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“The Hard Way” is the only studio album by the West Coast rap group 213, consisting of Snoop Dogg, Warren G, and Nate Dogg. The album was released on August 17, 2004, by TVT Records. The group had formed in the early 1990s, but it wasn’t until over a decade later that they finally released their debut album.
The album features guest appearances from several notable artists, including Xzibit, Nate Dogg’s cousin Butch Cassidy, Kokane, and the late singer-songwriter and rapper Nate Dogg himself. The production on the album was handled by a variety of producers, including Battlecat, Hi-Tek, Kanye West, and Soopafly.
Musically, “The Hard Way” features a mix of gangsta rap and G-funk, with themes of street life, partying, and romance. The album’s lead single, “Groupie Luv,” became a hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 62. Other notable tracks on the album include “So Fly,” “Keep It Gangsta,” and “Another Summer.”
“The Hard Way” received mixed reviews from critics upon its release, with some praising the chemistry between the three rappers and the album’s production, while others felt that the album lacked focus and coherence. Despite this, the album still managed to achieve commercial success, peaking at number four on the Billboard 200 chart and being certified Gold by the RIAA. It remains the only studio album released by 213, due in part to Nate Dogg’s untimely death in 2011.
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