Naughty By Nature Cultivate Garden State Greats

Official release to follow mixtape introducing more than 30 unsigned

SANTA MONICA, California — Unsigned rappers from all over New Jersey are singing, "Hooray! Ho!"

Naughty by Nature, one of New Jersey's most successful hip-hop

exports, have recorded more than 30 local rappers they hope will further put the

state on the rap map.

The Garden State Greats, as they are collectively called, have already

hit the mixtape circuit on an eponymous 40-song CD and DVD expected to

be released officially early this year.

Treach, who co-produced The Garden State Greats with fellow

Naughty by Nature member Vinnie, says the idea came from Fam, a member

of Naughty touring partners Rottin Razkals. "He was like, 'Yo, there's

so much heat in Jersey right now, but it's so hard to get out in the

music industry. We need to use our juice and put it all together on one

project. No discrimination, as long as they're from Jersey.' "

Each track on the double album features a different unreleased artist,

including DTH Mob, Larry-O and Haz the Rippa. Treach and Vinnie appear

only as producers.

"We picked the hottest songs and gave everyone the opportunity to get

out there and tear something up," Treach said.

The DVD includes two videos, production footage and studio outtakes,

said Vinnie, who manages the Garden State Greats' business.

Treach, meanwhile, is finishing a solo album, beginning another Naughty

by Nature record and expanding his film career. He has four movies due

in 2004 — "The Orphan King," "Playas Ball," "Face" and "Smooth

'Till the Game is Dead" — and is talking with former manager

Queen Latifah about a starring project for her production company.

"We're looking at some scripts for the next year," he said. "We're gonna put out three to four a year, even if it's just independent."

As for his solo project, tentatively titled Odiology, Treach

would like to collaborate with friends from the hip-hop community

— but doesn't count on it.

"A lot of people see you, shake your hand, say we're gonna make it happen, but never make it happen," he said. "Whoever comes to the studio, that's the one that's gonna be on our album."

Naughty by Nature's last album, 2002's Iicons, featured

Pink, Method Man and 3LW (see "Treach Calls Naughty By Nature's Track

With Pink 'A Smoker' ").