LONG BEACH, Calif.–A public viewing was held today for rapper Nate Dogg, giving fans a chance to pay their final respects to the Long Beach native whose rap career spanned three decades, but getting into his Saturday funeral will be a little tougher.

Nate Dogg, whose real name was Nathaniel D. Hale, died March 15 at age 41 after a series of health struggles precipitated by a pair of strokes he suffered over the past four years.

Today’s viewing began at 10 a.m. at New Hope Baptist Church, 1160 New York St., in Long Beach.

Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, followed by a 7 p.m. memorial at the Queen Mary Dome, the former home of the Spruce Goose. The funeral was originally expected to be open to the public, but given the anticipated crush of fans, Long Beach city officials announced today that only 1,000 tickets would be distributed to people who called to obtain them.

Tickets were being made available on a first-come, first-served basis to people who call (562) 570-6147 before 3 p.m. today, or until the tickets run out. The first 1,000 people to call will be given details on how to receive the ticket and where to pick up a shuttle to the funeral.

People without tickets were being advised to avoid the area.

Nate Dogg began singing in Long Beach’s New Hope Baptist Church choir, but his rap career began at Poly High School, where he began performing with Warren G and Snoop Dogg.

Nate Dogg made a name for himself on Dr. Dre’s classic album The Chronic, followed by a breakthrough performance alongside Warren G on the smash record “Regulate.” He later released several solo albums, including G-Funk Classics Vol. 1 & 2.