Here begins the short, sad tale of how I missed a Naughty by Nature concert almost a decade-and-a-half ago.
saved a lot of stubs over the years, but very few unused
tickets. One exception (see above) is for the July 17, 1995 Naughty by
Nature show at First Avenue in Minneapolis. This piece of cardboard is now wedged inside my copy of 1991's Naughty by Nature (Tommy Boy), which is one of the initial albums I ordered from the BMG Music Club. (It arrived before I had saved enough to buy a CD player.)
Hearing the self-titled album today brought back obvious, pimpled nostalgia, but then a couple other things happened: that sweet Jackson 5 sample on "O.P.P.," the prank call skit before "Guard Your Grill," and the underrated banger "Uptown Anthem" tacked on at the end. Hate it or love it, this is where much of today's pop-fused hip-hop was forged.
Part of the reason I saved the unused ticket was that $15 was still a lot of money for a show at legendary Minneapolis club First Avenue, but mostly my friend Dan and I were just so emotionally wrapped up in seeing the guys who created "O.P.P.," "Ghetto Bastard
(Everything's Gonna be All Right)," and "Hip Hop Hooray" --
"Feel Me Flow" is just okay -- that tossing out the ticket would be giving up on a heart's promise to experience the "new-school" legends.
I wasn't old enough to drive during the summer of 1995, and July 17 was a Monday, which meant that our
parents weren't going to drive us the 43.8 miles from Northfield,
Minnesota, to downtown Minneapolis and wait around for a few hours (5 p.m. showtime, no less). Even if we had told our parents that Treach, Vinnie and KayGee were only a few years away from dissolving, things would have ended up the same.
Following their reformation in 2008, I can finally attend a Naughty by Nature show. In 2010 dollars, $25 seems about right. As Bradford Schmidt points out:
Tickets cost only $25 -- a steal when you consider the groups charging
500 percent more cash for 66 percent fewer original band members.
Naughty by Nature, with Prince Markee Dee. 8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 25,
at Revolution, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost
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Postscript: Unfortunately, Naughty
proteges the Rottin Razkals, who released Rottin Ta Da Core in 1995 and disbanded in 2002, are not on the 15-year Hot Tub Time Machine of a bill Thursday
night. Let's roll out with the Razkals' "Hey Alright," which probably can stay in the Clinton Era.