Four years can be a hundred lifetimes in hip-hop, but the times gone by since [B]'Poverty's Paradise'[/B] have failed to quench [a]Naughty By Nature[/a]'s fire....

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Nineteen Naughty Nine: Nature's Fury

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Nineteen Naughty Nine: Nature’s Fury

Four years can be a hundred lifetimes in hip-hop, but the times gone by since ‘Poverty’s Paradise’ have failed to quench [a]Naughty By Nature[/a]’s fire. Producer Kay Gee, and rappers Vinnie and Treach have still found time, after contractual wrangles and a new label, to urgently re-educate ghetto-dwellers.

Of course, the messages are for the hard-headed, so the only sugar-coating done here is in the sometimes mellow rhythms and obscure soul sample loops. ‘Ring The Alarm’ metaphorically warns interlopers they’d be dead on arrival in Illtown, New Jersey; ‘Live Or Die’ teams the trio with members of New Orleans’ No Limit crew to issue an ultimatum (pay your debts by sundown or die); while ‘Thugs & Hustlers’ is a self-explanatory tribute.

Before anyone gets [I]too [/I]scared, the traditional [a]Naughty By Nature[/a] knack for anthemic tunes is still in evidence, as the groovy, sun-kissed ‘Holiday’ attests. But the protest politics that drove their last effort have been made more subtle – only the plaintive ‘Live Then Lay’, the cop-baiting ‘On The Run’ and the solidarity stylings of ‘Would’ve Done The Same For Me’ cut to the bone of contention. Nice one, nonetheless.