Max Bell once played basketball with Nate Dogg.
Last week, a friend and recent L.A. transplant told me 2Pac and Dr. Dre songs left still bodies staring at the deserted dance floor of a Westside lounge. Outsiders equate lack of motion to tracks from the accepted West Coast rap suzerain with treason. And yet, this reaction is honest.
Longtime Angelenos are, at least in my experience, often desensitized to tracks like “Next Episode” and “California Love” in a bar/club/lounge setting. Too many DJs have deployed them to save their tepid, schizophrenic, and ADD addled sets. Too many from other coasts have come to town eager to push that sideways equilateral for a playlist titled ‘L.A.’
According to my friend, Warren G and Nate Dogg saved the night at the lounge and all ended well for someone at the Eastside Motel. This isn’t surprising. Unless you listen to KDAY, “Regulate” seems like more of an anomaly in this environment. In a way, I’m glad that’s the case. However, DJs should be willing to drop capital G gems from the vast West Coast catalogue that rarely receive rotation. Not everyone in the audience needs to know the words. If it bumps, it bumps. Exposing people to music they’d never heard or had forgotten used to be part of a DJ’s job description. So it goes.
My mix is comprised of songs I’d like to hear when out in L.A. Some are at the top of the West Coast canon and yet strangely uncommon from the 310 to the 213. Others are a bit more obscure, lamentably never dropped. And one I just felt like including as homage to Roger Troutman, without whom West Coast rap would be bereft of much bounce.
This summer, play this from the sea back to the block. The rhythm is the bass and the bass is the treble. G-funk is the operative word and a state of mind. May your perm be silkier than Charlotte’s Web and your waves as deep as Redondo Beach as you light one for Nate Dogg.
Download: Summer Mixtape – Max Bell
1. Bop Gun (One Nation) – Ice Cube
2. Guerilla Funk – Paris
3. Who Am I? (What’s My Name) – Snoop Dogg
4. Pistolgrip-Pump – Volume 10
5. Fantastic Voyage – Coolio
6. Why U Bulshittin’? – Suga Free
7. Compton Swangin’ – B.G. Knocc Out & Dresta
8. Just Clownin’ – WC
9. Wopbabalubop – Funkdoobiest
10. Got It Bad Y’all – King Tee (ft. The Alkaholiks)
11. Call Me Dru Down – Dru Down
12. Tonite – DJ Quik
13. Getto Jam – Domino
14. Indo Smoke – Mista Grimm
15. Round & Round – Twinz
16. And Ya Don’t Stop – Warren G
17. Sitting in the Park – Hi-C
18. It’s Goin’ Down – Celly Cel
19. Roger’s Groove – DJ Quik
20. G-Funk – Nate Dogg