Good Bye Nate Dogg-He Marked an Important Era in Hip Hop

So much has been going on over the past few days that I never got a chance and properly reflect on the untimely passing of Nate Dogg.. Gone is a cat who was the cornerstone of an era..He was the soul of West coast Hip Hop. Nate was the ace in the hole, the clean up batter who you called to take your record over the top and make it a hit..He represented one of Hip Hop’s golden eras.. The G Funk Era

Nate Dogg was the constant  soundtrack for a whole lot of folks who are now looking back and saying to themselves.. Homie put it down for us...He helped give voice to a generation. His smooth vocals and catchy hooks were such that he could make dog shyt sound nice..I don’t say that to be funny, but if you stop and think for a minute Nate said some hard stuff in some of his songs, but you hardly noticed because he was so seductive with his sound…Take the song Regulate..I was playing it yesterday for my class and pointed out the irony of Nate singing about killing someone, but he did it so smooth, that we smiled and didn’t give it a second thought

Sixteen in the clip and one in the hole
Nate Dogg is about to make some bodies turn cold
now they droppin and yellin
it’s a tad bit late
Nate Dogg and Warren G had to regulate

I laid all them busters down
I let my gat explode
now I’m switching my mind back into freak mode
if you want skirts sit back and observe
I just left a gang of those over there on the curb

What was interesting about was Nate was he came on the scene at a time when people would frown and consider you a sell out for having singing on the hook. That sort of approach was most associated with R&B singers. Sure you had a few songs with Ki-Ci and JoJo, who were seen as legit,  but for most part singers on rap songs was not fully embraced until Nate Dogg came along and showed us how it should be done..

You listen to cuts off Nate’s album ‘Music and Me‘ and its clear that he was under rated… Cuts like ‘Another Short Story’ and ‘Nobody Does it Better’ which I think was his best song, bare that assertion out..

Seems like everyone has a Nate Dogg story to tell…myself included. .I met dude on several occasions and he was always chill. He was accessible, not hiding behind 50 bodyguards..and even though he was from gang infested Southern Cali, you didn’t get a menacing energy when he was around.. Nate Dogg was cool..

I recall when the landmark ‘Up in Smoke Tour’ came to the Bay Area. Nate had some legal issues and wasn’t gonna show. Tyrese was scheduled to take his place. People like Tyrese and agree he’s talented, but Nate was the cat singing damn near half the hooks so him not being there was a bit of a let down..

When Dr Dre took the stage, he ripped into the song ‘Next Episode‘. At the part when the song says ‘hold Up‘.. Instead of Tyrese, we heard Nate’s voice who suddenly appeared from behind the curtain. He had made it after all and upon hearing his voice, the crowd went nuts.. Everyone cheered and gave high fives and the show was on for real.. It was an incredible show and Nate being classy shared his singing duties with Tyrese who adlibed and added to what Nate was doing.. Dude will certainly be missed..RIP Nate.

written by Davey D

Colt45 Malt Liquor, Blast & Snoop Coming to a Hood Near You this Spring

Somebody hit me up with this video the other day and I thought folks may wanna take a look and reflect on it. It’s a video outlining the marketing plans for a new alcohol drink that’s on par with the controversial Four Loko drink. It’s called Blast produced by Colt 45 malt liquor. The beverage is multi-flavored including Grape, Pomegranate and Blueberry among others. The spokesperson for this drink will be Snoop Dogg.

About 5:31 minutes into the video, the company representatives outline how they intend to impact the Hip Hop/urban market using all sorts of touch points. For industry people this may seem like nothing new, but for those who don’t spend too much time in this arena you may find it eye opening on a number of levels.

First, you may find it fascinating to see the amount of ground they plan to cover pushing this drink. It’ll be on radio and all the urban magazines. They will be at all the big festivals both music and cultural. More importantly it will be leveraged via the industry relationships Snoop and the company have with popular urban radio DJs and tastemakers in the community. .. From a company stand point the strategy is sound and will probably be effective..So effective that from the looks of things they’ll definitely be within earshot of those too young to drink, but will be aware of the product..

My question is why aren’t we hitting our community off with things that might be more useful? Why aren’t companies with more wholesome products not coming at our community with all the bells and whistles? Are we really all about drinking enhanced alcohol drinks so that we stay permanently buzzed and high or are we worthy of being approached for other things?

Imagine if the person speaking in this video was marketing director for college  or the marketing director for a high tech company where consumers are encouraged to invent and create?  Better yet imagine if this was a campaign to push Black History or maybe a local election featuring progressive candidate or agenda that centers on social justice issues?

Here’s the larger point, Colt 45/ Pabst is intending to pull out all the stops and go for the hearts, minds and pocket books of folks in our community with this beverage.. What sort of things are WE pushing on our folks?

This is not simply about Colt 45 having lots of money.  Sure I’m sure there will be some ducets tossed out there, but what’s really being leveraged are relationships.. People power…Is Colt 45’s relationship with the community stronger than the the local church or civic org?

The company intends to tap folks and use social media (twitter/ Face Book) which is free..How versed are we in those mediums? They’ll be tapping urban DJs can talk about any number of things.. They can talk about Blast as quickly as they can talk about a program to improve the hood.  Whats are relationship with them? If Snoop can sell alcohol.. he can also be a pitch man for any other number of things both good and bad..

I recall when Snoop brought together all the rappers from the west coast for a Peace Summit and got everyone to dead their beefs. It was largely successful. Why didn’t we tap him to be a spokesperson to promote conflict resolution in our schools? How many folks knew he even did this? Here’s a refresher.. Snoop Holds Summit to Squash Beefs

In watching this I kept thinking about other meetings that big corporations may have had.. Maybe there was a similar one with the big telecom companies to get Civil Rights orgs and their leaders to stay silent and endorse the plan to get rid of Net Neutrality. How many festivals, conferences did these companies sponsor to buy their silence? Here’s a list of the many…Civil Rights Orgs who sold out to Big Telecoms

Maybe there was a marketing meeting by the powerful Koch Brothers along with other corporate heads to launch a campaign at all levels to help take down unions..

Anyway though folks might find this interesting…Just keep in mind..the big boys with the mind numbing beverages are coming for you this spring. They’re coming with bright colored cans, a respected and trusted spokesperson and commitment to be everywhere you are likely to go.. What I found most ironic was dude said he endorses the drink, but he doesn’t drink it.(too much). rewind the video and peep what he says in the beginning.. That is all… Food for thought

-Davey D-