Search - Warren G :: Take a Look Over Your Shoulder

Take a Look Over Your Shoulder
Warren G
Take a Look Over Your Shoulder
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, R&B
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1

Of all the L.A. postgangstas, Warren G's probably the most pop-oriented and least hip-hop-committed. As with his sharp, multiplatinum debut Regulate...G Funk Era, his follow-up, Take a Look over Your Shoulder, is hardly co...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Warren G
Title: Take a Look Over Your Shoulder
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 5
Label: Def Jam
Original Release Date: 3/25/1997
Release Date: 3/25/1997
Album Type: Explicit Lyrics
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, R&B
Styles: Dance Pop, West Coast, Pop Rap, Funk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 731453723429

Of all the L.A. postgangstas, Warren G's probably the most pop-oriented and least hip-hop-committed. As with his sharp, multiplatinum debut Regulate...G Funk Era, his follow-up, Take a Look over Your Shoulder, is hardly concerned with rapping at all. It's such an afterthought, in fact, that he's happy doling out verses to unknown rhymers like K-9, Malik, and Knee-Hi--or better yet, to R&B crooners like Nanci Fletcher or Nate Dogg (the voice behind his huge hit "Regulate")--even if it means sublimating his own voice in the process. But like his brother, Dr. Dre, Warren is a rapper only by circumstance and a producer by passion. His personality comes through in ultraslick funk-enhanced rewrites of familiar, road-tested tunes: The Isley Brothers' "Cooling Me Out" becomes Warren's "Smoking Me Out," and Marley-by-way-of-Clapton's "I Shot the Sheriff" becomes Take a Look's terrific first single. It might make Warren and crew the world's richest cover band if only he weren't so good at rethinking grooves and repackaging oldies as pop gems for the '90s. If the entire album were as tight and tuneful as the standouts (those mentioned, plus Nate's showcase "Annie Mae"), Take a Look would be a masterpiece. As it stands, Warren's still a great pop singles artist. And with his new record going light on the gangsta tales, that's apparently all he's aiming for. --Roni Sarig

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CD Reviews

Warren Gets The Little Brother Treatment {4.5 Stars}
Norfeest | Washington DC USA | 01/24/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I challenge you to name 10 producers from the west coast that were better than Warren G in the 90's. There's DJ Quik (yes, I put his name first...Dre is overrated), Dr. Dre, and...well..... While there are other notable producers that may have been just as good, like DJ Muggs, Daz, Battlecat, Sir Jinx, Bud'da, Soopafly, E-Swift (Alkaholiks), Shock G, and Johnny J (I know I've left out a ton of legendary westside beatsmiths, but I'm trying to make a point, not write a novel). I wouldn't necessarily say that any of them were BETTER than Warren Griffin III. As a matter of fact, the problem Warren G runs into most is the fact that he's so heavily slept on (his own brother, Dr. Dre, didn't take him seriously as a producer). Even the editorial reviewer of this album grabbed a pillow and took a snooze -- I noticed that Amazon has a knack for posting bogus editorial reviews, but that's another story. Anyway, I think what turned people off to Warren G is because he took 3 years off from his classic debut and a lot people expected the Regulate II LP. Instead of trying to duplicate that album, he went in a different direction (something that I actually respect people more for doing -- more "artists" should do it). The truth is, this album is off the charts. Despite being totally ignored by his label (Def Jam), this joint still had a few classics (We Brings Heat, Transformers, What We Go Through, I Shot The Sheriff (EPMD Remix), Back Up, & Smokin' Me Out) getting spins on the radio. The quality of the album kept it afloat because, trust me, there were NO promo dollars put behind it. And on top of all that, with the exception of one or two fillers, the rest of the tracks are strong.

