Senior Year, 1995: Lowriders Club
Talk about "Hands on a Hard Body": for a certain species of auto-shop student, back in 1995, tricked-out rides were raised to the level of an art form. And while all kinds of hip-hop fueled their subwoofers, surely the most potent strain was G-funk, with its slinky leads and suggestive bounce, rolling and purring like an El Dorado.
Coming largely out of Los Angeles' Death Row camp, G-funk turned away from sampled breakbeats in favor of live and synthesized funk vamping, with laid-back drum-machine thump dragging tempos back while portamento synth leads slid mercurially over the top. It was perfectly calibrated to prove that gangstas could be lovers too even if their rides were the true objects of their affections.
The sound first broke with Dr. Dre's 1992 album The Chronic and had some of its greatest moments with Warren G and Nate Dogg's 1994 song "Regulate" and Tha Dogg Pound's 1995 album Tha Doggfather. We've created our Senior Year Playlist around that year, but by all means, don't forget 1998's G-Funk Classics, Vol. 1 & 2 by Nate Dogg, who passed away on March 15 at just 41 years old.