Naughty By Nature at the TLA
Naughty By Nature wrapped up their 26 city 25th anniversary tour with a show at the TLA in Philly on Sunday, February 28th, 2016. While the younger generation of hip-hop fans flocked to The Fillmore to catch a sold-out show by Future (which we also covered), old-school fans hit the TLA to see the legendary trio celebrate a quarter century of classic rap music.
We were thrilled about the show from the moment it popped onto our radar and after interviewing Vin Rock ahead of the performance, our excitement just couldn’t be contained. The crowd at the TLA was, as expected, a little bit older than what you see at most hip-hop shows today. However, the energy from the audience was not at all diminished. When Naughty By Nature hit the stage around 9:40 pm, fans were pumped up and ready to help close out the tour on a high note.
Want to get a crowd hyped from the get-go? Why not open the show with your biggest hit? That’s precisely what Naughty By Nature did, opening with quintessential rap hit, ‘O.P.P.’. The delighted audience sang along to every word. While time has clearly aged the New Jersey native rappers, it has done nothing to quell their energy level or presence on stage. With DJ Kay Gee behind the decks, Vin Rock and (Trigger) Treach bounced around the stage, engaging the crowd, and thrilling their large, on-stage posse.
Treach polled the crowd to gauge their age (asking them to cheer loudly when he mentioned the decade in which they were born). In the end, he determined that the majority of the crowd had been born in the 1970’s and 80’s. Armed with this knowledge, Naughty By Nature asked the crowd who loved 90’s hip-hop and proceeded to drop a slew of classic 90’s hits from a wide range of artists ranging from Montell Jordan, to Wu-Tang, A Tribe Called Quest, to DMX. Fans sang along to every last song, even prompting the rappers on stage to pause for a moment to listen to the audience belt out the lyrics on their own. As the show progressed, Treach downsized his wardrobe from a jacket, to a jersey, to a tank-top. Clearly he was feeling the heat from the fans.
Naughty By Nature sprinkled in their own hits including ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright’, ‘Feel Me Flow’, and ‘Hip Hop Hooray’ and (unlike many modern day rappers) didn’t waste self-indulgent amounts of time talking between songs. It was great to see the fellas on stage, big smiles on their faces, closing out their tour in the City of Brotherly Love. We look forward to their new upcoming EP and relish the flash-back to our childhood that we received at the TLA on Sunday night.
[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]
[Article by David Miller]