Throwback Thursday: Snoop Dogg – “Ain’t No Fun (If the Homies Can’t Have None)” [featuring Nate Dogg, Warren G and Kurupt]
Snoop Dogg’s “Ain’t No Fun (If the Homies Can’t Have None)” is basically all the things Boomers whine about when they say hip-hop is too vulgar. Featuring Nate Dogg, Warren G and Kurupt, this one song basically checks all the boxes when it comes to indecency, and listening with 2021 ears, it is objectively problematic in more ways than one. That being said, it is such a fucking CHUNE.
“Ain’t No Fun” is special because — even though he is credited as a featured artist — it is a song where Nate Dogg takes center stage, providing the opening verse as well as the chorus, and taking up more record time than even the “lead” artist, Snoop Dogg. Nate had songs of his own, but the crooner earned the nickname “King of Hooks” because he was known for delivering iconic hooks as a supporting act to rap stars. “Ain’t No Fun,” despite officially being a Snoop song, feels very much like a Nate Dogg song.
Before we go any further, I’d just like to say that I have always had an issue with artists being credited as “featured” acts on songs where they sing the hooks because — more often than not — the hook accounts for the majority of the song. You know what I mean? Ashanti should have received lead billing on “Always on Time” and “What’s Luv?”; and Rihanna should have received lead billing on “Live Your Life” (where she not only sung the hook but provided a bridge). And don’t even get me started on “Mo Money Mo Problems,” where Kelly Price is uncredited altogether despite having more record time than the Notorious B.I.G., Diddy and Mase.
Any, back to Nate Dogg.
Most album cuts are forgotten, and even when an album cut is considered a highlight on an album, few are popular even among casual fans — “Ain’t No Fun” is among that exalted few. The lyrics of the song — in particular, the chorus — are so well-known and so often-quoted that you’d think it was a radio hit, and I can’t help but credit Nate Dogg’s delivery for making so many people love for this nasty-ass song.
On what would’ve been Nate Dogg’s 52nd birthday, I welcome you to press play and crank the volume all the way up.