“Sounds of the City” returned for it second feature performance of the season and did not disappoint. As with other cities, Newark’s has experienced daily rallies since the George Zimmerman acquittal killing of Trayvon Martin. Marchers yesterday gathered on Broad Street, near the Peter Rodino Federal Building, adjacent to the post office and city hall, chanting “No Justice, No Peace, When do we Want it, NOW”. When word spread that the March would end at NJPAC, the arts institution had a decision to make, and made the right call.
Last night, Sounds of the City concert starring Naughty By Nature, was dedicated to the memory of Trayvon Martin. NJPAC CEO John Schreiber said. “NJPAC invites the entire community, including the citizens involved in this week’s peaceful demonstrations, to a special evening of music and remembrance.” The crowd was large, long, attentive, and respectful.
“YOU DOWN WIT O.P.P.?” “HIPHOP HOORAY!… HO!… HEEEEYYYY!… HO!” The Hip-hop Anthem? Naughty By Nature invented it!
The home grown hip hop legends show was energetic, non-stop and covered their classic as well as other noted east coast standards. The Grammy Award winning, Platinum-album selling, New Jersey super-group, Naughty By Nature, which has nearly a twenty-year track record of creating the hits and party anthems that have become the soundtrack to our lives. Their music has smashed through mainstream barriers all while remaining true to the sound, message and grit of the hood. And now, these three kings of the HipHop anthem have formally claimed their titles and named their forthcoming reunion album, “Anthem Inc.” in celebration.
Life is good. Treach, Vin Rock and DJ Kay Gee are doing what they do best: creating undeniably classic, hand-raising, life-affirming, HipHop music. “We wouldn’t have reunited if we didn’t think we could give people that authentic Naughty feeling,” says the group’s master lyricist Treach. Few groups in music can boast a near twenty-year career that has been both consistent and history making. Naughty By Nature, the Grammy and American Music Award winning rap trio, initially called “New Style”, began performing at talent shows and were discovered by fellow New Jersey native and then-emerging HipHop artist, Queen Latifah.
As the marketing genius behind the group, Vin Rock developed Naughty Gear; one of the first HipHop inspired clothing lines, once located on Halsey Street in Newark. When he got a hold of the worldwide web, he mastered it with www.NaughtyByNature.com, further developing and expanding the reach of the Naughty brand.
The Thursday’s event was peaceful and brotherly, and what began as a Naughty by Nature show, turned out to be a reunion of east coast 90′s hip hop coming out to support the effort. Prior to closing Treach acknowledge Travyon Martin, and Tupac Skakur and shared a drink in their name and acknowledge their spirits “When I March, You March, When I Drink, You Drink, When I Smoke, You Smoke. I got you.”
Grammy nominated R&B artist Jaheim made an appearance, Redman, MTV and radio Ed Lover, NJ new up and coming artist ELITS, and many others notable performers.