Naughty by Nature: Back Like They Never Left

Monday, 02 November 2009 20:28 Written by  Brittany Rodgers

Naughty by Nature is a Grammy Award-winning hip hop group who first came onto the scene in the late 80’s. They were originally called “Illtown,” but later changed their name after being under the influence of Queen Latifah. Their repertoire of hit songs include “O.P.P,” “Hip Hop Hooray” and “Jamboree.”

nnNaughty by Nature is well-known for having hit songs on pop charts and creating party anthems. The group continues to be a picture of success and has no plans of stopping any time soon.

At the 5th Annual Global Mixx Music Retreat, the iconic hip hop group spoke to an audience of up-and-coming artists about marketing and branding in the digital age. Afterwards, Treach and Vinny took time with GMO to discuss new music, individual projects and their thoughts about the event.

GMO: What music is Naughty by Nature working on currently?

Treach: Right now we are working on the Naughty new album titled “Anthem Ache,” and we have two new singles we are working on. The lead single is “Get to Know You Better.” We don’t have a release date for the album yet. We’re just going to release enough singles so the people can come to us and be like, we’re ready for that album.

GMO: What have you been working on individually?

Treach: I’m still doing the movies and stuff right now. The new “Law and Order” just came out. “A Day in a Life,” Sticky Fingaz’s new movie, 50 Cent’s new movie “Self-Destruct.” It’s a catalog right now. We doing our thing. More Naughty singles are going to drop, more movies and more production with KG (the third member) is back. He is doing the majority of the tracks on the album, and he has his new Jaheim out. We are definitely going to be out on the scene.

Vinny: The core of the Naughty by Nature business is our touring, marketing and merchandising. This is really our first album with all three members since 1999. Big project! We left our fans hanging in a sense; we have a lot of friends that like our music, and they would like to see more consistency from us. The last album was in ’99; that was 10 years without a Naughty album. We owe it to the fans. We’re going to get back together and make some more good music.

GMO: Are there any features on the new album?

Treach: Right now it’s really not too many features. When you’ve been out the game for a minute, people question you or they want to be associated with the newest and hottest in the game. We not mad; it’s not personal. We don’t want to have a big collaboration album when it’s like, ‘Is this Naughty’s album or someone else’s because it’s so many people on the album?’ We want to give you that Naughty album that will have quality collaborations. We did a few, but I don’t want to mention them because you know how politics go.

GMO: How does it feel to be back in the game?

Treach: We never left. We do about 100 to 150 shows a year since 1991. It’s like we out there. Just to be back on that vibe working on the new Naughty album is phenomenal; this is what we love doing.

Vinny: We are competitors. Just like in the 80’s when we were first trying to penetrate the industry, we felt like whatever was out there, we could compete with it. So now that we had a taste of what it’s like to be out here, plus we see what’s going on as competitors, we’re like we can compete with all these guys. I’m not worried about that. Matter of fact, I look at the game and I’m happy. I’m like, wait till we finish.

GMO: How do you feel about the panel discussion?

Treach: One thing that’s good about these types of panels is not only do you come to give artists information that they like, but you learn from other panelists and you learn from the questions that you hear. There are artists out there who are trying to learn something, so it’s like I come here like a sponge. I try to absorb everything and give out as much as I can.

When we came up back at conventions, we learned so much about how to sharpen ourselves, get more professional and more independent. That’s the most important thing to learn. Now everything is rock bottom. The recession hit everybody and everybody is losing out. It’s better for you to be more independent and money your own things. These sessions are training artists to be more business savvy.

GMO: What did you think about some of the artists who are at the retreat?

Treach: The funny thing is we were just talking about the Money Bag Boys; they have a part on their hook where nthey shout us out. We were there for the record before the hook even came on. We were rocking to the song at first. I love it because the hunger is still there in hip hop, and I like it because it’s not just industry people. Regular people are coming now; artists are even recording differently because everybody can’t be the same.

GMO: What is some advice you would give to artists now?

Vinny: I would say it’s definitely hectic out here as an artist. When we came out, there was “X” amount of artists, but now there are so many artists out there in the market. It’s just so crowded that you really have to be on top of your game. I understand a lot of people are aspiring artists, but you can’t put all of your eggs in one basket. It’s like you can pursue this music thing, but I say use it like a hobby like we did. We used it as a hobby; we went to school every day, worked every day. We ended up on the streets, but we still sustained ourselves. We were getting our lights turned off, stressing out our baby mama’s and our families. It’s like you have to get a job to sustain yourself while you pursue this music. That is the most important.


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Brittany’s facts: Brittany Rodgers was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A student at Columbia College, majoring in Broadcast Journalism, but has a passion for writing. She can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


*Pictures from the 5th Annual Global Mixx Music Retreat, featuring GMO Staff Writer Brittany Rodgers.

Brittany Rodgers

Brittany Rodgers

Brittany Rodgers is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism. She has written for a variety of publications, including The Chicago Tribune and Chicago Defender newspaper. She also is a blogger and enjoys social media.

Brittany can be contacted at