“Nuthin’ But a G Thang” by Dr. Dre (ft. Snoop Dogg)

A “G”, as coined by the West Coast homeys, is actually a colloquial term for a “gangsta”.  And it doesn’t, at least when this song was dropped, necessarily refer to someone who is engaged in violent criminal activity. Rather it’s more along the lines of a certain type of the lifestyle which Dre and Snoop are elaborating on throughout. In fact with this track indeed being from the early 1990s, what the artists are largely bragging about are their musical skills. And in their estimation, being a “G” comprises being akin to a pimp, i.e. a man who possesses numerous sexual partners. 

Indeed the whole feel of this tune is like a chillin’ track, i.e. something a listener would enjoy while ‘taking a toke’, as Dr. Dre would say. In fact even though this particular song doesn’t harp on the subject too much, it has contributed to both Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg becoming well-known as aficionados of grass. And with “Nuthin’ But a G Thang” being the debut single from Dre’s first solo album, it actually marked the advent of a new era of gangsta rap. And said era saw references to getting high and womanizing becoming more-pronounced than those to gunplay, as Dre’s former group, N.W.A., had previously established.

Did Dr. Dre write “Nuthin’ But a G Thang”?

“Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang” can be found on Dr. Dre’s maidedn solo album, “The Chronic”.  He wrote it song alongside his former N.W.A. bandmate, MC Ren, as well as another of his affiliates who was popular during that era, The D.O.C.  Snoop is also one of its co-writers, as is Leon Haywood.

Old school artist Leon Haywood (1942-2016) is credited as a writer also. And this is because “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang” relies on the sample of a song he dropped back in 1975 entitled “I Want’a Do Something Freaky to You”.

And Dr. Dre not only produced “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang” but also directed the track’s video. And it features an appearance from another 20th century West Coast rap star, Warren G.

Song’s Success

As aforementioned, “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang” ushered in a new era of gangsta rap and is one of the songs which set the standard of weed and sensual references in hip-hop. And it has been acknowledged for its lyrical and sonic contributions to the industry. For instance, it is one of the few raps which can actually be found on Rolling Stone’s ranking of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”. And if that isn’t outstanding enough, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has also acknowledged it as one of the “500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll”.

Moreover “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang” actually peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also topped Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs charts. In addition to this it was certified Platinum in the United States and was nominated for a Grammy in 1994.

The track also broke the top 40 of the UK Singles Chart and charted in Oceania.

Popular Usage and Appearance

Artists who have sampled “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang” throughout the years include Kriss Kross (1993), Silkk the Shocker (1999), Ja Rule (2001) and Mariah Carey (2002). And for videogame fans, the track also makes an appearance in 2004’s “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas”. And as for movie buffs, they can find it on the 2003 action-chick flick “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle”.

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