Rapper Warren G is about to release a blizzard of projects, including an album that reunites him with his boyhood rhyming pals, Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg.
Reviving their 213 moniker (in honor of their Long Beach area code), the three have written more than thirty tracks for an album scheduled for 2004 and slated to feature production by the Neptunes, Battlecat, Hi-Tek and Jellyroll.
"It's got songs like 'Back in the Day,' where we're breaking it down about how we used to do it," says G. "Back then, it was me DJing and MCing, and Nate and Snoop on the mike."
Other tracks they've recorded include "Rolling Down the Highway" and "Sunny Days," which lifts a beat from the theme song to Sesame Street.
The group is also re-recording one of the only songs 213 ever released, a late Eighties underground hit called "Long Beach Is a Motherfucker," issued before any of them had record deals.
The superstar trio already have a mix tape hit with the song "Fly," on which they rap over the music from Monica's "So Gone." "That's us showing the side of us with the ladies," G said. "Instead of hearing us saying 'bitch' and 'ho' all the time, we're showing affection."
213 had been talking about doing an album for more than twelve years, but could never get free from their individual recording contracts to work on the project. "I've been waiting to do it for so long," G says. "I used to tell Snoop that it would be one of the biggest projects we've ever done, and now we're finally putting it down." Snoop is working on getting 50 Cent to contribute, but G said there will be few other guest stars, including possibly some production from his half-brother, Dr. Dre.
The three 213 principals also all contributed to the upcoming movie version of Starsky & Hutch. Snoop Dogg costars in the film as the loveable pimp Huggy Bear, and Warren G and Nate Dogg team up for the soundtrack's "What You Gonna Do?"
G also has a hit with "Let's Go (It's a Movement)," from the hip-hop documentary Beef. The just-released DVD, directed by Quincy "QD3" Jones III, traces the history of rap beefs and features interviews and performances by Ja Rule, 50 Cent, NWA, DMX, Ice-T, Snoop, Nas and Kool Moe Dee, as well as narration from actor Ving Rhames.
G's anti-violence song is a collaboration with KRS-One and G's latest protege, female Japanese rapper Lil' Ai. Discovered by a concert promoter in Japan who is friendly with G's manager/uncle, Ai has a distinctive, melodic flow . . . even though you can't tell what she's saying. "We're letting people know you don't have to shoot each other up -- and you can just battle on records," G explains.
G is also set to begin work on his next solo album, the follow-up to 2001's Return of the Regulator. He expects to have production and guest spots from Dre, DJ Quik, Hi-Tek and Pharrell, plus, he says cryptically, "some people you ain't seen in a while."
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