Warren G. on Nate Dogg's Death: 'I Think About Him Every Day'

Warren G: Chelsea Lauren/Wireimage (courtesy BMI); Nate Dogg: Todd Williamson/Getty Images
Warren G (left) at the 2011 BMI Urban Awards; Nate Dogg

Five months after, "it still hurts," the late rapper's longtime collaborator and friend told THR at Friday's BMI Urban Awards honoring Snoop Dogg.

It’s been five months since Nate Dogg's unexpected death, but he’s still very much on the mind and in the heart of Warren G, the rapper’s musical collaborator and longtime friend.

“I think of him every day,” Warren G told The Hollywood Reporter at Friday’s BMI Urban Awards, honoring Snoop Dogg (Warren G was among the performers who paid tribute). “It really gets thick when I'm in the studio working. I’ll be doing a track and I know that he would kill it.”

Nate Dogg  -- real name: Nathaniel Dwayne Hale -- died on March 15 at 42 years old. He suffered a stroke in 2007 and had experienced complications as a result.

The public outpouring of condolences, love and admiration was immense in the days after and served as a good reminder of how influential a figure Nate Dogg was in the rap game. “I wasn't surprised because he was a good person and he had a lot of fans and a lot of friends,” said Warren G. “I just wish he wasn't there for that.”

Nate Dogg’s funeral, held on March 26 in Long Beach, Calif., was attended by many hip-hop luminaries including The Game and Snoop Dogg, who that day revealed a tattoo of Nate Dogg’s image along with the words “All Doggs go to heaven.”

It’s a sentiment shared by Warren G. “That's my partner in crime,” he said. “You have Snoop and Dr. Dre you have Warren and Nate. It still hurts every time [I think of him].”

Warren G. was among the scores of rappers who came out to Los Angeles’ Pantages Theater, where Snoop Dogg was presented with the BMI Icon award by Dr. Dre in an emotional introduction. Among the artists that paid musical tribute to the Doggfather were Wiz Khalifa ("Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang"), Nas (“Next Episode”), Too Short (“Gin and Juice”) and Bootsie Collins.