Today in Hip-Hop History: Nineteen Naughty Nine

Today marks the 17th birthday of the fifth studio album released by seminal hip-hop group Naughty by Nature. Nineteen Naughty Nine: Nature’s Fury, other than being a clever play on words, was the only release the group made while under Arista Records imprint. It would also serve as the precursor for the departure of Kay Gee from Naughty, ending the original group dynamic. Regardless, the album served to revitalize the groups recording careers after taking a brief hiatus to pursue other musical ventures.

After releasing Poverty’s Paradise in 1995 to critical acclaim, earning the first ever Best Rap Album award at the 1996 Grammies. While enjoying the success of their album the group was already well into the process of starting their own label, Illtown Records. They assisted former collaborators, the Rottin Razkals, with releasing their debut. Kay Gee then continued to help various groups, but most noticeably the successful R&B groups Zhane and Next, producing a number one hit for Next in 1998.

By then the time was right for Naughty to release a new album, thus Nineteen Naughty Nine was created and released on this day 17 years ago. The single “Jamboree,” with assistance from Zhane, was able to reach 10th on the Billboard 100 and even charted at number one on rap charts, becoming their first song to do so since their breakout hit “O.P.P.” However, despite a resurgence in their musical careers the group faced inner conflict. Fellow member Treach supposedly disagreed with Kay Gee on various financial issues, which eventually caused Kay Gee to leave and form his own label, Divine Mill. Vin Rock and Treach, the two remaining members, would go on to release IIcons with the help of various producers to little avail; the album essentially flopped. 2006 would see Kay Gee rejoin the trio, but their days of hit making were long gone.

As of late the group has officially broken up, having fired Vin Rock for a lack of effort on his part. Although they remain business acquaintances, there will not be another Naughty By Nature record. Therefore, it is even more important to cherish those that they gave us in their prime, the last being Nineteen Naughty Nine, so throw it on today and enjoy a taste of the classics.

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