Rapper Warren G is struggling to come to terms with the death of his longtime pal Nate Dogg, calling his passing a "crushing blow".
Snoop Dogg's cousin, real name Nathaniel Hale, died last week (15Mar11) after a lengthy battle with numerous health issues.
Warren G appealed to fans in November (10) asking them to help contribute to the star's medical costs as he underwent a lengthy rehabilitation process following a series of strokes in 2007 and 2008 - and he's devastated his friend lost his fight for life.
He tells MTV News, "I was out on the Sweat Tour with Snoop, and we had got the word from his family on what was going on, and it was just a crushing blow for us.
"Just from going to see him and lifting his spirits up when he was in therapy and stuff like that, it's just crazy for that to happen. And I still don't believe it, you know what I'm saying?"
The star took to the stage with Snoop and Sean 'Diddy' Combs at the South by Southwest festival in Texas on Saturday night (19Mar11) to pay tribute to Nate Dogg, and organisers arranged for a special charity T-shirt to be sold at the show.
But Warren G is struggling to even look at the garment, adding, "It kind of hurts me when I look at this shirt. It's like, 'Damn, that's my homeboy on this shirt.' And I'm hurting, and you know, a lot of people are showing tons of support for his family, for his homeboys, and we really and truly appreciate that. It's real love."