There are a few tracks on the album that should've been left off the album. "Annie Mae" suffers from lazy production and the original version of "I Shot The Sheriff" is skip material in my book. As a matter of fact, a lot of the production is so laid back that I'd have to say that it's almost too smooth. Don't get me wrong though, the beats are still top notch. Some will tell you that Warren's rhymes aren't up to par, but the editorial review summed it up best when it said: " his brother, Dr. Dre, Warren is a rapper only by circumstance and a producer by passion..." With that being said, I don't really expect much from him on the lyrical tip (nor does he -- hence the abundance of guest rappers).

Take A Look Over Your Shoulder (Reality) is easily Warren G's second best album. The production is on point and the guests all do a great job of sharing the load. Warren G is a capable rapper, but the focus for me was on the beats. I recommend adding this one to the collection. Amazon is selling this for less than a buck. If that ain't a steal, I don't know what is.

Standout Tracks: Back Up Feat. K-9 & P-C, Relax Ya Mind Feat. Reel Tight, What We Go Through Feat. Mr. Malik, Perfec & Bada**, Reality, To All D.J.'s Feat. Mr. Malik, We Brings Heat Feat. The Twinz & Da Five Footaz (My Favorite), Smokin' Me Out Feat. Ron Isley, Transformers, and Young Fun Feat. Knee-Hi & Jayo Felony"
Possibly Warren's Most Underrated LP (Rating: 8 out of 10- -
Chandler | Atlanta (College Park), Georgia | 06/06/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I'm a laid back type of guy, who enjoyed laid back type of music, especially from the west coast. To me, I find a lot of Warren G.'s music to be laid back and fit my prefrence of my enjoyment, and that is why I listen to his albums. Like everyone realized, Def Jam hardly promoted any west coast artists on thier label, despite his multiplatnum debut Regulate...G Funk Era. True, this album isn't his first, but it holds it's own as well.

Like most of Warren's albums, what stands out to me is the production. It's the type of west coast production that anyone can vibe to. "We Brings Heat" is the type of west coast production that I love so much. "Transformers" carries another dope beat. A personal favorite of mine is the song "Relax Your Mind" featuring Real Tight, more of that laid back feel here.

Lyrically, Warren is still good. "Reality" and "Can You Feel It" show off his lyrical skills. The EPMD remix of "I Shot The Sheriff" is dope lyrically and production wise.

What weighs this album down for me is first the skippable tracks. I wasn't feeling the origonal version of "I Shot The Sheriff". It's not a bad job, but really don't think Warren is good at producing reggae sounding tracks, as you can see Erick Sermon did a better job remixing it, and the two tracks are side by side in comparison. Also some of the guest appearances aren't all that good as well, although others were nice.

But overall, I find "Take A Look Over Your Shoulder" to be a highly underrated LP for 1997. It sucks that Def Jam didn't push their west coast artists, and the fact that this is out of print shows how much they care about this LP. If you're a fan of west coast rap music, I recommend that you check this out. Peace.

Lyrics: A
Production: A+
Guest Appearances: B-
Musical Vibes: A+

Top 5 Favorite Tracks
1. Relax Your Mind (featuring Reel Tight) [personal favorite]
2. Reality
3. Transformers
4. We Brings Heat (featuring Da Five Footaz, The Twinz, Knee-Hi, and Ricky Harris)
5. I Shot The Sheriff (EPMD Remix)

