Naughty By Nature

  • Hip Hop trio formed in 1986 from East Orange New Jersey. Members are Treach (born Anthony Criss), Vin Rock (born Vincent Brown) and DJ Kay Gee (born Keir Gist).
  • The 3 teenagers were attending the same high school in New Jersey, and at ages 16 and 17, they formed a rap group called The New Style. After performing for several years, they landed a record deal, and their debut album, Independent Leaders, was released in 1989. Their work was noticed by rapper Queen Latifah, who mentored them. They soon changed their name to Naughty By Nature. They began to sample other songs in most of their rap songs, which increased their popularity.
  • Their second album was their breakthrough, the self titled Naughty By Nature, released in 1991.The hit single O.P.P. peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #1 on the Rap chart, making it one of the most successful crossover rap songs ever. The album eventually sold over 1 million copies in the U.S.
  • Their next album, 1993’s 19 Naughty III, also attained platinum status, reaching #3 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and #1 on the R&B album chart. It contained the hit Hip Hop Hooray, which has become an anthem for lovers of hip hop. Samples in the song include Funky President  (James Brown), Don’t Change Your Love (Five Stairsteps), Make Me Say It Again Girl (Isley Brothers) and Sledgehammer (Peter Gabriel).
  • In 1995, they released their fourth studio album, Poverty’s Paradise. It won a Grammy award for Best Rap Album – the first year this category was included in the Grammys. The album was their second to reach #1 on the R&B chart, and the single Feel Me Flow reached #17 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the Rap chart.
  • The group’s final top 10 single was Jamboree, released on the album Nineteen Naughty Nine: Nature’s Fury. The song also reached #1 on the Rap chart.
  • In 2000, DJ Kay Gee left the group over a dispute over finances. Treach and Vin Rock released an album in 2002, IIcons. It only sold modestly, and the group disbanded later that year. By 2006, they reunited, including DJ Kay Gee, and they began to perform and record again. In 2011, they were the first hip hop group to perform at Fenway Park in Boston, and later that year their most recent album, Anthem Inc. was released. They broke up again in 2013, then reconciled in 2015, and occasionally they perform in concerts.
  • Naughty By Nature was one of the few hip hop groups that somehow could cross over to mainstream, and still maintain their street credibility in the rap music world. “Hey…ho…hey…ho” – here’s Hip Hop Hooray. 

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