Naughty by Nature are still going strong! After being discovered by fellow New Jersey native and rapper Queen Latifah, the trio (Vin Rock, Treach and DJ Kay Gee) have maintained an undeniable track record, releasing chart-topping party songs since 1991. Today, the “Kings of the Hip-Hop Anthem” are on their 25th anniversary tour around the United States and have promised fans a new EP and documentary this year. The group’s leader, Treach, shared his top 1990s hip-hop tracks exclusively with Us Weekly!
“U.N.I.T.Y.,” by Queen Latifah: “In the era of gangsta rap, where the words bitch and ho were the norm, Queen Latifah brought about the concept of women who demanded to be respected as queens. She took on the topic with respect, poignant lyrics and unity.”
“Mind Playin Tricks,” by Geto Boys: “When the East and West Coast ruled the rap game, Geto Boys proved the South was not going to be shut out. With a melodic track that consisted of lyrics that expressed how life was a mind game that can affect anyone from any walks of life, especially the ghetto.”
“California Love,” by 2Pac, Roger Troutman and Dr. Dre: “The song is still the official California anthem! You felt the hunger and lionlike prowess in 2Pac’s lyrical fire, as he was fresh out of jail.”
“C.R.E.A.M.,” by Wu-Tang Clan: “Staten Island’s lyrical assassins came hard with what sounded like a tasty ice cream truck jingle. It was an immediate smash on the street, showed lyrical finesse and turned the Clan into a legendary group.”
“How Could I Just Kill a Man,” by Cypress Hill: “This California-based group had some of the catchiest hooks and big system knocking tracks of all time, with the raspy voices of B. Real and Sin Dog. The bar was raised on catchy gangsta rap records. With the group, a lot of East Coast fans claimed them and their sound. The rest of the world caught on quick and claimed them."
“All About the Benjamins,” by P. Diddy feat. The Notorious B.I.G.: “This song brought lyrics and floss to the forefront of the game, with the help of Junior M.A.F.I.A. and Puff. The game officially changed when this dropped. It wasn’t just about the beats and lyrics, it was about parties, bosses and big business.”
“It Was a Good Day,” by Ice Cube: “In the gangsta rap–dominated game at the time, Ice Cube flipped the script, and instead of promoting violence in the street, he expressed what the world wanted to hear in a violent time. There are some good days. This wasn’t only refreshing but it opened doors for other artists to make more positive records.”
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