NEW YORK — “Are those bullets in your bra or are you … just glad to see me?” Naughty by Nature’s Treach mischievously asked a female extra while waiting for the cameras to roll on the set of his group’s “Feels Good (Don’t Worry ’Bout a Thing)” video.
Stevie Wonder himself could have seen that Treach was up to no good as he held court in the middle of his tour bus Thursday night. Naughty’s resident sex symbol bided his time by watching fellow MC-turned-actor LL Cool J on “WWF Smackdown!” and rapping along with himself as snippets of Naughty’s April 23 release, iicons, blasted out the stereo. (Click for photos from the video shoot.)
“Now this is a real bus,” Fam of Rottin Razkals, who also appears on iicons, laughed as he tried to squeeze his way by an assortment of models, record label people and his homies, en route to the just-as-crowded back lounge. “This is a real party bus.”
Treach, his partner Vinnie and their crew were taking a break on 124th Street in Harlem, parked across the street from the Magic Johnson Theater. They’d been in Brooklyn all day shooting with the clip’s director, J. Jesses Smith, and 3LW, who are featured on the track (see “Pink, 3LW, Tupac To Appear On Naughty By Nature’s Upcoming Album” ). After they filmed shots around the corner in front of the Apollo Theatre, they planned to head to Times Square to shoot even more scenes.
“The concept of the video is we’re out here with 3LW, and we’re kinda seeing through the media that it’s nothing but negativity being flooded to the people,” Vinnie explained. “So Naughty by Nature and 3LW, we the ones that come save the day. We tap into the master controls of all the multimedia and we spread the love. We round up all the troops and do some good again.”
“We came in, we were in the house with our little sisters,” Treach said about the earlier shoot in Brooklyn. “We were watching TV and each channel we go through, we seeing things, a world at war. We just had to get off of that. Lil’ sis had an idea, she started hacking something we ain’t know she knew how to do it.”
“We’re just so glad to be a part of this,” 3LW’s Adrienne said in the trio’s own bus, while getting her makeup done. “We were always fans. Naughty are icons for real.”
Part of Naughty’s star-building power has always been those big party clips — whether they were escaping the heat on their block to go dancing with some bunnies in the snow for “Jamboree,” having Hype Williams erect a monstrous set for “Craziest” or just inviting such friends as Queen Latifah and Eazy-E down for what they consider to be their livest party video, “Hip Hop Hooray.”
“It had everybody out in the streets throwing their hands up in Brooklyn and Jersey,” Vinnie said of that clip.
“It translated,” Treach interjected. “We had to take it to the next level [for this video]. That’s why we’re going to Times Square. We’re having New Year’s Eve in the end of January.”
The guys and the ladies of 3LW are headed out to the West Coast today, finishing up shooting on a helipad located in downtown Los Angeles. “We’re going to have big megaphones out there like we calling out the world,” Treach said.
“To me it’s like every video is like making a movie,” Vinnie said. “We’re creative people from the studio to the video. I guess if you’re not in control of your business then it would get boring. All of this is made from scratch, from us. That’s why it’s always fresh.”
They plan to introduce a fresh new dance to the masses as well, a variation of the electric slide.
“Its called the Naughty slide,” Vinnie disclosed. “It goes from left to right.”
Besides shooting videos, Treach has been spending plenty of time on the left coast politicking with movie execs. His new movie, “Love and a Bullet,” is supposed to be released around the same time iicons hits stores.
“My character is a guy called Malik Bishop,” the East Orange, New Jersey, native said. “He had a distraught life from the beginning. He witnessed his father killing his mother and his father killing himself in front of him. He got shipped around to his family. His father was an ill secret forces killer. He came home, trained his son at a young age. He was messed up from the door. [Bishop] became a contract killer. It has a serious twist to it, a comedy twist, a love story on the side.”