From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
G-Funk, or "Gangsta Funk", is a type of hip hop music that emerged from West Coast gangsta rap in the early 1990s. G-funk (largely derived from slowing down the tempo of funk music) incorporates multi-layered and melodic synthesizers, slow hypnotic grooves, a deep bass, background female vocals, the extensive sampling of p-funk tunes, and a high portamento sine wave keyboard lead—a feature that became the genre’s notable trademark. Additionally, unlike other earlier rap acts that also utilized funk samples(such as EPMD or The Bomb Squad), G-funk often utilized fewer, unaltered samples per song.
This genre was characterized by a generally hedonistic subject matter including violence, sex, and drug use, and a slurred “lazy drawl” that sacrificed lyrical complexity for clarity and rhythmic cadence. G-funk became the premier subgenre of mainstream hip hop for a span of nearly four years (from the release of Dr. Dre's landmark debut, The Chronic, in late 1992, to the collapse of the Los Angeles-based labels, Ruthless Records, Priority Records, and Death Row Records, Sacramento-based label Blackmarket Records, Oakland-based label Jive, and Def Jam West in 1996 and 1997).