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A critical analysis of 'Regulate'
July 30, 2009 8:10 PM   Subscribe

If you were a child of the '90's, then Regulate by Warren G and Nate Dogg was probably your jam. Here is a critical analysis of the song by comedian Sean Keane. If only all gangsta rap had such deep meaning.
posted by reenum (63 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yacht Rock's history of the song. (First 20 seconds probably NSFW)

We gonna do some crime.
posted by pokermonk at 8:14 PM on July 30, 2009 [10 favorites]


For some reason that song has legs and fifteen years later people still respond to it when played. I always thought it was kind of corny, but earlier in the summer I saw a female and male (white) couple do an acoustic set of the song and everybody in the crowd was into it.

This wasn't so much critical analysis as it was "if you listened to the lyrics, only half that duo was actually doing some regulating."
posted by P.o.B. at 8:19 PM on July 30, 2009


"Comedian?" Really?

That's not an analysis, or funny. It's just a summary of the lyrics of the song.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:19 PM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's amazing how well that song holds up over time. Or is it a case of this?
posted by desjardins at 8:33 PM on July 30, 2009


I'm impressed by the funny that Sean Keane's commenters display. Or displayed, back in 2003, when they were commenting on that particular piece.
posted by dammitjim at 8:37 PM on July 30, 2009


If you were a child of a decade or two before the 90's, then I guess you didn't pay much attention to the lyrics of this song, as you were trying to escape Michael McDonald's "I Keep Forgetting." Having that song stuck in your head is torture.
posted by Chuffy at 8:41 PM on July 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I approve of this post for reminding me of the greatness that is Ain't No Fun.
posted by clearly at 8:49 PM on July 30, 2009


That "analysis" was totally weak. I've wanted to know for years what they mean by "tweaking," ("twigging?") but Sean Keane does little to enlighten me. I've always associated that word with non-cocaine stimulant use, but I get the sense that Warren G doesn't mean he's doing meth into a whole new era.

Also, why on earth are the words "strap," "cold," and "gat" censored in that YouTube video? Are those somehow taboo?
posted by solipsophistocracy at 8:52 PM on July 30, 2009


The critical analysis was, well, pretty lame, but that Yacht Rock video made up for it.
posted by feloniousmonk at 8:54 PM on July 30, 2009


Jens has some thoughts on this.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:55 PM on July 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Reminded me of this.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:56 PM on July 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


This video is not available in your country due to copyright restrictions.

Anyone have a working link?
posted by Dumsnill at 9:02 PM on July 30, 2009


Did you really just link to a seven year old blog post?
posted by xmutex at 9:13 PM on July 30, 2009


Is this something I'd need to be incapable of operating a belt to care about?
posted by pompomtom at 9:13 PM on July 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Oh come on, haters. The linked article was amusing. Don't make me regulate you.
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:13 PM on July 30, 2009


Wow, I hadn't even thought of that album for year. The rapping isn't all that great, but the samples are excellent. This guy has collected a bunch of the sampled songs from "Regulate" and put them together in a Rapidshare file.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 9:36 PM on July 30, 2009


Oh come on, haters. The linked article was amusing. Don't make me regulate you.

Saxon Kane, are you implying that you are handy with the steel?
posted by clearly at 9:40 PM on July 30, 2009


Before you opened up your gap
posted by mert at 9:51 PM on July 30, 2009


Wait, they aren't taking Lawrence Welk?
posted by shothotbot at 9:57 PM on July 30, 2009


I'm a child in my '90's and I don't want any jam! Get off my lawn you punks.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:01 PM on July 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


This track was a particular favorite on the jukebox at my (then) local pool hall, Old West Billiards - "Old Meth Billiards" to the locals. It always made me wonder about the Northern Californian meth culture's affinity for Southern California's thug culture.

Methamphetamine dependence doesn't seem to lend itself to the thug lifestyle - there's too much extraneous, non-meth-acquiring activity involved, and too much interest in periods of "chill," including chemical- or pharmacological-induced relaxation. There's a lot of "cruising" in thug life - meaning "driving around aimlessly or casually," mind you - that's not popular with speed freaks. There's a certain amount of sex, but not much discrimination. I've never been able to figure out the confluence between speed culture and thug life.

Until Keane's analysis, that is. Backwards baseball caps. What a fool I've been.
posted by Graygorey at 10:24 PM on July 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ah, Warren G. While I was being driven out of my mind by the easily transmitted bass frequencies emanating from my roomate's portion of our divided double in East Hall, he was apparently impregnating his freshman-year girlfriend.
posted by unmake at 10:34 PM on July 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I love that song. Not only was I a child of the 90's ... but I was a child of Long Beach! LBC! Eastside whaaatup.
posted by Arbac at 10:35 PM on July 30, 2009


> If you were a child of the '90's, then Regulate by Warren G and Nate Dogg was probably your jam.

