When Snoop and Nate Dogg tell you, "This is 213, go bust on it," you stop what you're doing and go rap on the track they're directing you toward. So goes the history of how Warren G's latest collaboration with his two best friends came about.
The song, "Fly," finds all three breaking women's hearts over the beat to Monica's "So Gone." So far the tune has been a smash on the mixtapes and has made its way onto the radio, becoming one of the most heavily rotated records in L.A.
"Nate came in and put a hook on there," Warren said a few weeks ago, speaking on the phone from Seattle. "Snoop put a verse on there. I came in like, 'What's happening?' I really listened to it after we finished. I was like, 'Where did they get this beat from? This sh-- is incredible.' I'm driving one day and I heard Monica singing over it, and I was like, 'This sh-- is crazy.' It tripped me out but we had a ball doing it."
Warren says "Fly," which was recorded in early spring, probably won't make the cut for the trio's long-talked-about debut LP, but the rhyming beatmaker promised that the group has plenty of other material to choose from.
"We recorded about 30-something songs," he disclosed. "That's how fast we work. We just pull up a gang of beats and start doing them."
213 want to limit the number of guest rappers on the LP, but Snoop wants to get his pimping accomplice 50 Cent on the album and Warren wouldn't mind having Nas, Eminem and the remaining members of N.W.A jump onboard. Warren's half-brother Dr. Dre has confirmed that he'll produce on the project and Pharrell Williams has already submitted beats (see "Snoop's 213 Working With Neptunes On Long-Awaited LP").
"I'm doing like, four tracks on the album that's off the chain," the G-child promised. "I'll probably end up doing more stuff but I guess Snoop wants to get flavor from other guys. But I know how to make it happen. Not to say that the other guys don't, but we've got chemistry. That's the formula: Warren G, Dr. Dre, Daz. The same people that was involved in The Chronic. But I don't mind getting nothing from Pharrell and the other cats because they make hit records. I don't mind getting more hits."
If it were up to Warren, the 213 hit parade would've started up a long time ago, but he blames the politics of each group member being on a different label and differing schedules for the slow start.
"I'm happy to have the chance to finally do it like we used to," beamed Warren, who started making records with Snoop and Nate when they were kids. "I've been telling Snoop for years, 'Let's do this 213.' I get tired of every time I do an interview, everybody asking me what's up with 213. I told Snoop, '[The] next time you go to a radio station, they gonna ask you that sh--.' He went to a radio station and he did a quiz and asked [the listeners], 'What would be the hottest sh-- for us to do? A 213 record, a Dogg Pound record or an Eastsidaz record?' Everybody told him 213, which is a no-brainer. Snoopy is hard-headed sometimes, but that's my dog."
One of the records they already have in the can is a track called "Rolling Down the Highway" and another is called "Sunny Days," where the three West Coast giants perform over the beat from "Sesame Street."
Outside of his reunited group debut, Warren has been working on his next solo album. He doesn't have a deal yet, but has laid tracks with friends like Raphael Saadiq and Xzibit. G has also landed a deal with JVC for his own line of products, which he designed, called "The Warren G Series of Speakers and Amps." He's even got his own JVC boombox ready to hit stores, but he doesn't have a name for it yet.
213 does not have a name for their album or a release date, but the members hope to drop the LP this winter.