About this Artist
The cultural influence of groundbreaking American rapper, record producer, media personality, philanthropist, and entrepreneur WARREN G (born Warren Griffin III) remains as urgent today as his 1994, multi-platinum-selling smash “Regulate.” Recorded with childhood friend and iconic superstar Nate Dogg, the track would define the rap genre and a generation. For three decades, Griffin has sold eight to ten million records worldwide. Today, he is crafting a new narrative, by extending his reach into the culinary arts, inspired by his family history.
Born in 1970 and raised in Long Beach, California, the 49-year-old Griffin nurtured his love of music by immersing himself in his parents’ eclectic collection of jazz, funk, and soul albums. In 1990, he took his first steps into the music industry by forming 213 (named 213 after the former Long Beach area phone code) with his friends the late Nate Dogg (Nathaniel Dwayne Hale) and Snoop Dogg (Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr.). Despite the demands of a fulltime job, Griffin worked tirelessly in developing his unique sound (dubbed G-Funk) determined to reach a level of success that matched his aspirations. By the early 1990s, the trio would disband upon two of the members signing to Death Row Records.
As a solo artist, Griffin signed to Def Jam Records, collaborating with such artists as MC Breed and 2Pac. His early career breakthrough was achieved in 1992 when his vocal collaboration with Mista Grimm on the track “Indo Smoke,” which appeared on the Poetic Justice soundtrack. Griffin’s lauded rap would lead to his first teaming with stepbrother Dr. Dre (Andre Romelle Young). Their creative momentum continued with Griffin’s significant contributions to Dr. Dre’s iconic 1992 debut album, The Chronic, including sampling for “Nuthin’ but a G-Thang,” a track that would be distinguished by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the “500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.”
In 1994, Griffin reached a new peak of global success with the Grammy-nominated smash, “Regulate.” A duet with Nate Dogg, the track topped both the Billboard rap (#1) and pop charts (#2) in 1994. The accompanying album Regulate…G Funk Era (1994), sold four million copies worldwide, reaching triple platinum with three million copies sold in the US alone. The album would also be the source of Griffin’s second Top 20 hit, “This D.J.” His upward momentum continued that year with a collaboration with former NBA Slam Dunk Champion and NBA All-Star Cedric Ceballos on B-Ball’s Best Kept Secret, a rap album with tracks created almost exclusively with early 1990s NBA players. Griffin also scored a #2 hit on the UK singles chart with Adina Howard on “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” taken from the soundtrack album to the movie Supercop.
Nearing the end of the decade, Griffin would release his second album, Take a Look Over Your Shoulder (1997), featuring the hit singles “I Shot the Sheriff”(US #20, UK#2), reaching gold status in the US; and “Smokin’ Me Out” (US #35, UK#14). The rap superstar’s evolution as an artist continued by his teaming with Norwegian superstar soprano Sissel Kyrkjebø on the groundbreaking European release “Prince Igor,” featured on the concept album The Rapsody Overture (1998). Comprised of American rappers paired with leading European opera singers, Sissel sang an aria from Alexander Borodin’s opera “Prince Igor” during the chorus. At the same time, Warren rapped the lyrics from his song “Reality.” By 1999, Griffin had signed with independent label Restless Records, a transition marked by the release 1 WARREN G Biography of his third album I Want It All. An offering of a jazz-rock fusion style, the disc featured a host of special guests including Snoop Dogg, Mack 10, Kurupt, and Eve. The first single, “I Want It All” (US #23), sampled the song “I Like It” by DeBarge, reaching gold status with the album certified platinum in the US.
In 2001, Griffin returned to major label distribution with Universal Records releasing his fourth album, The Return of the Regulator. The first decade of the 21st century featured the reteaming of Griffin, Snoop Dogg, and Nate Dogg in 2004 as 213 with the release of The Hard Way on TVT Records, which contained the popular hit single “Groupie Luv,” with the album reaching #4 on Billboard US Top 200 Albums chart, certified gold. In 2005, Griffin released In the Mid-Nite Hour, closing the year with a foray into television by appearing on the longrunning reality television show Celebrity Fit Club. In 2006, he produced the theme song for Ice Cube’s reality series for FX, Black. White. Griffin’s 2008 composition “Mr. President,” was a powerful statement addressing the 2008 presidential candidate race, a call-to-action to vote. That year, he also appeared as a mentor on the MTV reality series Celebrity Rap Superstar. In 2009, he released The G Files, Griffin’s sixth studio album release.
Following the death of Nate Dogg in March 2011, Griffin released the acclaimed track “This Is Dedicated to You” in honor of the life and work of his childhood friend and close musical collaborator. All proceeds from the sale of this song went directly to Nate Dogg’s mother, family, and charity organization. Today, he continues his solo career, working on multiple projects while maintaining an extensive schedule of public appearances to promote various charitable causes and the preservation of musical venues. He continues to work with and tour with some of the top talent in the genre, including Baby Bash, Bone Thugs-NHarmony, DJ Quik, E-40, Mack 10, Suga Free, and Tha Dogg Pound.
In 2019, Griffin found inspiration from his family history, this time in the culinary arts, by launching Sniffin Griffins BBQ sauces and rubs. A venture developed with Griffin’s father, Warren Jr., in mind. The former boxer, black belt, and chef in the United States Navy, Griffin has stated that “all my pops used to do was cook, create recipes, and play good music.” The tales of his father’s life was an exciting reality, mainly when he would focus on BBQ. The flavor of the smoke on the meat and the good feelings found with having family around added another layer of inspiration to Griffin’s creative life. “All I wanted to do was be like my Dad,” Griffin has said. As the artist reaches 50, his achievements in crafting music to reflect the sound and poetry of a generation are without compare. Now, Griffin has emerged as the “hip hop pit master,” eager to share a lifestyle that personifies joy, family, and celebration.