Original Long Beach gangstas Snoop Dogg, Warren G, and Nate Dogg want to reunify Southern California hip-hop by re-upping 213, the unit that gave them their start
On any another evening, a conversation among fathers about their sons and sports would be considered mundane. All fathers think their boys have a shot at making it in the league. But tonight, the words coming from these thirtysomething dads resonate with a special flair, because the three amigos musing over Pop Warner football are Warren Griffin, Calvin Broadus, and Nathaniel Hale. Better known to G-funk fans as Warren G, Snoop Dogg, and Nate Dogg, they are three of the most highly revered and beloved OGs in the R&G game. (That’s “original gangsters in the rhythm-and-gangster trade,” for y’all that ain’t up on the game.)
These childhood friends are legends of the Billboard charts and also get mucho props from mean-mugging Rolling 60’s Crips and DAMU Bloods. Since first appearing on Dr. Dre’s The Chronic in 1992, they’ve literally put their hometown of Long Beach on the hip-hop map. All have weathered sour record deals – Snoop on Death Row, Warren on Def Jam, and Nate on Elektra. It’s somewhat miraculous that they’ve even survived to reunite as their first incarnation: 213. When they formed 213 in the late 1980s, Nate, Calvin, and Warren were homies from Eastside LBC who loved rapping and singing. Their name (taken from what was then the city’s area code) was inspired by Oakland rapper Richie Rich’s Bay Area group called 415.
So what’s happening here, inside a top-floor suite at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, is truly a decade-old promise finally fulfilling itself. Long before they were all multiplatinum superstars, these boys were riding Huffys, chasing spandex skirts, being jumped into the Crips gang, and rapping in garages all over Long Beach. So, it’s not too surprising when, after stepping into the room about two hours late on this muggy Saturday in July, they survey the scene and, almost on cue, Snoop demands a small chronic break: “Let us step into this other room for a minute and have a conversation.” (After all, no 213 interview would be proper without the smell of “sticky icky ooh wee” in the air.)
Sufficiently smoked, the trio returns, ready to chop it up with reporters from hip-hop and automotive magazines, German TV crews, and even BET’s Access Granted show. Sitting arm-to-arm on a couch, Warren, Nate, and Snoop are all wearing long-sleeved, USC-colored jerseys with a huge “213” on the front and back. (“USC is No. 1 in the nation. Like them, we are a super group,” insists the CEO of Doggystyle Records.) Sliding his Ponys with the fat burgundy laces on the table, Snoop says 213’s new album, The Hard Way (due out on Tuesday, August 17), was the best labor of love he’s ever been down with.
“We are really friends,” he says about his two homeboys. “For real. All our kids know each other. Like, for example, Warren G’s kids is a little younger than mine, so my kids got the ups on them. Meanwhile, Nate’s kids are older than mine. So they are a little bit better in sports. I told him to go on and play for the Raiders,” Snoop teases, elbowing Warren G. “But he got him playing for the Cowboys.”
Warren acknowledges that Dallas is cool, but it’s just a different football mind than wild-ass Oakland. “I’m just getting his fundamentals together,” Warren says about his young namesake. “Y’all gone see him in the NFL one day.”
After laughing among themselves and getting lost in their own conversation (as real friends often do), Snoop gets back to their reunion. “It looks easy, because you see three successful artists together. But ac
Find out more about 213. Other items you may find on 213 include updates, news, multimedia, chat, links and more. Click here...