Naughty By Nature Digital Biography
Ya down with O.P.P., yeah you know me! Who wasn’t down with "O.P.P." in the early ‘90s? Who didn’t "Hip Hop Hooray" in the clubs waving their hands to and fro Naughty-style? Even those who weren’t born when Naughty By Nature stormed out of East Orange, NJ onto the world stage know their songs word for word. Everybody was down with O.P.P., your grandmother, your teachers and even your pastor knew all the words, although they probably wouldn’t admit it. "O.P.P," "Hip-Hop Hooray," "Ghetto Bastard," "Jamboree," "Uptown Anthem," and "Feel Me Flow," were more than just infectious, chart topping party anthems, these records helped mark and shape the beginning of a unified Hip-Hop Nation.
Since the early ‘90’s, Naughty By Nature (NBN) has created chart-topping party anthems that have dominated Rap, Pop, and R&B charts, all the while staying true to hip-hop. Hip-hop is notorious for short-lived careers, big singles, and one-hit wonders, Naughty By Nature, however, is the exception. The group exploded on the scene during the summer of 1991 with "O.P.P." and "Everything’s Gonna Be Alright" from their self-titled debut, Naughty by Nature. Their second album, 19 Naughty III (1993) featured another crossover smash, "Hip Hop Hooray," which rivaled "O.P.P." as the national catchphrase of the early ‘90s. Their previously released albums: Naughty By Nature (1991 - platinum), 19 Naughty III (1993 - platinum), Poverty’s Paradise (1995 - gold), and 19 Naughty IX: Nature’s Fury (1999 - gold) have sold over 4 million copies combined. Naughty has received the following accolades in their 10 year career: Grammy Award for Best Rap Album, Poverty’s Paradise; American Music Award for Best New Rap Group and a Source Award for New Artist of the Year.
After a two-year hiatus, the international superstars are back and ready to make fans ‘feel good’ again with their new album, iicons, to be released on Naughty/TVT Records. Vinnie and Treach (producer Kay Gee is no longer with the group) have emerged stronger than ever after working with a new stable of producers for this album. "It’s a Naughty record from start to finish. It’s still our formula. We chose producers who we felt could keep our music gritty and street, while at the same time make music that will be able to move hip-hop fans around the world," offers Treach.
As pioneers of party anthems and hip-hop that makes you feel good, it’s appropriate that "Feels Good (Don’t Worry Bout A Thing)" featuring 3LW produced by Allstar was chosen as the first single for the album. "The new album promises to deliver fresh party anthem songs that Naughty is known for. We definitely have some club bangas on this for our fans who like the catchy hooks," says Vinnie. Method Man & Redman get us ready for the clubs with the adrenaline laced "Rock N’ Roll," and Rottin Raskalz, (Naughty By Nature protégés) keep us there on the rabble-rousing "Rah Rah" both produced by Griff & WOK. While you’re on your way to the next spot, ride along with Rottin Raskalz on "NJ to LA," and soon you’ll be humming the sing-songy "Red Light" featuring Queen Latifah and "Swing Swang" both produced by Allstar. Just as you’re about to party-hop to the next dance floor, Icarus (Redman’s artist) keeps you transplanted with "Ashes To Ashes" produced by DJ Twinz. OK, it’s time to go, but you can figure out where you’re headed next, so Pink helps you decide on the flirtatious and naughty "What U Wanna Do." When you’re ready to mellow out, Carl Thomas smoothes it out on the laid-back and fluid Beatminerz produced, "Naughty By Nature."
In addition to his lyrical skills and modeling career, Treach has emerged as one of Hollywood’s favorite young actors. He’s garnered critical acclaim for his roles in Jason’s Lyric, HBO’s prison drama, OZ, First Time Felon (HBO original film) and television’s New York Undercover. His acting career began in 1990 when his friend, the late Tupac Shakur helped him land a part in Juice. Since his role in Juice, Treach’s acting range and roles have expanded beyond the typical "rapper in a movie" stereotype. "A lot of casting directors just see me as being hardcore and street," Treach explains "but I make sure that I play different roles each time so I don't get typecast." While music remains Treach’s first love, acting excites him. "With acting I have to get out of my body and not be Treach. I have to be someone else and it's cool to make that transition."
