Naughty By Nature's Kay Gee

Kay Gee, DJ and production specialist for rap combo Naughty by Nature,

has spun winning tracks since the early '90s.

This year Naughty by Nature returned after a few years off, releasing

the double-length LP Nineteen Naughty Nine: Nature's Fury.

Kay Gee was born Kier Gist 30 years ago today in East Orange, N.J. He

and his bandmates, rappers Treach and Vinnie, were all raised in the

same East Orange neighborhood.

The trio teamed in high school to enter a talent contest. So great was

the response to their rap performance that they decided to try a

professional career.

Naughty by Nature got their big break when rapper Queen Latifah

accepted an invitation to attend a party where the group was performing.

She liked what she saw and arranged for them to join the Flavor Unit

Management crew of artists, which included the Queen herself, DJ Mark

the 45 King, Lakim Shabazz, Freddie Foxx and others.

Tommy Boy Records issued Naughty by Nature's Grammy Award-nominated

1991 self-titled debut, which featured "O.P.P."

(RealAudio excerpt).

The track, which mixed rap with samples from the Jackson 5's

"A.B.C.," shot to #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #5 on the

R&B chart. Although the group claimed the letters stood for

"other people's property," the lyrics of the record show one "P" stands

for "penis" or "pu---." The multiplatinum single spawned a wave of

bootleg T-shirts and hats reading "Down Wit OPP."

Naughty by Nature took advantage of this interest and opened a Newark

clothing store, with proceeds going back to the community. The group

also contributed "Ghetto Anthem" to the soundtrack to the movie "Juice."

The Source magazine named the group 1991's New Artist of the

Year.

The top-five 19 Naughty III followed in 1993, and spawned the

top-10 hit "Hip Hop Hooray." Spike Lee directed the song's video, and

Naughty by Nature performed it in the film "Who's the Man?"

Poverty's Paradise (1995) went top-five, but was less esteemed

by critics than its predecessors. This year the group returned with

the retrospective Nature's Finest: Naughty by Nature's Greatest Hits

and issued Nineteen Naughty Nine: Nature's Fury, featuring

"Dirt All By My Lonely," "Jamboree"

(RealAudio excerpt),

"Live or Die" and "On the Run."

In July the group performed with Coolio, Warren G and others at an

all-star hip-hop benefit at Los Angeles' Great Western Forum. They

also performed this month at the fifth annual Soul Train Lady of Soul

Awards.

In addition to his work with Naughty by Nature, Kay Gee began the

Divine Mill record label and was executive producer of its first

offering, Rated Next, 1997's multiplatinum debut by rappers Next.

Other birthdays: Signe Anderson (Jefferson Airplane), 58; Kelly Keagy

(Night Ranger), 47; and Roy Acuff (1903-1992).