I liked the way they worked it, but it's No Diggity.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:43 PM on July 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I liked the way they worked it, but it's No Diggity.

No doubt.
posted by signalnine at 11:55 PM on July 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, why on earth are the words "strap," "cold," and "gat" censored in that YouTube video? Are those somehow taboo?

That aint youtube, that's the radio version: "16 in the ___, and one in the ____, Nate Dogg is about to make some bodies turn ____."
posted by iamck at 12:09 AM on July 31, 2009


I Got 5 On It
posted by shinyshiny at 12:13 AM on July 31, 2009


I remember listening to regulate when i was 14 and thinking I was hardcore. Looking them up now I see Warren G got arrested for selling pot but all charges were cleared. Apparently Nate Dogg isn't doing too well after having two strokes and being on an assisted-breathing tube. :(
posted by dead cousin ted at 1:00 AM on July 31, 2009


Coincidentally, I was just singing this song to myself a few hours before this was posted. Good stuff.
posted by wierdo at 2:05 AM on July 31, 2009


Be sure to check out raptranslations, y'all.

Back then hoes didn't want me, now I'm hot hoes all on me.
Back then hoes didn't want me, now I'm hot hoes all on me, I said!
Back then hoes didn't want me, now I'm hot hoes all on me,
Back then hoes didn't want me, now I'm hot hoes all on me; I said!


"On previous occasions, females were unable to grasp the concept of being in a physical relationship with myself. This, however, has substantially been altered due to my current fame and fortune which has resulted in women being steadily attracted to me. This concept is a very important one, and I will repeat it four times for greater emphasis."
posted by cronholio at 2:37 AM on July 31, 2009 [5 favorites]


Well, I thought it was funny.
posted by Swandive at 3:47 AM on July 31, 2009


John Oliver talks about Regulate in the context of the global financial crisis in an episode of The Bugle (starts at about 20:45).
posted by Kattullus at 4:38 AM on July 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


I always thought that being a lovable little-kid-esque loser was kinda Warren G's thing (like Young MC, or Skee-Lo. Except I can't stand Skee-Lo. Maybe you'd get more girls if you quit insulting them and calling them 'hood rats,' jackass). I mean, he's Dr. Dre's little brother, he pretty much handed him Snoop, and he wasn't able to parlay these connections into a more successful career? Hell, Oh No has done better for himself than Warren G has.
posted by box at 5:11 AM on July 31, 2009


I've been know to tell my friends that I'm tweaking into a whole new era.

Did anyone else actually buy the album. It was terrible!

If you enjoyed the link, I guarantee you'll like Attention, Mr. Axl Rose: We Did Not Feel Welcome in the Jungle.

Sample: Your offer to somehow acquire new diseases in exchange for extra money was very unsettling.
posted by diogenes at 5:27 AM on July 31, 2009


It reads exactly like a Wikipedia entry for any music by bands whose fans take them wayyyy too seriously.
posted by Shepherd at 6:04 AM on July 31, 2009


That aint youtube, that's the radio version: "16 in the ___, and one in the ____, Nate Dogg is about to make some bodies turn ____."

This could totally be madlibs.

16 in the NOUN
and one in the NOUN
Nate Dogg is about to make some bodies turn ADJECTIVE

Go!
posted by desjardins at 6:36 AM on July 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


This analysis is dead on. Warren G was kind of a punk and Nate Dogg is possibly the coolest motherfucker ever to come out of the LBC.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:07 AM on July 31, 2009


Clown
Crown
Brown
posted by grubi at 7:41 AM on July 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


I heard that song in a cab in Chicago recently and thought, "Hey, that song holds up pretty well." Largely due to the Michael McDonald and Bob James samples. I hated that Michael McDonald song at the time it came out but now am cursed with an affection for it. Although according to Wikipedia it steals from a Chuck Jackson song of the same name written by Leiber and Stoller, which explains the ultimate genius at the root of all of this lineage.

Overanalyzing a plate of beans? I don't care. Happy Friday.
posted by blucevalo at 8:14 AM on July 31, 2009


Warren G talked about things that actually happened to him, while Nate Dogg talked about things that would totally be cool that one time when I could have done that oh man.

After Doggystyle the whole G-Funk thing was on the other side of the peak.

box: I mean, he's Dr. Dre's little brother, he pretty much handed him Snoop, and he wasn't able to parlay these connections into a more successful career? Hell, Oh No has done better for himself than Warren G has.

