|Cultural origins||Early 1990s, Greater Los Angeles, California|
G-funk, short for gangsta funk, (or funk rap) is a sub-genre of gangsta rap that emerged from the West Coast scene in the early 1990s. The genre was heavily influenced by the synthesizer-heavy 1970s funk sound of Parliament-Funkadelic (aka P-Funk), often using samples or recreating the original tracks. It was represented by commercially successful albums such as Dr. Dre's The Chronic (1992) and Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle (1993).
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 and 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.
Early examples of the genre began to show up in 1989 with The D.O.C.'s "It's Funky Enough" and "The Formula", '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 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
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 mainstream 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", which 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 hit No. 1. In 1997 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 late 1990s and 2000s, G-funk music significantly declined in mainstream popularity.Dr. Dre's 1999 album 2001 , produced by Mel-Man, was noted as "reinvent[ing] his sound, moving away from G-funk to something more gothic and string-heavy."
In 2001 Warren G released his fourth studio album, The Return of the Regulator . The album can be considered a return to the roots of G-funk West Coast gangsta music, but it sold less than the rapper's two previous albums.
Midwestern rapper Tech N9ne made use of the G-funk style on his early releases, most notably his second studio album, The Worst (2000).His 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 Romell Young, known professionally as Dr. Dre, is an American rapper and record producer. 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. Young 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, Young 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 is an American rapper, DJ, and producer known for his role in West Coast rap's 1990s ascent. A pioneer of G-funk, he attained mainstream success with the 1994 single "Regulate", a duet with Nate Dogg. He significantly helped Snoop Dogg's career during the latter's beginnings, also introducing him to Dr. Dre, who later signed Snoop Dogg.
West Coast hip hop is a regional genre of hip hop music that encompasses any artists or music that originated in the West Coast 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, the continued success of Eazy-E's Ruthless Records, Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment, and others.
The Chronic is the debut studio album by the 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 took place in June 1992 at Death Row Studios in Los Angeles and at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood.
Doggystyle is the debut studio album by American rapper 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 rapper and singer. He gained recognition for providing guest vocals for a multitude of hit rap songs between 1992 and 2007, earning the nickname "King of Hooks".
Dogg Food is the debut studio album by American hip hop duo Tha Dogg Pound, released on October 31, 1995. The album features guest appearances from Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Michel'le, The Lady of Rage, Tray Deee, and Mr. Malik. Two singles were released from the album: "Let's Play House" and "New York, New York".
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 which are 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 18, 1994, as the second single from his debut album, Doggystyle (1993). The song was produced by Dr. Dre and contains an interpolation from Slave's "Watching You" in its chorus and a sample from George McCrae. Tony Green created its bassline; additional vocalists on the song include Dat Nigga Daz, Jewell, Heney Loc, and Sean "Barney" Thomas. "Gin and Juice" peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. It earned a triple-platinum certification from the RIAA and sold over 3,000,000 copies.
2001 is the second studio album by American 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 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 Dogg, on Dre's debut solo album, The Chronic (1992). As the album's first single it reached 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 number 31 hit in the UK. It's music video was directed by Dr. Dre himself.
"Real Muthaphuckkin G's," or "Real Compton City G's" in its radio edit, is a diss track released as a single in August 1993 by American rapper Eazy-E with guest rappers Gangsta Dresta and B.G. 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.
Tha Blue Carpet Treatment is the eighth studio album by West Coast hip hop recording artist Snoop Dogg. It was released on November 21, 2006, by Doggystyle Records and Geffen Records. Recording sessions took place from November 2005 to September 2006 in several recording studios and artists such as Dr. Dre, The Neptunes, DJ Battlecat, DJ Pooh, Timbaland, Danja, Mark Batson, Terrace Martin, and Mr. Porter appear on the album, among others.
"Let Me Ride" is a song by rapper and producer Dr. Dre, released in 1993 as the third and final 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.
It's On 187um Killa is the second EP released by rapper Eazy-E and the last to be released during his lifetime. It was released on October 19, 1993 via Relativity Records and Eazy-E's Ruthless Records, as a response to Dr. Dre's debut solo album The Chronic, which, massively popular that year, repeatedly attacks Eazy. To date, this is Eazy's most successful EP or LP, it sold 110,600 copies in its first week, and peaked at number 5 on the Billboard 200 as well as at number 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. In 1994, it was certified double-platinum, over 2 million copies sold. It remains the only Hip-Hop Gangsta Rap EP to go multiplatinum.
"Regulate" is a song performed by American rapper Warren G featuring American singer Nate Dogg. It was released in the spring of 1994 as the first single on the soundtrack to the film Above the Rim and later Warren G's debut album, Regulate... G Funk Era (1994). It became an MTV staple and the song reached No. 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and No. 8 on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart. "Regulate" was number 98 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop and number 108 on Pitchfork Media's "Top 200 Tracks of the 90s".
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 Doggy Dogg, Redman, Method Man, Nate Dogg, Kurupt, Daz Dillinger, E-40, K-Ci & JoJo, and the Outlawz, among others.
This discography of American rapper Warren G consists of 6 studio albums, 1 EP, 17 singles, 1 soundtrack album, and 19 music videos.
[Unlike] popular hip-hop producers like the Bomb Squad, Dre instead utilized a single sample to drive a song.