Naughty By Nature – Interview with Treach

Naughty By Nature

Treach had been elusive for the beginning of April. He seemed to be missing in action until his publicist contacted us and informed us where he had been; it seems that Treach had married his long-time love, Pepa, from the iconic rap group Salt ‘N’ Pepa. Treach surfaced on the Ricki Lake show where I was able to get the scoop on his life, music, and future.

Hello

What’s up partner?

Not much.

Yeah. Sorry we missed you yesterday. I was on the road with my wife. I just got married.

Yeah, I know. Congrats.

Thank you.

When did you decide to tie the knot?

We did it on the 2nd [of April] in Kansas. She was on the road. We just did it spur of the moment at a tattoo shop. Our rings are our tattoos. She got my name on her ring finger and I got her name on my ring finger with barbwires around it. Nobody can cross us.

Did it hurt on the finger?

Man, that shit was like open hand surgery. I’ve got fifteen tattoos, but that was one of the worst ones.

Because it is right on the bone, right?

On da bone! (laughs)

So are you just performing today on the show?

Yeah. We are just performing some new stuff.

How is the new album?

Man. It’s done. It’s mixed, it’s mastered. It’s nineteen naughty nine! Nature’s fury! It has fifteen head bangers on there. I swear, God as my witness, when I’m listening to this I swear there is not one fast forward song on it. You have some where you like or are so-so about, but we had four years to make this album. So we picked the best out of thirty or forty songs. So it is ridiculous. It’s sick. It’s sick how hot it is.

If I wasn’t in Naughty By Nature and I heard the album and I was coming out with something, I’d go back to the studio and do my shit over.

Any plans for all the extra songs left over?

We’re gonna hit ’em back again with another album for like the holiday season. We aren’t playin’. We switched labels so we are on Arista now, so it’s like we can do what we couldn’t do on the other label. We could throw out the “Live Or Dies” and not throw out our bomb single first. So it is more of a rise, not like we’ve got the hottest shit first so the rest of the singles are cool, but the first one was the bomb-bomb. We’re giving them a climb where it just don’t stop.

Is that why you left Tommy Boy?

The bottom line was that they couldn’t afford us. They couldn’t do what we needed as far as marketing and promotions and paying for us for each album. We were too much for them as an independent label, so we just had to make a move and grow.

On top of that you hooked up with Master P. too?

Actually, Master P was sending me some scripts for No Limit films. So we had a contact like that and he gave me a ring and wanted me for me to come down because they were doing a Made Men video with Mystikal in California. So I went out there and made the video and once we were on the set and had a break we talked about us getting Mystikal on our album. We had a slot open for him on one of our songs, so he was like, ‘Alright, let’s shake hands on it. We’ll get Mystikal on your album and how about when you come down, you do something on Mystikal’s album?’ It was like, ‘Let’s do it’. We shook hands and it was on.

Speaking of films, you’ve been doing a lot of film and tv stuff lately.

I just did this film called The Book Of Love: The Definitive Reason Why Men Are Dogs. It’s the male version of Waiting To Exhale. That was directed by Jeff Burr and written by him and Eric George. It’s hilarious. I play a movie director in it. The twist on it is just ridiculous. All the men are getting dogged out by their girls. I just got finished filming Oz, the HBO penitentiary series. I’m in like three or four episodes, and another independent film called Boriqua’s Bond. It will be out this summer.

So do you want to do more film and tv?

Definitely. Tupac gave me my first acting bug in Juice. I didn’t have any lines, I was just an extra, but he gave me my first shot of being on the big screen. Ever since then, I was always looking for the bigger roles and love doing it.

It is like you can slip into a whole different mode. You are a whole different person. It is like a high. You are someone else and the way you get the high is by convincing people that you are that character. The whole acting thing is great. I love it.

It wasn’t to long ago that you guys were the new kids on the block. How does it feel now to have so many rappers say, ‘Naughty By Nature was my influence growing up’?

It is crazy, because we look at Run-DMC, Salt ‘N’ Pepa, Slick Rick, Doug E. Fresh, all of the old school, and we come out now and we realize that a lot of the kids who listened to us were too young to go to parties in ’91. They were too young to drink and now they are like, ‘I love ya’ll. Ya’ll are old school.’ (laughs) We love it. We think about it and we aren’t old school in our terms, but in their eyes we are. A lot of artists that have come up are like, ‘Yo! They out now platinum plus and I was like fifteen when ya’ll came out and my whole style just changed. I was just feeling ya’ll like that.’ It’s so much of a compliment. It’s like when we talk to the homies or the rappers who say that we can’t say enough. What we really want to say is there is no words to explain how good it feels to know that what they are doing today, they were listening to us before they even came out. Our music influenced them to keep doing it. It’s a feeling that stays with you. Some artists come up and act like they don’t know you. They act like, ‘I’m hot right now. I’m the shit. The hell with you.’ I don’t want nobody to bow in front of me or put out the red carpet. I’m the type of person, just say ‘hello’ to me or say ‘what’s up?’ We are in the same music, we are all in the same business, and we are all trying to make money and feed our families. So, I’m like, ‘I’m not hating on you. I don’t have no beef with you.’ It is a competition thing, but at the same time that it is not that deep where we can’t show love.

I mean, we’ve been out since ’91 and I don’t care if an artist comes up brand new and if they sell only one record and I like they material, I’m gonna say, ‘I love your shit. Keep doing it. You might not have came of this time, but don’t quit.’

How different are you as a group now compared to ’91?

Say ’91 we were just starting karate class, right now we ninjas. We’ve mastered our styles. It’s like we flow with the wind and flow to the beat of the earth. It’s not even a question of ‘Damn, we’ve got to go into the studio and make some shit that is hot.’ That’s not even a question. Once we go in the studio, we know we gonna make some shit that is hot. It’s just complete confidence. It’s beautiful. We are at peace with ourselves and we have mastered our styles.

You have a crazy knack for writing anthems. What should people be looking for on the new disc?

If they looking for the anthems, the classic Naughty anthems, then look for songs entitled “Holiday” and “Jamboree”. The thing that is so different about this album is that we’ve written hard-core street songs before, but the difference on this album is our hard-core stuff are anthems. From the hooks and everything. It is hard-core, but it is straight across the board anthems. We concentrated a lot on this album to make the songs, as far as what the street was gonna love, that gave them anthems just like the top forty songs type songs but we wanted to have it with no doubt that it would be off the hook. It is a crowd participation, and an anthem type tip on every song. You can feel it. If we feel the song and we feel the vibe, then we just do it. Now they are more across the board universal.

Do you have more freedom now with the new label?

A lot more freedom. With the old label they wanted the top songs. They wanted to put the singles for all the anthem type songs out, they didn’t want to put out anything that had the street vibe or different. With our new label, we are able to start off and take it to the highest point. We wanted to have just a steady climb to where it just keeps climbing.

Is there a plan for a tour?

We are starting our promo tour this month. This summer is gonna be with who’s hot and who’s out on the road. Even if we ain’t in the States, then we are overseas. We just came back from Brazil and we are getting our paper.

Lastly, what can we expect from Naughty for the year 2000 and how do you plan on bringing in the Millenium?

We bringing it in straight-up Naughty. We are doing our thing. It will be that next level of Naughty. It’s none of that fifty-fifty business; as far as Naughty is concerned, we go a one hundred percent with it.

So you are gonna raise the bar that everyone else for everyone?

Yes.

Good luck.

One Love. Alright.

+ charles craine