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WARREN G, March 16, 2000

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Warren G has been holding it down for the West Coast since first appearing on Dr. Dre's classic The Chronic back in 1992 and blowing up as an MC two years later with "Regulate." But the owner of one platinum plaque and two gold albums never has received the credit he deserves for his contributions to West Coast hip-hop. Yet he was there during its rise to dominance in the early '90s and was right in the middle of its resurgence late last year with the hit single "I Want It All" from the album of the same name. The 411 Online caught up with Warren G just as his second single, "The Game Don't Wait," was preparing to take its place in the Top 20 alongside "I Want It All," which has maintained on the chart for the past 28 weeks, peaking at No. 1. But Warren G wants to step away from the mic and get back behind the boards, and he will flex his production skills on the upcoming release from Da Five Footaz, a group that has been with him since the dawn of his label, G-Funk Records.

Let's talk a little bit about the new single. You dropped "I Want It All" and it blew up, now you've got the whole 213 crew back together.

"It's called 'The Game Don't Wait.' It's a song that's on the record, and I decided I wanted to do a clubbier version for it, so I called up Dre and I told him I needed him to do a track for me, and he was like, 'Cool, come down and listen.' So I came down and Picked a track, you know, and I wanted to make it exciting, so I called Xzibit and told him to come get on it. Snoop and Nate was already a part of the song. So I did that, and he came down and bust, Snoop came down and bust, Nate came down and bust, and you know Dre hooked the beat up, so everything was lovely after that."

You got to do a little acting recently in that movie about Little Richard on NBC. How did you like that? Is that a direction you want to go in?

"I don't mind doing the acting thing. I ain't got no problem with it. If people accept me in that field, in that craft, then cool. You know, it's cool. I mean, if it starts to take off and become a new career for me along with the music, then I ain't got no problem with it."

Your album, I Want It All, Dre's 2001 and Kurupt's Tha Streetz Iz A Mutha all came out about the same time and it seemed like those three albums more than any brought everybody back together from the original Death Row camp. Do you feel that you get the respect and credit that you deserve for what you've brought to the West Coast sound?

"I don't think people give me a lot of credit cause they just look at me as being a rapper, but not knowing that I started out as a producer. There's a lot of stuff that I produced that people don't know about. The media talks about how there's so many dope producers, but they forgot about the stuff that I done did. I done did gold and up, you know what I'm sayin'? They forgot that I'm a producer. I ain't trippin'. That's one of my main things I'm working on right now -- getting back to that. Being a producer, cause I feel like I'm one of the tightest next to Dre on the West Coast."

Was that your original intention -- to be just a producer -- before "Regulate" blew up and there was a demand out there for you to come out as an MC?

"Yeah. That's what I wanted to do."

You were never signed to Death Row, but you're the first one I remember from that crew to branch off on your own and get your own deal. Now just about everybody else has done that, too. Your situation was more about getting out there and getting your stuff done as opposed to any problems you saw within Death Row, is that correct?

"I just didn't want to be on no backburner. I wanted to be able to do my thing, you know, and there were a lot of groups over there, so I just kept movin'."

Tell me a little bit about your upcoming tour with Dre, Snoop, Eminem and Xzibit. Do you know any of the details?

"It's just supposed to be all of us puttin' it down together."

So now that you got Curtis Conway (former Chicago Bears wide receiver now with the San Diego Chargers) back out on the West Coast, are you gonna be hooking up with him a little more often?

"Yeah, we was just kickin' it the other day. He said he loved it out there (Chicago), but it's just so cold. That was one of his biggest things. You know, he's still the same."

Well, that pretty much wraps it up. I appreciate you takin' the time to talk to us.

"Hey, it's all good, man."

-- Mason Storm, The 411 Online


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