On Saturday night at South by Southwest, Warren G, Daz, Kurupt and Snoop Dogg paid homage to their late friend Nate Dogg with a raucous tribute show that celebrated the music of a man who lived every day to the fullest.
And while the mood onstage was definitely joyous — the quartet performed many of the songs Nate leant his voice to, in a poignant tribute to his talents — backstage at Austin's Venue 222, things were much more muted. In fact, when Warren G spoke to MTV News about his late cohort, he didn't hide the fact that he (and everyone who ever knew Nate Dogg) was still hurting inside.
In fact, starting with the moment he heard the news of Nate's passing, things have been far from normal.
"I was out on the Sweat Tour with Snoop, and we had got the word from his family on what was going on, and it was just a crushing blow for us," Warren said. "Just, from going to see him and lifting his spirits up when he was in therapy, and stuff like that, it's just crazy for that to happen. And I still don't believe it, you know what I'm saying?
"It kind of hurts me when I look at this shirt [the organizers of the SXSW tribute show sold Nate Dogg T-shirts, with proceeds going to the late singer's family], it's like, 'Damn, that's my homeboy on this shirt,' " he continued. "And I'm hurting, and you know, a lot of people are showing tons of support for his family, for his homeboys, and we really and truly appreciate that. It's real love."
And though they took the stage that night with a heavy heart, Warren and his cohorts also did it knowing that their friend was with them in spirit, and that by honoring his music, they were also honoring a man they all knew and loved.
"It means a lot, you know, because this is something that's being done for a person that we really love. It's deeper than music, that's a brother to us, to me and Kurupt and Snoop and Daz ... it's really deeper than that," he said. "I mean, like, I'm not a psychic or a genie or a gypsy or anything, but I know deep down in my heart he's around us, he's with us ... he's with us in spirit. Everything we do, he's a part of it."