Naughty city chat

A Conversation with Naughty By Nature Mike Ragogna: Treach! Once we hooked up, every album that we put out always has to have Queen Latifah on it because that's our family. T: The writing is like they always say--if you don't ride a bike for a while, you still never forget. I go into a party even before the DJ knows I'm in there...you'll hear the record and the response from the crowd is just amazing. That record is twenty years old, and when it's played, people are singing it like it's brand new.

So, it's like you're getting an album and an EP for the price of one album, you're getting a deal. Getting with Queen Latifah was the icing on the cake. "I heard you've got a show in LA, you know I'm going to be there." She's always going to show that support and that love. MR: What is the creative process like on a project like ?

Naughty is coming with It will be out this month, December 13, 2011. You've got thirteen new songs, and some throwbacks. When we were New Style, we felt like we had the talent but we needed the political icing on the cake. T: We always get ready to give her enough time to get ready and she calls us.

Even if the albums weren't out, we toured worldwide.

It stamped the brand and the twenty years looking back, and if I was gone at any point in time, I wouldn't be mad.

Are you making a statement overall with this album? I met him at a random gig at the Middle East Café in Boston, we ended up doing a tour with Bob Moses.

T: Yeah, not too many artists have come out in the span of twenty years and put out material that has matters. We had worked with him as students and played with him around town and had a little tour together with him in Israel for three or four weeks, which was pretty amazing.

T: Yeah, that's out, it's getting mad hits right now. If not, then you aren't going to last long in this industry, it's a lot of people but it's a small industry. Impeach The Planet - with Du It All, Black & Fam 13. We played with a few different drummers when we extended the format to a trio and Billy just felt different. MR: There are many who consider Medeski Martin & Wood a prototype for improv, and I kind of think it's freeform meets structured jazz. We needed something, and it's definitely important for marketing or the business side. We've tried over the years to try and figure out what we are and try to fit in, and we realize that we don't and we can't. What you said was pretty good, we have a lot of the spirit of jazz improvised music, a lot of spontaneous composition. Jimmy Smith was obviously one, Larry Young, Jimmy Mc Griff was huge for me; Groove Holmes, Billy Preston--it's pretty much everyone, and I would say Jimi Hendrix was a huge influence on my organ playing.

KG: I would say definitely stay true to yourself and be original. Every song of ours has elements that are different every night, but we use a lot of other influences coming from contemporary dance music, coming from contemporary classical music, and all of the music we grew up listening to. MR: As far as your taste in music, how did that develop?

It seemed like five years that we've been doing it." Thank God we haven't been locked up for years doing the career.

We've always been up in your face with production, whether it was with other groups, whether it was movies.

There has always been a stigma in hip-hop that when you hit thirty, you need to retire, like you're playing sports and your knees are bad. Every other genre has respect even if you're seventy years old. Everybody that hears what we're doing say it's that classic Naughty, but it's not dated. MR: One of my favorite tracks and one of my favorite titles is "Impeach The Planet." T: Yeah that's one of my favorites too man. Come in knowing that you have to put in work to get anything out of it. Rakalam, which I think he goes by now, also did a lot with Billy (Martin) who was the percussionist in his band, and I'd seen Billy with Bob a few different times.

Paul Mc Cartney is just going out on tour again, and he's like seventy something. If the music is hot and you're feeling it, don't think about how long we've been doing it. It doesn't sound like something we've done in the nineties, and it's perfect. KG: Also with the title, it's not like we're putting pressure on ourselves with making anthems. MR: Also "Feel Me Flow" is another one of my favorites. If you just come in like, "I'm an artist," and you say, "I'm not going to do press, or interviews, or be around, and I'm going to be a diva," it will come back on you. Bob is one of those people that talks a lot and tells great stories about the people that he knows and loves.

I've seen things people wouldn't see in thirty lifetimes. Our Muslim brothers and Christians worldwide, we've been traveling to Muslim countries.

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