James Bernard
March 05, 1993 AT 05:00 AM EST

19 Naughty III

Current Status
In Season
Tommy Boy

We gave it an A-

Yes, there’s an ”O.P.P.” on this one. ”Hip Hop Hooray” is as catchy as the charttopper this New Jersey rap trio rode to superstardom, only the new flavor is not quite as frisky. 19 Naughty III confirms Naughty by Nature’s position as the catchiest of hard-core rappers. The bass and drum beats stumble over each other here, pushing both rappers, Treach and Vin Rock, to favor dense, intricate deliveries and tough-guy lyrics that are blustery at times.

But these guys haven’t completely conquered their cutesy pop impulses, whether playful (”One potato, two potato, three potato, four”) or risqué (”Oh, where’s my kitty cat?”). And there are some melodies that’ll make you hum now but make you scream after hearing them for the umpteenth time. Get it while it’s fresh or suffer the consequences. A-

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