Don’t Sleep on Treach – What’s Your Favorite Naught By Nature Anthem?
There’s no dodging it—this entire week has been Recovery central. Literally every minute spent in the XXL’s offices this week has been dedicated to blasting Eminem’s latest in my iTunes, and, frankly, the damn thing just keeps sounding better and better.
I went into this blog week hoping to come up with some left-field ideas akin to some of my past blogs here; the one where I paralleled rap crews such as Young Money and G-Unit to Shirley Jackson’s amazing short story “The Lottery,” or dreamt up a few rapper/author collaborations in the vein of 50 Cent and Robert Greene. But then Recovery surfaced online, and all mental innovation was abandoned. “Almost Famous” and “Cinderella Man” established permanent residence instead.
And for that, I apologize, XXLmag.com heads. You deserve more than one-sided blog posts; I got you next time, with five posts instead of only three.
Since it’s Friday, and my weeklong presence is about to dissipate into a weekend full of Cuervo shots and icy Coronas (that’s how we do in Hoboken, y’all), let’s wrap things up in my beloved home state of New Jersey. Specifically, in East Orange, the native land of Naughty By Nature, one of my favorite groups back in the day.
Treach (one of hip-hop’s most overlooked lyricists, ever); Vinnie (the perfect sidekick); and producer/DJ Kay Gee (who had dope beats by the pound). 19 Naughty III is a slept-on classic, folks; it’s time to accept that fact and spread the word. Let’s not forget about Poverty’s Paradise, which I’ll forever remember as the first CD I ever skipped school to buy (in those wonderful Nobody Beats The Wiz days); just don’t tell my parents about that, okay?
I could write a dissertation on the summer jam genius that is “Feel Me Flow,” but that’s for another time, another blog week. Today, let’s pay attention to Naughty’s comeback record, “I Gotta Lotta,” which made its way online earlier this week, somewhat inconspicuously. To put it bluntly, this ish knocks; it’s that “Dirt All By My Lonely” disposition recaptured and done right. I’d be lying if I said I knew that Naughty had this kind of resurrection single left in them; that pie smushed across my face right now tastes quite good, though.
“I got a chip on my shoulder that Bill Gates ain’t make,” says Treach. And who can blame him? Dude is never regarded as an all-time great lyricist, even though his resume is a hit parade. There’s no shame about it—this entire blog post is meant to showcase “I Gotta Lotta,” and nothing more.
So, as the weekend begins, let’s all salute Treach, Vin Rock and Kay Gee. Track down a mp3 of “I Gotta Lotta” and bump that ish out your car speakers. Or, revisit one of the following Naughty gems from the past, three choice NBN tunes handpicked by yours truly. —Matt Barone
“Feel Me Flow”
Even though it’s a bit cool here in NYC, it’s still the beginning of summer; here’s the perfect way to get in that mood.
Treach trading bars with Freddie Foxx…fantastic!
No explanation needed; this is an undeniable hip-hop classic.
Rottin Razkals “Ah Yeah”
Naughty’s one-time protégés; I loved this record so much that I bought the full Razkals album, which, sadly, wasn’t totally up to snuff.
From the film Juice. One of the best soundtrack singles ever? Yup, one of the best soundtrack singles ever.
To paraphrase Ol’ Dirty Bastard: “As hard as Naughty gets.”
I just love the way Treach opens this track up with such ferocity.