Review Summary: Some people are nothing but clones, some people have styles of their own.
In early 2000, there was a saying that floated around among Death Row Record’s rappers: “It ain’t a hit unless Nate Dogg spit”. This saying references and captures the type of success Nate Dogg consistently brought to any rapper’s track, by providing his catchy vocals. On Music and Me
, Nate Dogg takes this vocal talent and makes a musically excellent and entertaining album with soulful lyricism and quality beats. The G-funk originator and recently deceased Dogg achieved success while being entirely innovative. His style is probably the best known and most successful example of mixing singing and rapping. He does so over funk oriented beats that sound like they are from Dr. Dre’s album ‘2001’. Similar to his friend 2pac, Nate Dogg’s legacy began to be forgotten and tarnished as the style he originated eventually created many faux imitators, who eventually destroyed the image of the style’s originator himself.
On songs like “I Pledge Allegiance”, “I Got Love”, and “Music and Me” Nate Dogg’s lyricism skillfully touches on topics such as loyalty to friends, respect to family, and the defining role music has played in his life; respectively. Music and Me
is only slightly hindered by its occasional lack in subject matter that is often concerned with how/when/where/why he’s fuking your woman. Yet the flow of the lyrics with the highly layered beats is superbly done in track after track until the eventual grand finale “Music and Me”. This track is the album’s most soulful and best-sounding song, and has a similar effect to Pink Floyd’s finale song “Eclipse” by helping to give meaning and soul to the previous tracks while also tying the album into a cohesive whole.
Despite recieving a decent amount of commercial and criticial sucess, especially for the song "I Got Love", Music and Me
remains an underrated gem in the genre of Hip Hop. It enjoys a number of classic guest appearances from Dr. Dre, Xzibit, Kurupt, Fabolous, Ludacris, Pharaoh Monch and Snoop Dogg. The album succeeds by producing a number of excellent beats that range from fun to soulful, with only one runt in the 14 song litter. Although Dr. Dre actually produced only one track on here, each beat is reminiscent of his style and is easily comparable in quality. Combining these eminent beats with Nate Dogg’s originality and diversity of vocal style amounts to a very accessible album with a big amount of playback value. Anyone interested in any of the featured artists should listen to this immediately. Even casual listeners who enjoyed the classic track “Regulate Ft. Warren G” should check this out. Anyone who has heard and likes Nate Dogg will surely find this album to be a classic. It is sad that Miley Cyrus’ album Bangerz
has single-handedly made the term an embarrassment for anyone using the term, but in memory of the deceased Nate Dogg I am going to point out that this album is filled with multiple bangers, and feels somewhat like a deeper sequel to Dr. Dre’s album 2001
RIP Nathaniel "Nate Dogg" Hale (August 19, 1969 – March 15, 2011)