Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Naughty By Nature - Naughty By Nature 2xLP - Blue/Yellow Splatter Vinyl

Naughty By Nature - Naughty By Nature 2xLP - Blue/Yellow Splatter Vinyl

Tommy Boy (2021, Reissue)

Every Wednesday, in honor of Ed Lover Dance Day from Yo! MTV Raps, I take a break from rock and roll to write a little bit about hip hop. In the late 80s and early 90s hip hop ruled my musical life. During this often called 'Golden Era' I discovered so much incredible music. As I am slowly replacing the CDs I've had for twenty-five plus years with vinyl copies, I'm going to talk about some albums that had a really important impact on me during some very formative years.

Naughty By Nature is a group that I think deserves significantly more respect than they're given.  When you have a song that's as big a hit as "O.P.P." was, it's easy to try to write them off as a pop leaning, one hit wonder.  Here's the thing though, Naughty By Nature's first album is a pretty incredible slice of golden era hip hop.

The beats are pretty impeccable all the way through.  Upbeat bass line, snare drum cracks and keyboard flourishes lay down a canvas for the vocals, and that's where Naughty By Nature really shines.  Trech is probably one of the most underrated MCs from this time period in hip hop.  He can rhyme fast, slow, complicated, straightforward...there's really not a flow that he can't hit out of the park.  And it's consistent on song after song on their debut.

Then we have the song everyone knows, "O.P.P."  You know, there's plenty of people who would dismiss it as it was so omnipresent in 1991.  I'm not sure how recently most people have heard it, but it's really a hell of a song.  The samples picked, the lyrical flow, any way you slice it's so ridiculously catchy and you'll never convince me that it's anything other than a very deserving hit.  But ultimately, it's still only one great song on an album full of them.  I'm glad this was finally reissued and am hopeful that Nineteen Naughty III gets its own rerelease in the near future as well.  Though maybe they could pick a slightly less garish vinyl color for that one.

Naughty By Nature - Naughty By Nature:

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