Paul Warner/WireImageIt’s been nine years since legendary California rapper Nate Dogg was laid to rest in California’s Forest Lawn Cemetery. Over the weekend, more than 100 of his family and friends, including fellow Long Beach rapper Daz Dillinger, gathered for the unveiling of his upgraded tombstone, just ahead of his 41st birthday on March 15th.
Tim Morris, also known as Cemetery Tim on social media, designed the new headstone and posted a picture of it on Monday. He’s also designed headstones for TLC‘s Lisa “Left Eye”Lopez and N.W.A.‘s Eazy E.
“It ain’t a hit until Nate Dogg spit,” the headstone reads in part. It also features likenesses of the Grammy-nominated musician, with the Long Beach skyline behind him. The lyrics to Nate’s “Music and Me” song are engraved on the stone, with the cover art for Nate’s 1998 debut, G-Funk Classics, Vol. 1 & 2 and the United State Marine Corps Seal; Nate served three years overseas after high school, after which he formed the Long Beach-based rap trio 213 with his cousin, Snoop Dogg, and longtime friend Warren G.
Born Nathaniel Dwayne Hale, Nate Dogg remains loved by many in the music industry and his community. Notoriously known for his deep singing voice on hooks for Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur, Eminem, Fabolous, Westside Connection‘s “Gangsta Nation,” 50 Cent‘s “21 Questions,” Ludacris‘ “Area Codes,” Mobb Deep‘s “Have a Party” and more, he’s regarded as one of the pioneers of gangsta funk, aka G-funk, and West Coast hip-hop.
Nate’s music legacy continues to breathe life into today’s music: his vocals are featured on Anderson .Paak‘s album Ventura, which won Best R&B album at the Grammys this year.
Nate died in 2011 from complications following two strokes.