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Naughty By Nature Biography:

The group formed in East Orange, New Jersey colloquially referred to as “Illtown” in the 1980s in 1988. They first appeared on the music scene in 1989, releasing an album called Independent Leaders under their then name the New Style. The album generated the minor hit “Scuffin’ Those Knees”. After the release of their first album, the group was mentored by fellow New Jersey native Queen Latifah, 3 and subsequently changed its name.

Their first hit as Naughty by Nature was a track called “O.P.P.,” which sampled the Jackson 5’s hit “ABC” and was released in 1991 on their self-titled album Naughty by Nature. The song peaked at # 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it one of the most successful rap songs in history to that point in terms of crossover success on the pop charts. The song has become well known in pop culture, being mentioned in TV shows and films such as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Malibu’s Most Wanted, Monk, and The Office. “O.P.P.” also gained critical acclaim, being named one of the top 100 rap singles of all time in 1998 by The Source magazine, and being ranked the 20th best single of the ’90s by Spin magazine.

The album also generated another hit called “Everything’s Gonna be All Right” the track was also called “Ghetto Bastard” on some explicit releases. That song detailed the experiences of Treach growing up in poverty, and now rising up to live a better life. Powered by the success of that song and “O.P.P.”, their self titled album went platinum.

Fellow New Jersey native Tony D, accused Naughty by Nature of stealing a sample from his breakbeat album Music Makes You Move and using it on their track “O.P.P.” The matter was settled out of court. Between albums, the group also scored a major hit with the track “Uptown Anthem”, from the soundtrack to the 1992 film Juice. Treach also got a cameo acting role in the film, his first acting role. Fellow rapper 2Pac also acted in the movie, and Treach would befriend him. This led to a long acting career for Treach and a long friendship with 2Pac. When 2Pac died in 1996 Treach made a tribute song to him, called “Mourn You Till I Join You.”.

Later, the group had multiple hits from its third and fourth albums, called 19 Naughty III and Poverty’s Paradise respectively. Both albums reached the # 1 spot on the R&B / Hip-Hop Charts. “Hip Hop Hooray” was a success from the album 19 Naughty III. Its video was directed by Spike Lee and featured other hip-hop artists popular in the early 1990s, including Queen Latifah, Eazy-E, Run-D.M.C., and Da Youngstas. Poverty’s Paradise won the Grammy Award in 1996 for Best Rap Album, becoming the first album to win this award. It also spawned a hit song in “Feel Me Flow” which peaked at # 17 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Four years later in 1999, the group released its fifth album, titled Nineteen Naughty Nine: Nature’s Fury. The album was fairly successful, being certified Gold by the RIAA, and spawned the hit “Jamboree” that peaked at # 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.

After the release of Nineteen Naughty Nine: Nature’s Fury, a dispute regarding finances developed between Kay Gee and Treach, with Treach blaming Kay Gee for squandering the group’s finances. Due to these disagreements DJ Kay Gee decided to leave Naughty by Nature in late 2000. He started to develop his own record label Divine Mill. The remainder of the group, Treach and Vin Rock, released an album in 2002 called IIcons, using a variety of different producers including Da Beatminerz; the album, however, received a lukewarm reception from the public. IIcons is their last album to date.

In May 2006, Kay Gee reunited with Treach and rejoined Naughty by Nature at a concert at B.B. King’s nightclub. They are currently working together on their next album, which will be titled Anthem Inc. In April 2010 they released the song “Get to Know Me Better”, featuring rapper Pitbull, as the first single from their upcoming album. The B-side of the single was called “I Gotta Lotta”. The album is set for release in December of 2010.

In later years, Naughty by Nature started their own music imprint, Illtown Records, and released an album from their proteges the Rottin Razkals. The group (mainly Kay Gee) worked closely with a number of R&B groups over the years particularly Zhane and Next.

They also perform former WWE Executive Vice President of Global Media Shane McMahon’s entrance song “Here Comes the Money”.

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