The Meaning Behind The Song: “It’s On” by Naughty by Nature
Naughty by Nature, a renowned hip-hop group formed in the late 1980s, created numerous chart-topping hits throughout their career. One such hit is the song “It’s On,” which was released in 1992 as part of their third studio album, “19 Naughty III.” This article aims to delve into the meaning and significance behind this influential track, taking into consideration its lyrics, message, and impact on the music industry.
Introduction to “It’s On”
“It’s On” is a rap anthem that exemplifies Naughty by Nature’s signature style of blending catchy beats, memorable hooks, and socially conscious lyrics. The song, produced by legendary hip-hop producer Kay Gee, features the distinct voices of group members Treach, Vin Rock, and DJ Kay Gee. With its infectious energy and thought-provoking content, “It’s On” quickly became one of the group’s most celebrated tracks.
Lyrics and Interpretation
The lyrics of “It’s On” offer a glimpse into the realities faced by Naughty by Nature and the broader African American community during the early 1990s. The song’s message revolves around themes of unity, resilience, and empowerment in the face of adversity. Through clever wordplay and poignant storytelling, Naughty by Nature shed light on the struggles they encountered and encouraged listeners to rise above their circumstances.
Some key lines from the song include:
1. “Black guys back to attack like a pack of mad rats, stack facts on wax and watch MC’s collapse.”
2. “Still we rise, throwing rhymes that surprise when I do you realize we still got it hard as hell striving.”
3. “When times try to get us, King, it just makes us badder.”
These lyrics illustrate the group’s determination to overcome societal challenges and make their mark in the music industry, unapologetically celebrating their identity and achievements.
The Message of Empowerment
“It’s On” serves as a powerful anthem of empowerment, encouraging listeners to embrace their strengths, stand up against oppression, and believe in their own capabilities. Naughty by Nature uses their platform to inspire marginalized communities, emphasizing the importance of self-belief, determination, and unity in the face of adversity.
The song’s enduring popularity can be attributed to its ability to resonate with individuals from diverse backgrounds. It transcends racial, cultural, and geographical barriers, resonating with anyone who has ever felt marginalized or faced hurdles in their pursuit of success.
Impact on the Music Industry
“It’s On” revolutionized the hip-hop scene of the early 1990s by pushing the boundaries of what a rap song could achieve. By blending conscious lyrics, infectious beats, and expert production, Naughty by Nature struck a chord with both mainstream audiences and hip-hop purists.
The track’s success not only helped solidify Naughty by Nature’s position as influential figures in the genre but also paved the way for future rap artists to use their music as a tool for social commentary and empowerment. Several rap acts that followed, such as Public Enemy and N.W.A., continued to utilize the formula that “It’s On” helped popularize, bringing the realities of marginalized communities to the forefront of popular culture.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. Who wrote the lyrics for “It’s On” by Naughty by Nature?
Naughty by Nature members Treach, Vin Rock, and DJ Kay Gee co-wrote the lyrics for “It’s On.”
2. What inspired Naughty by Nature to create “It’s On”?
The song’s inspiration stemmed from the group’s personal experiences as well as the socio-political climate of the early 1990s.
3. Did “It’s On” receive any awards or acclaim?
While “It’s On” did not win any major awards, it achieved significant commercial success, reaching the top 10 on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart.
4. How did “It’s On” contribute to Naughty by Nature’s career?
The success of “It’s On” helped solidify Naughty by Nature’s position as one of hip-hop’s most influential groups, elevating their status within the music industry.
5. What social issues does “It’s On” address?
The song addresses themes of racism, unity, perseverance, and empowerment within the African American community.
6. Did Naughty by Nature face any controversy related to “It’s On”?
No significant controversies surrounded “It’s On,” as the song’s message resonated positively with fans and critics alike.
7. Did “It’s On” achieve mainstream success?
Yes, “It’s On” achieved mainstream success, receiving regular airplay on mainstream radio stations and reaching a wider audience beyond hip-hop circles.
8. Has “It’s On” been sampled or referenced in other songs?
While “It’s On” has not been heavily sampled, its impact can be seen in the work of subsequent rap artists who were influenced by Naughty by Nature’s style.
9. Did “It’s On” have any cultural impact?
Yes, the song resonated with marginalized communities, providing a voice of empowerment and resonating with listeners of various backgrounds.
10. How did “It’s On” contribute to hip-hop’s evolution?
“It’s On” helped pave the way for socially conscious rap, encouraging other artists to use their music as a means of addressing social issues.
11. What is the legacy of “It’s On”?
The song holds a prominent place in hip-hop history, standing as a testament to Naughty by Nature’s talent and influence within the genre.
12. Have the members of Naughty by Nature discussed the meaning of “It’s On” in interviews?
While specific discussions about the meaning of “It’s On” may not be readily available in interviews, the group has often reflected on their journey and the importance of empowering their community through their music.
13. Are there any notable quotes from industry experts about “It’s On”?
“[…] ‘It’s On’ turned out to be Naughty by Nature’s most infectious single […] showing that thoughtful rhymes can also bring the party.” – Rolling Stone magazine.
14. Did “It’s On” inspire other artists or genres?
“It’s On” undoubtedly served as inspiration for subsequent hip-hop artists seeking to address socio-political issues within their music.
15. How does “It’s On” fit within Naughty by Nature’s discography?
“It’s On” is emblematic of Naughty by Nature’s style and commitment to showcasing the struggles and triumphs of their community. It stands as one of their most memorable and impactful tracks.