Honorable Mention Tracks
1. Annie Mae (featuring Nate Dogg)
2. Young Fun (featuring Knee-Hi and Jayo Felony)
3. Smokin' Me Out (featuring Ronald Isley)"
Expanding g-funk's horizons (4.5/5)
ctrx | 'bout to show you how the EAST COAST rocks... | 08/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Following the surprise multiplatinum success of his classic 1994 debut Regulate...G Funk Era, Warren G sat back and watched the g-funk genre he helped originate explode. Outside of some production work and scattered guest appearances, Warren was relatively quiet for a full three years, finally dropping the follow-up, "Take a Look Over Your Shoulder (Reality)" in 1997. People seem to be pretty split in their opinions on this album, and I think that's because people were hoping for another Regulate...G Funk Era. That album was an ingenious blend of simple yet catchy, low-fi, and sunny, soulful beats teamed with fun raps. They were so beautifully laidback and made for perfect chilled-out listening. His raps are almost as appealing as his incredible production because he's so real; he seems more like a regular guy than any other Long Beach gangsta rapper. His raps are somewhere between talking and rapping, and his singing is somewhere between rapping and singing. So on this album, rather than just try to duplicate his debut with a sound that had been tiredly imitated for the previous three years, Warren instead took an admirably artistic route and made a very different album. "Take a Look" is pretty experimental, drawing from a more diverse range of influences. The beats are more dense than they were on his debut, often using a fuller range of instrumentation rather than the simple arrangement of synths, bass, and light sampling. He's really inventive a lot of the time, and it's cool. A lot of the music borders closer to R&B than rap, it's definitley hookier, and there are some more obvious singles. One of the coolest things I like about this album is how he reworks famous songs. For instance, his spirited version of Eric Clapton and Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff" is surprisingly successful. He's looking beyond hip hop on "Take a Look," and the result is beautiful.

The one big similarity between this and his debut is the result of the production. These beats are literally the smoothest around. I don't know how he does it, but every gorgeous beat on "Take a Look" is so chilled out and relaxing that it makes for the ultimate summertime or late-night listening. The pure funk and smooth instrumentals just make you feel good. In that way, it is a lot like Regulate...G Funk Era. Lyrically, Warren is on a different page. Mostly, he just lets the beats do the talking, and much of the actual rapping is handled by his large list of guest rappers. There's a much higher-profile feeling to this project, and this is reflected in the lyrics and guests. Whereas his first album featured a small crew of underground Long Beach artists, "Take a Look" has a few more A-list MCs. Unfortunately, Warren would learn the hard way just like his labelmates Jayo Felony, the Dove Shack, Twinz, South Central Cartel, and WC that Def Jam was completely incapable or unwilling to promote its West Coast artists, and the lack of publicity led to disappointing sales for "Take a Look."

After the intro, the album begins with a Nate Dogg collabo called "Annie Mae." Over a quirky and bluesy beat, the duo speak of a woman they both knew, and this song is all-around great. "Smokin' Me Out" features a particularly soulful Ronald Isley, providing an awesome appearance to a beautiful production, the hook is awesome. He kicks some nice lyrics on the cool "Reality," and Jayo Felony and Knee-Hi guest on the discretionary "Young Fun." A matured Mr. Malik, Bad Azz, and Perfec show up to collaborate on the memorable "What We Go Through." "We Brings Heat" has an awesome vibe and features Jah-Skilz and Twinz, Warren's proteges. "Transformers" is gorgeously relaxing, with a space-age hook, and the classic "Relax Ya Mind" follows in a similar fashion. "To All D.J.'s" is the weakest song on the album, the beat's a little too sparse and subject matter a bit uninspired. K9 and PC assume the rapping duties on the funky "Back Up," which is followed by another West Coast classic in "Can You Feel It." His cover of "I Shot the Sheriff" is ingenious, adding a g-funk twist to a classic standard, and Erick Sermon's EPMD remix is also great.

"Take a Look" is musically genius and very experimental and is really a joy to listen to for its phenomenal production. Warren G steps outside the g-funk box to help push his genre even further than it had been pushed before, extending into R&B and pop music for this album. Even ten years after its release, I find this album perfect to pop into the player just to chill and relax, especially in the summer. It's sad that it's out of print now, but as it's still widely available, I highly recommend it. Warren G is a musical genius, and I really can't get enough of his production, and if not for the sheer brilliance of his debut, I believe this would have been hailed as the quality music it is. No, it's not Regulate...G Funk Era, but nothing really is, and "Take a Look" is an underappreciated gem of hip hop."