Nineteen Naughty Nine: Nature's Fury

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....

Four years can be a hundred lifetimes in hip-hop, but the times gone by since 'Poverty's Paradise' have failed to quench Naughty By Nature'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 too scared, the traditional Naughty By Nature 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.
7 / 10

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