Warren G is not just your everyday rapper getting ready to release a record through an independent label. The Long Beach veteran is a west coast legend with a list of accolades that most upstarts and old timers can only dream of achieving in today’s rap game. He’s been nominated for a Grammy, had hit songs both as a solo artist and as a member of the group 213, sold millions of records, gained respect throughout the ranks of hip-hop, and still remains relevant in the ever changing rap game, despite being in it for more than a decade. After a brief absence from the scene, he’s back with a hot single, a new album on the way, and the mind set of getting back to what his fans expect from him and what he does best — making good music and having fun.
BallerStatus.com: Your first single came out in 1994 and you’re still making music. What’s that like for you?
Warren G: I mean, it just shows that people appreciate good music, man. I’m grateful for that because there’s a lot of artists that get in the game and you only hear one single from them and that’s all that you hear. That’s the end of their careers.
BallerStatus.com: So what’s one of the ways that you’ve been able to stay in the business?
Warren G: I just learned in this you have to keep relationships with people and always stay solid, and be a stand up guy, and not burn bridges. That’s one thing that I try not to do and that’s not burn bridges with people. I just try to work with people and stay straight up. I do stay a straight up cat and that’s one of the keys to having longevity, that’s how it happens.
BallerStatus.com: Some of the people that you’ve worked with before like Snoop and Dr. Dre, do you still have relationships with them?
Warren G: Yea, yea. I mean, we got personal relationships. We just do family functions, we laugh and talk and stuff like that, and then that’s about it. It’s all about work and having fun while you work. You don’t wanna stress out looking all crazy. You just gotta have fun with it, man. Just work.
BallerStatus.com: So your last solo album was in 2005 right?
Warren G: You talking about Mid-Nite Hour. Yea that was one of the best records I ever did.
BallerStatus.com: How do you feel about how the fans received that album?
Warren G: Actually they received it and everybody just was like “It was the tightest.” It was tighter than any of the music we had right now, but unfortunately it was independent and I couldn’t really reach my fan base, which is 5 million. That’s just the standard, that’s my standard 5 million people and I couldn’t really reach all of em. That’s ’cause I wasn’t with a machine, I was with an independent company. With a major, it’s unlimited the money that they send you, but when you wanna be independent, you’re working on a cool lil’ budget and it’s only allowed that you can do so much. I mean, I did that record, and it did what it did. The people that did hear it felt that Warren G makes hit records, and that’s what I do.
BallerStatus.com: Speaking of records, you have a new single with Ray J called “Crush.” How did that come about?
Warren G: Well me and Ray J always wanted to work together, so it was just one of those things where I was in the studio one day and one of my guys was like “You know who I should put on that record?” He was like “Ray J,” and then there was another one of my cats and I was like “Who should put on this song?” He was like “Ray J sounds like he could rock that song.” These are two different people that don’t know each other, so I was just like “Wow.” Me and Ray J had always talked about doing records together and he was like “Let’s get it, let’s go.” So he came in there and I had already had the hook done and ready for him, and he blessed it and put it down. A cat named Micah wrote the hook and he got it in and put it down.
BallerStatus.com: So do you have a name for the upcoming album?
Warren G: Yea, it’s called The G Files.
BallerStatus.com: So who else have you had come in and work with you on that?
Warren G: Travis Brook produced some tracks for me, Snoop. I got a lot of unknown artists that I’m working with that I’m trying to get out there in a major way — Bad Lucc, Holla, Black Nick, Juney Boy, BJ, a cat named Trevor Westly. Ya know, just trying to let people hear some talent and hopefully through me, they can get heard and get a chance to shine.
BallerStatus.com: So when can we expect the album to drop?
Warren G: Right now, we set at October 28th.
BallerStatus.com: Are you still going to go the independent route this time?
Warren G: Yea it’s independent through a company called TTL and distributed through Koch, and ay that’s what it is. It’s a great record and I can’t wait for people to hear it.
BallerStatus.com: So besides the upcoming record is there anything else that you’ve been working on?
Warren G: I’m working on reality show. My own reality show, I’m putting that together, doing a pilot. Just gonna take it to the next level with film and TV and still continue to do this good music.
BallerStatus.com: You’ve been in the rap game for awhile, so what new artists and music do you like?
Warren G: I like that new song with Yung Berg. I like that record. Young Jeezy, T.I., I mean he’s not a new artist, but I like that new Nas, that new Jay-Z record that Kanye did. Glasses Malone, Bishop, Lil Wayne ain’t new, but I like his stuff. I mean it’s a lot man, I like a lot.
BallerStatus.com: What kind of expectations do you have for The G Files?
Warren G: For real man, big expectations. I mean, it’s time to let people hear that good music. That stuff that’s out now is not real music, that’s more instrumental music. It’s time for people to hear that stuff that you can smoke to it, two step to it, party to it, all that stuff. I mean a lot of good music that’s what it’s about.