Meanwhile, Kurupt wound up making B-sides with Canibus, and Killah Priest. You'd really think these guys could have used some sound financial advice.
posted by paisley henosis at 10:07 AM on July 31, 2009


Kattullus: John Oliver talks about Regulate in the context of the global financial crisis in an episode of The Bugle (starts at about 20:45).

"What was anyone better qualified than him, who was in charge of regulating the banks over the last ten years? I think, when you have the amount of Triple-A bonds that were being issued, I think you could argue that Warren G wouldn't 'ave done a worse job…"

John Oliver singing Regulate is painful, though.
posted by paisley henosis at 10:20 AM on July 31, 2009


I just wish someone would explain to me how the rhythm could be the bass and the bass, the treble.
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:56 AM on July 31, 2009


I approve of this post for reminding me of the greatness that is Ain't No Fun.

I'm always astonished that nobody ever remarks on the profoundly homoerotic sentiments expressed in Ain't No Fun. Three guys all insisting how they've never met a bitch that they actually loved, and as a consequence, their preference is for group sex with one woman and multiple men.

"Cause it ain't no fun, if the homies can't have none"

I mean, if you're heterosexual it actually *is* fun, but if women only act as a vehicle that allows you to engage in sexual activity with other men then I'm guessing it probably isn't.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:49 AM on July 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, Peter, Kurupt does make the point that if he gave a fuck about a bitch, his smoking opportunities would dwindle. Love = lack of indo. No go.
posted by mynameisluka at 12:22 PM on July 31, 2009


Regulate (The Congressional Budget) - Warren G. Harding
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:44 PM on July 31, 2009


Music critic Tom Breihan conjectures that Kurupt is DJ Quik's "spirit animal," so we can thank him for that at least.
posted by phantroll at 3:33 PM on July 31, 2009


That brick grotto looks awfully familiar.
posted by aliasless at 8:19 PM on July 31, 2009


PMD: that brings to mind something that I read in a Karrine Steffans book. Talking about Ja Rule and Irv Gotti and the Murder Inc. guys, she says something like (paraphrased) 'and it was never menage a trois with those dudes--they'd have like twenty girls in the room.' At the time, I thought to myself, okay, it's an exaggeration--this is a morality play, and she's just trying to convey the wretched Caligulan excess.

As I thought about it more, though, I decided that the number of women isn't really important. It's not about sex, but ostentation. Hip-hop can be a sexist culture, and that madonna/whore dichotomy is older than 'yes yes y'all' (madonna/whore? How about 'Dear Mama'/'Bitches Ain't Shit'?). But it's not like Irv Gotti has a reverse-gangbang fetish (they make enough porno movies like that that there's a name for it, but it's not a popular genre). Those guys haven't been watching too much porn--they've been watching too much Cribs.
posted by box at 8:45 PM on July 31, 2009


Well, Peter, Kurupt does make the point that if he gave a fuck about a bitch, his smoking opportunities would dwindle.

Oh, I follow the logic there. However, I'm just not seeing the leap from not giving a fuck about a bitch/maximizing endo smoking time, to the idea that when you do engage in coitus, it's only pleasurable if you can do so while simultaneously engaged with other men -- and preferably more than one.

I think they need to spell out exactly why it's no fun. Is it because they can't get aroused unless they can watch one of their associates performing sexually? Is there some kind of displacement fetish going on, in which they can't bring themselves to touch another man's penis directly, but they get excited by dipping their penis into another man's fresh semen, as long as it's first mediated by a beeyotch's orifice to avoid any allegations of being teh gay?

Is this a habit that they developed in prison, or is it a consequence of being Suge Knight's bitch? Did Suge turn them all out when they signed to Death Row records? It might explain Tupac's sense of going out of the frying pan and into the fire when he finally realized what he'd gotten himself into at Death Row.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:02 PM on July 31, 2009


Shortly after 'Pac was released from prison, there were a bunch of rumors suggesting that he'd been raped in there, or threatened with rape, or threatened with murder, on the order of Suge and his Blood buddies.
posted by box at 9:13 PM on July 31, 2009


I think the line of thinking is that of Bros before Hos. This is actually repeated (not that exact phrase mind you) throughout their music. By 'their', I mean Dre, Snoop, Death Row, etc.. So if I'm that cool, then my friends by proxy are that cool also. If I'm lavish, my homies are lavish. If I'm getting a bunch of sex, then my friends in turn are getting sexed.
And now that I think about it, gangster rap by and large has some analogous sayings.
posted by P.o.B. at 9:16 PM on July 31, 2009


It's not about sex, but ostentation.

