Easy Rapping

With Doggs Snoop and Nate.

Don't call it a comeback! Well, actually, I Want it All probably

won't be much of a comeback in any case, considering hip-hop's finicky

and forgetful fan base. But if anyone deserves an award for

best-album-from-someone-almost-no-one-cares-about-anymore, it's Warren G.

After not hearing much from him after his immensely popular 1994 hit,

"Regulate," Warren G could easily qualify as a one-hit wonder of the G-Funk

era (sort of — he actually had a top 10 hit with his second single,

"This DJ," though his follow-up album Take a Look Over Your Shoulder

more or less tanked). But Warren G took the mellow yet funky vibe

popularized by his half-brother, Dr. Dre, and rode a brief wave of success

with his first album, Regulate ... G-Funk Era, a collection of

ultra-smooth R&B-laced funk tracks that owed as much to the 1990s as it

did to the 1970s.

To his credit, Warren G hasn't switched up his style one bit after five

years, saving us all from his stab at Wu-Tang sonic abstraction or the

synthetic production aesthetic of the No Limit and Cash Money crews. On

the excellent title track (RealAudio

excerpt) Warren G remains California to the bone, bringing in

fellow West Coaster Mack 10 to low-ride an El Debarge loop and a rhythm

track that — if it were taken down one more notch — would cross

the border from laid-back to lackadaisical.

"Dope Beat" (RealAudio

excerpt) reminds us that he's been around the proverbial block,

telling us a story of his early days with Snoop Dogg and Snoop's cousin

Nate Dogg in the group 213, as well as his time making tracks with Dr.

Dre. Fortunately for him, he still keeps good company, such as Kurupt and

Dazz Dillinger of the Dogg Pound, old-schooler Slick Rick and upstarts

Memphis Bleek and Eve. Snoop adds his voice to "You Never Know" (RealAudio

excerpt), a song that deserves to be a hit, but unfortunately the

Snoop, Nate and Warren G collaboration "Game Won't Wait" is a bit too

lethargic to pass muster.

In the world of hip-hop, where time is measured in dog years (no pun

intended), Warren G's sound is as old as Yeller, but through sheer

perseverance and perspiration he has been able to stay relevant without

sounding nostalgic.