One demo made its way to Warren G's half-brother, Dr. Dre, who signed Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg to the then-fledgling Death Row Records.
After a three-week trial in 1996, a Long Beach jury acquitted Nate Dogg on one count of armed robbery and couldn't reach a verdict on a second. The rapper maintained the arrests were the result of mistaken identity.
Four years later, he was arrested for allegedly kidnapping his girlfriend from her mother's house, assaulting her and setting a car on fire. The charges were dismissed in 2001, and he pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of possessing an unmarked firearm.
"Boys need fathers and you can't do that in jail," Nate Dogg told The Times in 1996. "Becoming a father changed my outlook and gave me a whole other reason to be around."
In his lyrics in the 1990s, he frequently referred to his then-young sons, Nigel and Nate Jr.
The singer became known for sharp suits and snazzy derbies, and once said he had 230 hats.
"It's just me having fun," he told USA Today in 2001, six years before his first stroke. "You only get one life, and I'm living it."
Information on survivors was not immediately available.