DETROIT (WWJ) – Probably best known for his work on the hit hip-hop track “Regulators,” rapper Nathaniel Hale has died. Hale, who went by the name Nate Dogg, worked with Eminem, 50 Cent and other artists during his career.
Hale was 41-years-old and had battled health complications. He suffered a severe stroke in late 2007 that left him paralyzed on the left side of his body. He was described as having “neural-muscular issues that have to be jump-started. In September 2008, while on the road to recovery, Nate had a second stroke but was listed in stable condition.
According to MTV.com, Hale was born in Long Beach on August 19, 1969, and dropped out of high school at 16 to join the Marines, where he served for three years. He formed the rap group 213 — a reference to the local area code — in 1991 with then unknown pals Snoop Dogg and Warren G. The group’s demo eventually made its way to Dre, who liked Nate’s sound and recruited him to participate on The Chronic.
Nate was a four-time Grammy nominee, earning his first nod in 1995 for the legendary Warren G collaboration “Regulate,” followed by another in 2001 for providing a hook to the Dre and Snoop tune “The Next Episode.” He earned his third notice in 2002 for singing on Ludacris’ “Area Codes” and another in 2007 for his work on Eminem’s “Shake That.”
Though his instantly recognizable, laid-back sound blessed countless songs by other artists over the years, Dogg also released a number of solo albums, including 1998’s double-CD G-Funk Classics Vol. 1 & 2 (featuring guest spots from Kurupt, Daz Dillinger, Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg and Warren G), 2001’s Music & Me and a self-titled 2008 effort.
He was childhood friends with singer Snoop Dogg, eventually adopting a similar on-stage name. Wednesday, Snoop expressed his condolences in a tweet.
“We lost a true legend n hip hop n rnb…One of my best friends n a brother to me since 1986 when I was a sophomore at poly high where we met. I love u buddy luv. U will always b wit me 4ever n a day u put the g n g funk u put the 1 n 213 n u put yo stamp on evrybdy u ever didit wit … I miss u cuzz I am so sad but so happy I got to grow up wit u and I will c u again n heaven cuz u know d slogan. … All doggs go to heaven yo homie n baby brotha bigg snoopdogg!!”
“There is a certain void in hip hop’s heart that can never be filled. Glad we got to make history together. RT @SnoopDogg: RIP NATE DOGG,” tweeted fellow rapper, Ludacris.