rapper 2Pac and the last to be released during his lifetime. Released on February 13, 1996, by Death Row and Interscope Records, the album features guest appearances from Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Redman, Method Man, Nate Dogg, Kurupt, Daz Dillinger, E-40, K-Ci & JoJo, and the Outlawz, among others.
The discography of American recording artist Nate Dogg consists of three studio albums, one compilation album, one collaboration album, and 40 singles.
This is the discography of American rapper Warren G.
[Unlike] popular hip-hop producers like the Bomb Squad, Dre instead utilized a single sample to drive a song.