I could buy that if it was on the second or third album, but Ain't No Fun was off Snoop's first, IIRC. It's got to be a lyric that they wrote before they were successful, while they were all still struggling, possibly at a time when they all did a bit of juggling, of each others nuts in their motherfucking mouth.

Also, I'm pretty sure that this was right at the start of that whole multiple bitches shaking their booty in your video era, so presumably it wasn't *that* ingrained at this point.

I do note that they employ the madonna/whore trope in an attempt to justify their sexual perversity though. For example, this section is somewhat peculiar:

When I met you last night baby
Before you opened up your gap
I had respect for ya lady
But now I take it all back
Cause you gave me all your pussy
And ya even licked my balls

According to Snoop a woman who is prepared to engage in vaginal and oral sex is utterly unworthy of respect and as such, is only suitable for use as a vehicle for gaysex-by-proxy with his homies.

Homies? Seems to me that what he's really saying is, it ain't no fun, if the homos can't get none.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:22 PM on July 31, 2009


According to Snoop a woman who is prepared to engage in vaginal and oral sex is utterly unworthy of respect and as such

I think that's the point. Bitches ain't shit but... was repeated how many times on The Chronic album? More specifically the woman is insubstantial and can freely be passed around like they were sharing a joint.
posted by P.o.B. at 9:26 PM on July 31, 2009


And just as a followup I don't think it meant that they had to engage at the same time or maybe even with the same woman. Although that may not have been out of range of what did happen.
posted by P.o.B. at 9:30 PM on July 31, 2009


Oh, yeah--Ja Rule's ostentatious and narcissistic. He doesn't love those hos because he only loves himself. (His name stands for 'Jeff Atkins Represents Unconditional Love Exists.')

Snoop's emotionally stunted, in the manner of a lot of long-term chronic drug users. He doesn't love these hos because he can't. Although he's developed a bit of a family-man thing in his old age.

(Scarface is the kinda the opposite of Rule--he don't love himself, so how the fuck he gonna love anyone else?

Ice Cube's problem is that he doesn't trust women.

And Biggie has some self-esteem problems.)
posted by box at 9:35 PM on July 31, 2009


That aint youtube, that's the radio version: "16 in the ___, and one in the ____, Nate Dogg is about to make some bodies turn ____."

But why?
posted by solipsophistocracy at 3:42 AM on August 1, 2009


And just as a followup I don't think it meant that they had to engage at the same time or maybe even with the same woman.

Wasn't that precisely what Tupac got locked up for though?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:51 AM on August 1, 2009


thanks! made me look up Super Soul Sis & This Is The Shack :P
posted by kliuless at 6:55 AM on August 1, 2009


Also, I'm pretty sure that this was right at the start of that whole multiple bitches shaking their booty in your video era, so presumably it wasn't *that* ingrained at this point.

2 Live Crew had been out several years at this point and booty shaking was fairly standard.

>But why?

Radio has always been prudish. Over the years, more and more words have slipped through as being acceptable. I don't know if gun/gat/glock is alright these days but it wouldn't surprise me if it was still edited.
MTV was kind of relaxed and rap took advantage of that. Gangster rap started including more and more guns in their videos and a year or two previous to Regulate, about the time The Chronic came out, there was a huge crackdown on the appearance and the mentioning of guns in videos. IIRC, the video for Dre Day was remade.
posted by P.o.B. at 10:32 AM on August 1, 2009


And for a while, other video outlets were often even less restrictive than MTV. Watching old hip-hop videos, it's often shocking just how much gun-related content people managed to get away with. Just one example: 'Reign of the Tec,' by the Beatnuts. The video is pretty much about how the Beatnuts really like shooting people. Among other things, the video shows them shooting a man in the back while he's running away (there's some blurring in the YT video, but there wasn't in the original version). That's cold-blooded.
posted by box at 10:50 AM on August 1, 2009


Yeah, that was around about the same time. I don't think the Bloods & Crips - Bangin' on Wax album helped matters much either. Someone thought "Hey why don't we actually make real Gangster Rap?" And it sold well enough to make more albums.
People also forget that Cypress Hill wasn't always about smoking weed all the time
posted by P.o.B. at 11:10 AM on August 1, 2009


The switch from smoking people to smoking trees was, career-wise, the best decision Cypress Hill ever made (though I much prefer the first album--here's another violent video).

Man, 'Bangin on Wax,' I totally forgot about that. It's like At Folsom Prison, or that Elmo Hope Rikers Island album, or those phoned-in Slick Rick, ODB and Dipset verses.
posted by box at 11:34 AM on August 1, 2009


It had to be done:

Metafilter: Get excited by dipping your penis into another man's fresh semen.
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:25 PM on August 3, 2009


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