The Music World is mourning the loss of one of hip-hop’s most beloved hook singers (ie: performed chorus on rap songs…). Nathaniel Hale — perhaps best known to rap fans as Snoop Dogg compadre Nate Dogg — died at his home in Long Beach, California on Tuesday following two strokes and a lengthy battle with numerous health issues, The Long Beach Press Telegram reports.
He was 41.
Hale rose to fame in the early ’90s as one-third of the hip-hop trio 213, which also featured Snoop Dogg and Warren G. Legendary producer Dr. Dre heard their demo at a house party in Long Beach and signed them to Death Row Records in 1993. In fact, he made his debut on Dre’s 1992 hip-hop classic The Chronic, singing in what would later become his trademark style. Nate was so well-received by fans and critics alike that he would go on to lend his vocals to a bevy of rap tracks, collaborating with stars such as Tupac Shakur, Mark Ronson, and Eminem. He even voiced the hook on Ludacris’ 2001 hit “Area Codes.”
Though his exact cause of death remains unknown, Nate suffered a series of strokes in 2007 and 2008, which depleted his finances and left him paralyzed on the left side of his body. In November, his pal Warren G appealed to fans in November asking them to help contribute to the star’s medical costs as he underwent a lengthy rehabilitation process to regain the ability to walk and talk.
Twitter tributes to Nate Dogg poured in as news of his death hit the Interwebs overnight, but the passing seemed to hit Snoop the hardest.
“We lost a true legend n hip hop n rnb” the West Coast rapper Tweeted. “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.”
He continued: “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!!”