The Hollywood buzz on his pivotal performance in his first lead role in Sony/Screen Gem Picture, Love And A Bullet has definitely made Treach one to watch for. Two of his films Empire co-starring John Leguizamo and Face, an independent film have both been accepted into the Sundance Film Festival. Treach co-stars with Danny Glover in Spike Lee produced 3 A.M.; and with Omar Epps, Dana Delany, and Charles S. Dutton on Showtime’s Conviction. While Treach continues to take Hollywood by storm, he continues toco-host the syndicated television show The Source All-Access and has a recurring role on Showtime’s Soul Food and HBO’s new series Baseball Wives.
As international superstars, Naughty By Nature’s celebrity status has taken them all around the world, yet their commitment to young people has remained steadfast. Vinnie Brown, the creative and marketing wiz of the group, has grown into an amazing public advocate. His dedication to the empowerment of young people has been unwavering. Over the past year, he’s worked directly with the Mayor of his home city, East Orange, NJ to take his message of empowerment to high schools. In conjunction with the East Orange School district, Vinnie is working on implementing a comprehensive district-wide multimedia/communications program to train young people to create television programs on local access cable channels. Whether the topic is career development, sex, family or community, Vinnie’s goal is to use his celebrity to create a safe place for kids to talk about and resolve issues. His passion to do his part in the fight against AIDS has spearheaded Naughty By Nature’s involvement in various AIDS related events including the AIDS Dance-a-thon’s in New York and San Francisco. Treach is also a huge supporter of the Black United Fund, an organization that raises money to support Black American organizations that promote opportunity, growth and change. Through their celebrity, Vinnie and Treach hope to set examples that fame means more than having a nice ride, it’s also about being responsible to your community. Vinnie notes, "It's not just about the riches, it's got to be about what you plan to do with your life and how you can use your influence and experience to help someone else."
Naughty By Nature has dominated the Rap, Pop, and R&B charts all the while staying true to real Hip-Hop and to themselves. As hip-hop’s icons celebrate their 10th year anniversary with their forthcoming album, iicons, Naughty fans can rest assured that everything’s gonna be alright now that Naughty’s back.
Naughty by Nature pulled off the neat trick of landing big, instantly catchy anthems on the pop charts while maintaining their street-level credibility among the hardcore rap faithful; one of the first groups to successfully perform such a balancing act. The group was formed in East Orange, NJ, in 1986, while all three members -- MCs Treach (born Anthony Criss) and Vinnie (born Vincent Brown), and DJ Kay Gee (born Keir Gist) -- were attending the same high school. Initially called New Style, they began performing at talent shows and were discovered by Queen Latifah a few years later; she signed the group to her management company and helped them land a deal with Tommy Boy Records. Naughty by Nature's self-titled debut was released in 1991 and produced an inescapable Top Ten hit in "O.P.P." (which supposedly stood for "other people's property," though a close listen to the lyrics revealed that the second P represented male or female genitals). "O.P.P." made Naughty by Nature crossover stars, yet their ghetto sensibility and gritty street funk (not to mention Treach's nimble rhyming technique) made them popular in the hip-hop underground as well. Treach began a secondary acting career in 1992, appearing in Juice; he would go on to supporting roles in The Meteor Man, Who's the Man?, and Jason's Lyric, among others. Naughty by Nature repeated their success with the 1993 follow-up album, 19 Naughty III, which produced another ubiquitous crossover smash in the "hey! ho!" chant of "Hip Hop Hooray"; the album hit the Top Five and, like its predecessor, went platinum. 1995's Poverty's Paradise was the group's final album for Tommy Boy; though it didn't spawn any major hits, it went on to win a Grammy for Best Rap Album. A recording hiatus of several years followed; during that time, Treach pursued his acting career, most notably landing a recurring role on the HBO prison drama Oz; and Kay Gee greatly expanded his outside production work, helming records for Zhané, Aaliyah, Krayzie Bone, and Next, among others. Even outside of music, the group made headlines; in 1997, both Treach and Vinnie were arrested in Harlem for illegal weapons possession, and, in 1999, Treach married Pepa, of Salt-N-Pepa (a union that would dissolve two years later). Also in 1999, Naughty by Nature finally returned with a new album on Arista, titled 19 Naughty Nine: Nature's Fury. "Jamboree," featuring Zhané, was a sizable hit, but though the group looked to be back on track, Kay Gee departed to concentrate full-time on his production career. Treach and Vinnie struck a deal with TVT, and the first Naughty by Nature album as a duo, IIcons, was released in early 2002. Momentum slowed for the group by the latter half of the 2000's, but in 2011, rumors circulated that Naughty by Nature were working on a comeback album, titled Anthem Inc. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
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