Warren G: The Funky Child

W arren G may not be signed to a major anymore, he may no longer have the best selling album in the country; but his presence never falters in the booth or behind the boards. The independently released, In the Mid-Nite Hour encouraged a different direction in production to what is generally expected from the […]


arren G may not be signed to a major anymore, he may no longer have the best selling album in the country; but his presence never falters in the booth or behind the boards.

The independently released, In the Mid-Nite Hour encouraged a different direction in production to what is generally expected from the G-Child. But while kicking back in a New York Hotel on a promo tour, Warren ignored his cell phone and the knocks on the door to discuss forms of technology, his new messages, and driving in the ‘Rotten Apple’.

One of Long Beach’s leaders comes forth to promote his album and reflect on his past with AllHipHop.com. This feature shows the newly found fire within Warren G, who considered hanging it up with the last release. It’s very clear that 13 years after he threw made a fuzzy hand gesture in the “Nuthin’ But a G Thang” video, Warren G points ahead.

AllHipHop.com: Do you ever get writers block?

Warren G: All the time – writers block, producer block. But when I get like that, I just stop and kick it for a while, you know, smoke me a joint and then get my drink on and try to open up, you know start digging through some records, and listen to some music that will give me an idea or a song that will give me an idea as far as producing and once I do that it is on.

AllHipHop.com: You have released In The Mid-Nite Hour through Hawino Records. A lot of big names nowadays are putting out projects independently, why did you opt to do that?

Warren G: I mean, a lot of the major companies, I was trying to let them know I got hot records. Warren G ain’t go nowhere, its just we don’t have an outlet on the West Coast to let people hear our music. The only outlet we got is Dre, and he got a full roster. But I was trying to get at a few companies and stuff and they were shooting me down so I was like, “Damn, it’s like that?” And a lot of these people in these companies, I helped them get in those positions. I was just on the strength of being Warren G, I make hit records that’s what I do and I ain’t never going to get to a point where that’s wack, that’s wack, I just cant do it. I make hit records, as far as I am rapping, I might not make a fast, fast club song but the mid-tempo is going to be tight. When I do a fast song I am going to kill it but now when you listen to “Get U Down,” I am rapping fast.

AllHipHop.com: We just saw DMX return to his original home at Sony, if the deal was right would you go back to Def Jam?

Warren G: Damn, I would love to go back to Def Jam. I wouldn’t mind working with Jay-Z, I mean it would be just as big as any of the other stuff going on over there, just the two names period, he a legend, I am a legend. I am a producer and an artist. And what I bring to the table as far as the people I work with, you know: Dre, Snoop the whole pound, it’s easy. That is two million in press alone, sold. [laughing]

AllHipHop.com: “I Want it All” was a platinum selling single; with iTunes nowadays, do you think we will ever see the return of CD vinyl sales?

Warren G: Vinyl will always be here. You got that new thing that is kind of taking over, which lets you get into your records faster, that computer program with the turntables, but it is still like you are on wax, but it is inside the computer but you can switch to your songs so fast and you haven’t got to dig down and go through your records. But I don’t think wax is going anywhere.

AllHipHop.com: Have you found it easy to move along with technology? I mean we have seen some real serious changes in the last five years alone.

Warren G: Yeah. Protools is the best change ever. Now I have my power book with me and I have a plug in in my power book that is equivalent to the SSL board. I don’t have to spend $2500 a session for the studio, because I got it already on my computer, all I need is a good bathroom, a nice cover, a good mic and I got everything right there, my drum machine and my turntable and I got my studio right there.

AllHipHop.com: You have been heavily promoted on the internet, has that been an important tool for you?

Warren G: Yeah, the internet is cool as a lot of people are on there 24/7 and that is kind of where I think a lot of promotion is going to go to, the internet. Actually it is there, just like you guys, I mean I subscribe to AllHipHop.com, I get the alerts as you all give it up and it be real. Trust me, everyone I know, they on AllHipHop.com. I know I am, and everyone I know, “Did you see that interview on AllHipHop.com?” I got all the stuff that came in yesterday and I check it out.

AllHipHop.com: The late 90’s, or the “Puff Daddy era” is laughed at in retrospect. In your two mixes of “I shot the Sheriff,” you duped Bob Marley and EPMD. As a producer, how do you look back at this era in time?

Warren G: I mean it was in my sort of my salad days, my early days, but the records was dope, they are still dope. I did that “I shot the Sheriff,” that was one of my big European songs. I also did a song called “What’s Love Got to Do With it?” with Adina Howard. Those tracks weren’t big here, but they were huge in Europe.

AllHipHop.com: Last year, we saw “Warren G Week” in Long Beach for all the things you have done in the community. Do you think it is important to be nationally recognized for this, or it doesn’t matter if you are recognized or not?

Warren G: It is something I do. I didn’t even ask for the publicity. The mayor heard about it, and she just wanted to do something for me, and I was like “Aight,” I wasn’t tripping. She made it “Warren G Week,” and I went down there and talked to the Boys and Girls Club and went to events and schools every day. I [told] them that you can do whatever you want to do in life, you just have to stay focused and keep your head on right and hopefully a lot of them listened. Some of the Boys and Girls Clubs were kind of rowdy. I had to stop and tell them to hold up, stop y’all, stop the talking, stop the bulls**t, I am trying to tell you something real here, because if not you are going to end up like people you are seeing, you know that I grew up with, some of them might be your parents, you don’t want to get caught up in drugs and going to jail.

AllHipHop.com: Do you feel that a lot of rappers don’t utilize that talent of reaching kids, as kids look up to rappers, sometimes more so than teachers?

Warren G: I think that we can still do our club thing and get our party on, but I think that every MC should take that time out and do that one song that is reaching out to these kids and really breaking it down. You know like Tupac, he would do a gang hard song, but then he would do songs that he was sending messages. I do that too, send messages in my songs like “I need a Light,” that was about stuff that I have been going through. I lost my Mother, and that s**t hurts. I am a grown man, and I basically saying I ain’t from no gangs and out here in these streets, [but] if you come messing with me, and I pull my heat, I am going to kill you and I mean that. I mean I don’t mean me going out on the street and killing people, but if people come at me violating me and to that point that they hurt my family or threaten my life, if I have to pull out a weapon I am going to use it. I have been hitting the clubs like crazy and people have been coming and giving me hugs and showing me a lot of love, and I ain’t got fifteen bodyguards or a gang of people. Every now and then, you have to take one or two guys depending on the situation you are going into, and I ain’t done nothing to nobody out here. Like yesterday, I drove to the South Bronx, I drove all through Harlem, I know people on 145th Street and I drove all through there. I went to Sammy’s, the clothes store.

AllHipHop.com: So New York City doesn’t make you nervous?

Warren G: I ain’t nervous, as it is just like everywhere else. I love it out here. I ain’t going to lie, there are some beautiful women out here, you know we got fine women in LA, but y’all got thick fine women, thick beautiful Puerto Ricans and Dominicans and Jamaicans and Haitians, black, oh my God it is incredible, Moroccans.

AllHipHop.com: Did you go to Brooklyn?

Warren G: No, I ain’t been to Brooklyn but I am going to go, I am going to go to Red Hook as I know they get down out there. It was cool though, I just wanted to learn my way as far as driving, and a place that might be hard for me to get to might be Queens because everything else is pretty straight.

AllHipHop.com: Was this your first time driving here?

Warren G: I drove before, but I was only down in the city, I used to drive to 145th Street. But then [I] came back to the city, because I didn’t know how to get nowhere else. But yesterday, I was like, “How do I get to such and such?” “Take that street right there and that’s going to take you to that bridge.”