Finding The GOAT Group: Naughty By Nature vs. Digital Underground. Who Is Better?
“Finding the GOAT Group,” the fourth installment of Ambrosia For Heads’s annual battle series features Hip-Hop’s greatest collectives vying for the #1 spot. Sixty-two groups have been pre-selected by a panel of experts, and one slot will be reserved for a wild-card entry, including the possibility for write-in candidates, to ensure no deserving band of MCs and DJs is neglected. The 2018 contest consists of seven rounds, NCAA basketball-tournament style, leading to a Top 32, then the Sweet 16 and so on, until one winner is determined. For each battle, two groups are pitted against one another with a ballot to decide which one advances to the next round. Though there will be an enormous amount of debate in comments, on social media, in barbershops and text messages, which we encourage, only votes cast in the official ballot or those using the official hashtags on social media count.
Two stars of 1990s Tommy Boy Records do battle. Naughty By Nature goes head-to-head with Digital Underground. It is a cross-country clash from two long-standing, highly influential outfits that packed bars into catchy packages. Your vote will push either group to the next round.
Naughty By Nature
The Grammy-award winning group consisting of Treach, Vin Rock, and DJ/producer Kay Gee created their indelible legacy with multiple timeless singles that transcend the Hip-Hop realm. Naughty By Nature made their calling card with a seamless blend of recognizable R&B samples, boom-bap snares, and joyful call-and-response choruses rooted in Hip-Hop’s party ethos. After years of paying their dues as Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit protégés, Naughty emerged in 1991 with their tryst advocating chart-topper “O.P.P.” They maintained their hit-making formula throughout their ’90s heyday with “Uptown Anthem,” “Hip Hop Hooray,” and “Feel Me Flow.” In the earlier portion of their seven-album catalog, Naughty counterbalanced crossover hits with Hardcore Rap sensibilities on additional hit singles “Ghetto Bastard (Everything’s Gonna Be Alright)” and “Craziest.” Plus, Treach’s signature lightning-quick vocal delivery, erudite street tales, and palatable Pop-worthy medleys were highly influential on the songwriting of Snoop Dogg, The Notorious B.I.G., Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and Eminem. Although N.B.N. has paused a few times for internal conflict, 2016’s “God Is Us” is the latest evidence that this New Jersey outfit is still moving as a unit.
As Hip-Hop’s definitive answer to Parliament-Funkadelic, Digital Underground embodied their main influence’s cartoonish and hedonist nature with some of Rap’s most beloved dance tunes. The sound of D.U. melded ’70s Funk, piano and organ riffs, occasional ’60s Blues Rock samples, and sub-woofer-rattling West Coast bass. The group had various lineups over the years, but their core members comprised of MC/pianist/producer Shock G, rapper Money B, DJ Fuze, and fictitious foil character “Humpty Hump.” At the dawn of the ’90s, Digital Underground churned out their initial string of hits including their party-starters “Doowhutchaylike,” the iconic “Humpty Dance,” and their uptempo romantic jump-off single “Kiss You Back.” They released six full-length albums, but their first two albums Sex Packets and Sons Of The P were significant to putting Oakland on the map as a hotbed for the best cities for Rap’s talent. Plus, their 1991 single “Same Song” will forever be known as the single that exposed the world to Tupac Shakur. Ten years ago, they released Cuz A D.U. Party Don’t Stop, and Hip-Hop fans’ playlists seem to forever agree.
So who is the better Hip-Hop group? Make sure you vote above.