By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
Who's down with O.P.P.? Everybody.
For more than 20 years, Naughty by Nature has been touring the world off the strength of that crossover hit on its first album. Now fully independent, the group has a new album, Anthem Inc., in stores and is prepping to party at New Times' Brew at the Zoo this Saturday. We caught up with Naughty by Nature's Vin Rock to talk New Kids on the Block, Uncle Luke's delicious shrimp, and taking fans to King of Diamonds.
New Times: Congratulations on 20 years. That's a real accomplishment in music or any industry.
12400 SW 152nd St.
Miami, FL 33177
Category: Attractions and Amusement Parks
Region: South Dade
Vin Rock: All right. It's been a long time, but it's been great.
What is Naughty Kids on the Block?
It's just a collaboration with us and Donnie Wahlberg. Around 2010, Donnie called us out to make a surprise appearance during a New Kids on the Block set. The marketer in me thought of combining our logos. I showed up in a Naughty Kids on the Block T-shirt, and their fan base took to it, so it's kinda got a life of its own.
Has anybody given you shit for it?
We're comfortable in our skin. If you're too nervous in yourself or insecure, then you ain't gonna get it. But Naughty by Nature toured with Marky Mark and New Kids back in the day. We have a rougher edge, but we also got "Hip Hop Hooray," "Feel Me Flow," and that lends itself to the more crossover and pop side. When you're nervous in yourself, you don't succeed. You got to believe in your fan base. We always kept a real rapport with the New Kids guys. They're real hip-hop fans.
What is your history with Miami?
It's been incredible. We used to do all the spring break parties in Daytona Beach. And after that, we would come down to Miami and get on South Beach and Jet Ski. Miami has always been a big market for us too. We toured a lot down there when 2 Live Crew was around, when "O.P.P." was red-hot. I remember Luke brought us down there to his club, right there when you come over the bridge; we did "O.P.P." and the whole set. The whole crowd, they were like, "Bring out the girls!" and banging on the stage. I remember, too, he had some of the best shrimp there I ever had in my life.
What is your label situation now?
We're totally independent. We're self-contained. We have a booking agent, management, viral-video guys. We have website developers. That's the infrastructure. That's the team. Nowadays, you are the label, and you can operate as a label if you assemble the right team. Artists don't realize, they still cryin' and complainin'. But for us, we're international, and we have a lot of allies.
If Naughty by Nature did a VIP fan experience in Miami, what would it be?
We would do something with the Heat and King of Diamonds. And you got all that water, so we could do a yacht or something sexy. Miami is a beautiful playground.