Naughty By Nature celebrates 20 years of ‘Hip Hop Hooray’ in NYC

Naughty By Nature celebrates 20 years of 'Hip Hop Hooray' in NYC

Naughty By Nature is one of the most beloved -90s hip-hop acts for good reason.

The trio of Treach, Vin Rock and Kay Gee churned out some of the decade’s biggest hits and were at the forefront of hard-core street-oriented hip-hop’s commercial takeover. Maybe it’s because there was no tragic martyrdom a la 2Pac and the Notorious B.I.G., or maybe Treach never became a celebrated crossover pop culture figure like LL Cool J; but for whatever reason, the boys from Jersey seem to not get their due when great hip-hop acts of the 1990s are brought up.

But on this night in NYC, the trio got a little closer to getting their due.

In 1993, “Hip-Hop Hooray” cemented their status as the premier rap anthem-makers for their generation. The debut single from their second album, 19 Naughty III, the song’s anthemic chorus became one of the ’90s most well-known — rivaled only by the crew’s first huge hit, “O.P.P.” two years earlier.

Naughty By Nature decided to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the anthem’s release with a show at Gramercy Theater in New York City. Prior to the concert, the group held a V.I.P. meet-and-greet at Ben and Jack’s Steakhouse in Manhattan for a select few fans, friends and some media, just to thank everyone for their support over the last two decades. Posing for photos and sharing a huge “Hip Hop Hooray” birthday cake and cupcakes for all in attendance, it was a warm reminder of how far the group has come and how much they are still revered for their body of work.

Once the “warm-and-fuzzies” were over, however — the legendary crew got down to doing what it still does best — putting on a raucous show. Joined onstage by Dres of Black Sheep and A Tribe Called Quest member Jarobi, and with several hip-hop notables peppered throughout the venue, Naughty gave the people what they’d waited for. Naughty By Nature is an act that can still move the crowd — and they have a catalog that dwarfs many of their more-celebrated contemporaries and a fanbase that’s as devoted as any in hip-hop.

 – stereo williams

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