Nathaniel Dwayne Hale, better known by his stage name Nate Dogg, encapsulated listeners across many genres with his soulful approach to his music.
Though he released singles on his own, Nate Dogg’s most notable hits came as a featured artist as his hooks reinvented the way artists approached the parts of songs that can be, arguably, the most recognizable.
After suffering a stroke in 2007, it was believed he would make a full recovery and be able to continue making music. In 2008, he suffered another stroke that resulted in the left side of his body being paralyzed. After the second stroke and partial paralysis, there didn’t seem to be an uptick in his health and career. On March 15, 2011, Nate Dogg passed away as a result of the complications from the multiple strokes he suffered, according to his attorney Mark Geragos.
Throughout his lifetime, Nate Dogg released three albums and appeared in numerous films. The rapper/singer’s best appearances as a featured artist got him as high as number 1 on the Billboard top 100 charts. Here’s a list of the top Nate Dogg songs, featured or otherwise, in order of their height on the charts. Generally these lists go from number 10 all the way to the top, but with Nate Dogg, you can’t go wrong no matter where you start the list.
1. “21 Questions” – 50 Cent (ft. Nate Dogg) 2003
Billboard U.S. #1
With a Meagan Good appearance in the video, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson calls upon Nate Dogg to provide the hook and bridge for, arguably, one of the most successful songs Jackson has released in his career. The song tells the story of a hypothetical situation where a man’s bad decisions leads to his incarceration. Making sure his significant other is there for him, Jackson goes on to ask a plethora of questions to ensure her loyalty.
2. “Regulate”- Warren G (ft. Nate Dogg) 1994
Billboard U.S. #2
Here we have Nate Dogg’s good friend Warren G giving him the nod to provide a narration for the song. Though produced by Warren G, Nate Dogg helped write the track. Dubbed as a G-Funk track by Warren G (a rap song tying conceptual story themes with a “gangsta” appeal), the name never quite caught on.
3. “Shake That” – Eminem (ft. Nate Dogg) 2006
Billboard U.S. #6
Using a NSFW cartoon video, Nate Dogg helps bring the vision of an up-tempo club party to life with his slick lines about looking for the perfect woman. Filled with all sorts of visual effects, the video brings the idea of making sure you leave the club with the right woman.
4. “I Like That” – Houston (ft. Chingy, Nate Dogg, I-20) 2004
Billboard U.S. #11
Peaking at #11 on the U.S. Billboard top 100 list, Houston used the likes of Chingy, Nate Dogg and I-20 to guarantee a hit helping boost his career numbers. Both Chingy and Houston were not ones to shy away from controversy, but at the time of the song release they were all about their music. Though Nate Dogg didn’t have as much of a role in the track, providing more or less background vocals for the hook and a bridge of sorts, the song became a hit nonetheless.
5. “Nobody Does it Better” – Nate Dogg (ft. Warren G) 1998
Billboard U.S. #18
Not all of the tracks that charted with Nate Dogg on them were features. In 1998, along with Warren G, Nate Dogg’s “Nobody Does it Better” reached number 18 on the Billboard U.S. charts. A cut off of the G-Funk Classics, Vol. 1 & 2 album, an aforementioned genre that didn’t quite stick, Nate Dogg found success as the lead artist.
6. “Area Codes” – Ludacris (ft. Nate Dogg) 2001
Billboard U.S. #20
Unfortunately, due to the nature of the Billboard ranking system, “Area Codes” drops in as a number 20. One of the bigger tracks Nate Dogg was featured in, Ludacris raps about the amount of women he has regardless of the area code he’s in. As many others listening intently to the song, fans hoped their area code was one of the lucky ones to be called out. Taking place on a beach in who-knows-where, Nate Dogg sports his finest “I’m going to the beach, but I can still dunk on you” outfit. Classic track from classic artists. The song isn’t short of annunciations as Ludacris ensures every syllable is heard with forte.
7. “The Next Episode” – Dr. Dre (ft. Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, Nate Dogg) 1999
Billboard U.S. #23
Dr. Dre calls upon his Aftermath affiliates to drop this world renown 1999 gem. Nate Dogg aids his cousin Snoop Dogg and friends Dr. Dre and Kurupt with the hook to this bouncy track. Nate Dogg adds to the bridge of the track which, essentially, becomes the outro to the track at the same time. With the end of the song comes the notable, “Hey ay ay ay,” the extended pause and, finally, “smoke weed everyday.”
8. “Can’t Deny It” – Fabolous (ft. Nate Dogg) 2001
Billboard U.S. #25
“Can’t Deny It” features a young John David “Fabolous” Jackson at the beginning of his career. The song is the first single off of his debut album Ghetto Fabolous. He proved himself to be a long-lasting artist in Hip-Hop as his music remains relevant to this day. Nate Dogg takes care of the hook and bridges on a song that mixes New York’s boom-bap-style production and a bit of a West Coast feel.
T-10. “Gangsta Nation” – Westside Connection (ft. Nate Dogg) 2003
Billboard U.S. #33
The first and only single off of their second album, Terrorist Threats, Westside Connection calls upon Nate Dogg for the hook on the track. The hook tells of fine women, the state of the state and fake gangstas, among other things. Made up of rappers Ice Cube, WC and Mack 10, the Westside Connect found their success moreso on their first album, although this second album was certified Gold. Bow Down, the group’s first album, reached number 2 on the Billboard top 200 in 1996 and was certified Platinum in the same year.
T-10. “Never Leave Me Alone” Nate Dogg (ft. Snoop Dogg)
Nate Dogg had more than one hit as a lead artist. This one here coming off of the same album as his previous charted single as a lead artist, G-Funk Classics, Vol. 1 & 2. This single, however, features Snoop Dogg and laid back beat common during the 1990s West Coast Hip-Hop movement. Not considered one of Nate Dogg’s best tracks, it’s more probably than not this track was more of a nod to his popularity at the time.
The eclectic mix of songs charted featured and led by Nate Dogg is vast and vary in style. They do, however, all feature the sound Nate Dogg is most known for. His top ten charted shouldn’t be the only ones he’s remembered for. Plenty of more hits were released featuring the singing Dogg himself. Other notable songs are, “Time’s Up” by Jadakiss, “Have a Party” by Mobb Deep and “Nah, Nah” by Bay Area legend E-40.