Jalen Rose Flirts with Naughty by Nature’s DJ KayGee and Vin Rock in Fun Encounter.

Jalen Rose

Naughty by Nature, the pioneering hip-hop trio from East Orange, New Jersey, has left an indelible mark on the genre both artistically and commercially. Starting out at their high school talent show, Vin Rock, DJ KayGee, and Treach came together to form the group. Originally known as the New Style, they eventually changed their name to Naughty by Nature after their first album.

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Now, they are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their album “19 Naughty III,” featuring their iconic anthem “Hip Hop Hooray.” Their smash hit “O.P.P.” released in 1991 gained further popularity when it was featured in the movie “Sister Act 2,” with modified lyrics.

Their music has also made its way into popular culture, such as Leonardo DiCaprio dancing to “Hip Hop Hooray” in the film “The Wolf of Wall Street.” This recognition affirmed their impact on pop culture.

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As kids, they were influenced by Run-DMC and movies like “Wild Style,” “Beat Street,” and “Breakin’.” Vin showcased his beatboxing and breakdancing skills, while KayGee handled DJ duties. They emphasized the artistry and creativity of hip-hop during those formative years.

Early on, they recognized the importance of branding and took control of their merchandise sales, establishing their own retail store. This self-investment approach became a blueprint for other rappers in the future.

Their connection with fellow Jersey native Queen Latifah proved pivotal as she signed them to her Flavor Unit Management company. Their meeting took place in front of a Roy Rogers chicken restaurant, and their relationship grew from there. They invited Flavor Unit to their own show, where they shared their demo, cementing their bond.

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The group’s dedication to their craft, business savvy, and collaboration with influential figures like Queen Latifah have contributed to their enduring legacy in hip-hop. Naughty by Nature’s journey showcases the essence of the genre and its evolution over the past 30 years.