Hip-hop icon Warren G and director Karam Gill on what makes a great story

What’s the Story? is a storytelling video series dedicated to learning what truly makes a great story, told through the lens of the world’s talent and practitioners of the craft in entertainment, marketing and beyond.

Earlier this year, hip-hop legend Warren G and director Karam Gill released G-Funk, a documentary that details the rise of g-funk in the 1990s and the impact the West Coast sub-genre has had on both music and culture.

The documentary, which Warren G co-wrote, produced and composed music for, debuted as SXSW this year. Featuring interviews with Snoop Dogg, Ice T, Russell Simmons, and Wiz Khalifa, the 87-minute film chronicles the vital role that Warren G - whose 1994 hit ‘Regulate’ featuring Nate Dogg quickly became one of the most popular hip-hop songs of all time - played in the g-funk movement.

At SXSW, The Drum sat down with both Warren G and Gill to find out what they think makes a great story. For Gill, great stories are paced well and rooted in relatable experiences. Warren G said he believes great stories often involve “trials and tribulations” that people can relate to and empathize with — and also open doors to other people and experiences.

Warren G added that G-Funk is the best story he’s ever told because it’s true.

“It’s one of the best stories I’ve ever told because it’s real,” he said. “It’s uncut.”

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Minda Smiley

Minda Smiley is a reporter at The Drum covering creativity and advertising. Based in Philadelphia, she primarily covers independent agencies and B2B marketing. She also oversees The Drum’s “Independent Influence,” a weekly series that spotlights the work, perspectives and inspirations behind independent agencies. During her time at The Drum, she has covered industry events including SXSW, ANA Masters of Marketing, 4A’s Transformation and C2 Montréal. She is a graduate of the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism.

All by Minda