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
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."
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
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"
"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
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).