Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Thoughts on Being White: R.I.P Nate Dogg

In 1993 it was not socially acceptable for white kids to listen to much rap music. Parent's thought they would become gangsters, white friends called them wiggers and black kids just laughed at white kids trying to be cool. Today anyone can listen to rap music. My dad wanted to go see Snoop Dogg with me, blacks rappers collaborate with white rappers and also white rock stars (see Jay-Z, Kanye, Chiddy Bang).

Hip hop music is embedded in the main stream culture but still remains the property of black America. Some whites are fully engaged in hop hop music but others still consider it to be a lesser form of art. They listen to the music not as an everyday association but as an exploited version which glorifies partying, toughness, gettin money, sex, and dancing. This is not a morality judgement but simply a statment (of maybe fact - more research needed).

Every year, the white race, with resounding agreement, clings to one hip hop song a year, and it is this song that I deem the "White Person's Rap Song of the Year."  In 1993, white kids loved no song the way they loved Regulate "Regulators....Mount up"

1993 was the year that Nate Dogg and Warren G dropped Regulate and blew the suburbs full of the west coast G-Funk Era. The tales of Nate and Warren were recounted by many kids on their way to school, at prom, and weekend parties all across the nation. Regulate is the benchmark  for white rap anthems across the US.

Not only did Nate lay down those low toned vocal for this jam, but became the go to R&B hip hop singer of the 90's. Think T-Pain if t-Pain didn't suck. My favorite Nate Dogg joint was blazed with Mos Def and Pharoah Monch. This track might be one of my top ten tracks of all time

So in 2011, we must pay homage to the voice of an era. A voice that I will always associate with a specific time and a specific place. Negotiating my white identity was difficult during these times. Could you be white but still enjoy black art and fashions? Was there any hope to have cross racial friendships? Were white kids really wiggers becasue they wore their hat to the back? Today, White kids everywhere have hats cocked to the side and rappers wear bow ties. Skaters rely just as much on Lupe Fiasco as they do Thursday or Thrice. Hip Hop artists are expanding their creative potentials by reaching out to indie rock producers.

But as much has changed , much has stayed the same. Eminem may be the biggest rapper alive, but white kids accused of acting black for listening to too much rap music

This is by far my favorite song of this duo.

Thank you Nate Dogg for the memories you created through your music.

Bumpin Nate Dogg all Day!


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