Warren G, I Want It All (1999)
I Want It All is the third album from Warren G, the rapper-producer whose G-funk compositions once epitomized West Coast rap. Today, the landscape has changed considerably, and rowdy synthesized anthems rather than lazy gangsta blues like the 1994 Billboard number two pop hit “Regulate” are the order of the day. However, he still specializes in sweet ear candy coupled with raw, hardcore vocals. He often constructs beats from the best R&B and easy listening records of the late 70s and early 80s like Michael McDonald’s “I Keep Forgettin’” (used on “Regulate”). Though derided by hip-hop purists, this technique has been a part of rap since Sylvia Robinson’s session band lifted whole portions of Chic’s “Good Times” for the Sugarhill Gang’s pioneering “Rappers’ Delight.” And Warren G’s obviously good at it. “I Want It All,” a duet with Mack 10 featuring the best bits from DeBarge’s 1983 single “I Like It,” sits at number one on Billboard’s Rap Singles chart. Other potential hits include “Dollars Make Sense,” a collaboration with Kurupt and Crucial Conflict, and “You Never Know,” which features Snoop Dogg, Phats Bossi and Reel Tight. Warren G isn’t the most proficient rapper; maybe that’s why he has guests on all but two of the album’s 16 songs. But his modestly appealing production can’t be denied. I Want It All is undemanding, catchy and highly commercial. Restless Records.