Artist: Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg
Title: "Nuthin' But A "G" Thang (Club Mix)"
Producer: Dr. DreAlbum: "Nuthin' But A "G" Thang" (single, vinyl and CD) (1992); Death Row: The Singles Collection (2007)
A strange choice, I know, but hear me out. In no way am I saying that I prefer the remix (sorry, "club mix") of Dr. Dre's seminal lead single from his solo debut The Chronic, "Nuthin' But A 'G' Thang", over the Leon Haywood-sampling original, which is a goddamn classic. The O.G. take is simply a better, more fully-realized song. There will be no argument. However, the remix (sorry, "club mix") is worthy of your time as well.
One of my favorite tracks on The Chronic is the last song, "Bitches Ain't Shit", which doesn't even appear on the tracklisting for the album's first pressings, leaving many to believe it to be a hidden bonus when it really wasn't supposed to be one. Everyone participating on the song not named Andre Young by their parents use the track to reach the obvious misogynistic conclusions, while Dre himself uses his mic time to attack Eazy-E once again. That's nice, whatever; this is rap music, and most hip hop fanatics like myself are forced to entertain contradictory beliefs simultaneously in order to just enjoy the damn music. But what isn't in question is the music itself, a catchy-as-shit melody paired with simple drums that elevate the song to hall-of-fame territory. Today's producers would slit their respective grandmothers' throats just to come up with something as ill as the beat to "Bitches Ain't Shit".
The "Nuthin' But A 'G' Thang" remake is, lyrically, exactly the same as its predecessor, except for the quick intro from a young Snoop Doggy Dogg, but the remix (sorry, "club mix") takes place over a slightly altered "Bitches Ain't Shit" beat, or should I say, "Bitches Ain't Shit" takes place over a slightly altered version of the club mix's instrumental, since Dre and company most certainly created this track before finishing up The Chronic, given its release as a b-side in 1992. For today's listeners, it gives you the vibe of listening to an officially-sanctioned mash-up curated by the good Doctor himself, and the variations in the music are fascinating in an alternate-universe way.
Dre definitely made the best choice in which version to drop as the single, but don't count this b-side out. It's awkward to hear the "wrong" vocals over the beat at first, but they fit surprisingly well, which makes sense, since Dre wouldn't let anything out of the studio that had any noticeable mistakes in the pressing.
As a bonus, I've included the following companion piece.
This "freestyle remix" to "Nuthin But A 'G' Thang" also takes place over the "Bitches Ain't Shit" beat, but this time around it appears to be the exact same instrumental, which makes what I wrote above inaccurate, since this "remix" also appeared on the single to the O.G. track back in 1992. Dre is nowhere to be found; instead, his young charge Snoop Doggy Dogg, most likely high as fuck, drops a goofy verse and some ad-libs while inviting both halves of Tha Dogg Pound, Kurupt and Daz, to come play house.
This isn't going to be considered an official part of the series because it commits one of the most atrocious crimes known to musical mankind: it fades out of Daz's verse halfway through his performance. You two both know that I cannot condone that shit, artistic choice or not. Why not just edit the song where Daz doesn't appear at all, then? However, Kurupt stans will note that he actually sounds pretty damn great on here and not lazily misogynistic (although he hilariously misspells Suge Knight's first name during his bars), and Snoop comes across as an excitable child that just signed the Death Row contract three hours prior. His energy is contagious: even with the abrupt ending and the brief bit of backmasking during Snoop's verse, I couldn't help but walk away from this song with a bizarre sense of purpose.
The music nerd in me also became obsessed with figuring out what this track was after listening to Warren G.'s Jah Skillz-featured "Super Soul Sis", off of his own debut, Regulate...G Funk Era. During the hook, a sound bite featuring Snoop rapping over what was clearly the "Bitches Ain't Shit" instrumental, but with lyrics I had never heard before, played, and it broke my brain trying to figure out where Warren got that shit from. (This was all before YouTube and Wikipedia made this much easier, obviously.) Sometimes it's good to get these little obsessions out, I guess.
Enjoy both tracks, and happy Easter to those of you who observe. Everyone else can just eat the candy, maybe.
Do you agree or disagree with this selection? Discuss below.
Dr. Dre - The Chronic (Review) (even though these tracks don't appear on it, this still counts as "related", damn it)