Twitter finally got one celebrity death right, unfortunately. On any given day, the social networking monster can start a random trending topic with a hashtag stating “RIP” followed by any artist on God’s green Earth. Many accept the news as fact until proven otherwise by a tweet from said artist or press release and from there we all go on about our day. For better or worse, consider such process an example of the world we live in 2011. This wasn’t the case in the wee hours of Wednesday morning when Daz Dillinger sent out this cryptic tweet which instantaneously punched the Hip Hop world in its proverbial gut.
He was a victim of two strokes during the latter years of his life and if you know anyone who has ever dealt with one, they are rarely the same again; let alone attempting to recuperate from two. Still, speaking of the 1990′s and Hip Hop without his street choir-like presence is close impossible because of the unique niche Nate carved out for himself. By most accounts, he was/is the greatest hook man of all time – such an honor was proclaimed long before he passed, so this isn’t a case of revisionist history here. His love came with a stamped approval. Dom Kennedy compared him to another vocal icon whose tunes helped define a generation. Snoop, on the other hand, lost a confidant that has been by his side for the past quarter century. Even Kim Kardashian paid homage while putting her foot in her mouth at the very same time. Everyone lost a piece of Nate.
Death is a part of life however, and at least our favorite musicians are immortalized in the art they helped parent. If you were a big fan, pay tribute to the West Coast pioneer and dust off your copy of Music & Me or run through a set of his standout features; there’s plenty of them. If you weren’t a big fan, that’s fine, too. Just know his impact spanned further than the years many associate with him. He wasn’t too shabby with a nine iron either.
R.I.P. Nate Dogg. Gone at 41.
I’ll go ahead and close it out with one of my favorite tracks from Nate. And given the circumstances, the hook just became eerie as hell.