On the surface, Warren G. and Nate Dogg’s “Regulate” is the prototypical rap song about guns, bitches, and dice, but something far darker and weirder is going on. What, exactly, specifically? Not sure. Regulators: mount up!

Full Credits

It takes place in the 1940s

In a song that epitomizes '90s whitey-scaring West Coast gangsta culture, there is an abundance of 1940s crooner slang. Namely, women are repeatedly referred to as "skirts," while rivals are called, alternately, "clowns" and "busters." Ring-a-ding-ding! "Regulate" is probably based on a lost, unproduced, very dark script for a Bing Crosby/Bob Hope "road" movie, The Road to the LBC.

It’s a gritty reboot of Davey & Goliath

Davey & Goliath was a stop-motion animated show about a boring Christian boy who never did anything wrong who was nevertheless terrified of straying off of God’s path. He’s inevitably do something mildly immoral, like steal a pack of gum due to peer pressure or not report a murder, while his dopey talking dog frequently expressed exasperation and world-weariness. (“I don’t know, Daaaaaaavey.”) Likewise, Warren G is an idiot who gets into scraps, like jumping out of a car at night in the LBC expecting to play a raucous game of dice with strangers, only to nearly get jumped until the exasperated, world-weary Nate Dogg gets him to safety.

Or, Nate Dogg is a kindly ghost.

Warren G and Nate Dogg are surrogates for President Warren G. Harding and Vice President Calvin Coolidge

With his election in 1920, the original Warren G promised "a return to normalcy" and a new focus on the domestic economy and isolationism in the aftermath of World War I. Harding also filled his cabinet up with and did business with highly corrupt, white collar criminals, which were the gangstas of pre-Depression America. Basically, Warren G. Harding, who called himself G-Funk, heralded the arrival of "the G-Funk era funked out with a gangsta twist." As for Nate Dogg, like Silent Cal, he's huge, stoic, and can nail a hook.

Warren G and Nate Dogg are gonna kill those girls

The narrative part of “Regulate” ends when Nate Dogg and the G-child convince a bunch of girls in a broke-down car to accompany them to the Eastside Motel. What happens next? Nate Dogg and the G-child murder those ladies, who are hookers; “you seem real nice, would you let me ride” is vague enough to sound friendly in case Warren and Nate are cops, but seems fraught with code to make it clear “hey, we’re hookers.”) The whole song up to that point foreshadows this, as the duo messes around, get into scrapes, and cheat death just for kicks and/or to get themselves properly murder-horny. Coming across that car full of girls is swell indeed, when you’re planning to take them to the kind of hotel Rick James would take a girl to. "Regulate" is a gritty reboot of Jack the Ripper.

Warren G and Nate Dogg are friendly, kindly monsters

The song begins, and ultimately ends, with dudes “trying to consume some skirts for the eve.” Yes, that could be ‘40s slang, or it could mean that Warren G. and Nate Dogg are literally skirt-eating monsters who are just peacefully trying to find some skirts to eat, until those dudes with dice show up and sidetrack everything before, in a happy ending, they lure some girls to the Eastside Hotel, where they eat their skirts.