UPDATE: Vin Rock and DJ Premier agree that 20 years is too long, and Illtown meets the Gang Starr sound for their next album.
Naughty by Nature have set a May 17 release for their first studio album since 2002's IIcons, Anthem Inc.
The album, which will drop on Illtown Records, signifies the 20th anniversary of the group, as well as the 15th anniversary of its Grammy for Best Rap album, the first of its kind.
"Anthem Inc. is our way of saying thank you to our incredibly loyal, global fan base for their support over the last 20 years," said Vin Rock of the release. "With a few classic tracks re-recorded and brand new bangers, the album will give listeners a 'Then and Now' perspective of our career.
The group began promotion by performing a medley of songs, in addition to their new single "Flags," on "Late Show with David Letterman" on Thursday (February 3).
Their latest single, "Flags," has been released in two video versions, the "Life Cut" and the "Death Cut," which contain alternate endings. The former guest stars Ice-T, as he helps the video's protagonist make the smart decision and get out of the street life. In the latter, the character is not so lucky.
"The 'Death Cut' depicts what occurs when one makes bad decisions in the face of adversity," explained Vin Rock. "Unfortunately, this is the reality youth are facing across America. We will use both versions to open up the dialogue in our community. We must step up to curb the self-inflicted genocide in our culture."
Naughty by Nature will be going on tour this year, making stops in the U.S., Europe and Australia.
Dates confirmed thus far are below:
2/12 - New Orleans, LA @ Lake Front Arena *
2/18 - Philadelphia PA @ Liacouras Center *
2/19 - Baltimore MD @ 1st Mariner Arena *
3/18 - New York City, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom
3/25 - Richmond, VA @ Richmond Coliseum *
4/9 - Milwaukee, WI @ Milwaukee Theatre *
5/21 - Minneapolis, MN @ Cabooze
* As part of Salt-n-Pepa's "Legends of Hip Hop" Tour
UPDATE: This week, Naughty By Nature visited released a video of a radio appearance. "We gonna figure out, why in the hell [after] 20 years, we ain't worked with him," Vin Rock said upon meeting DJ Premier at his Serius Satelite Radio show Live From The Headquarters, which did a tribute show to the East Orange, New Jersey trio. On the show, Premier agreed, "Twenty years is the best time. I'm all in count me in. I'm all in."
Previously, Naughty By Nature had worked with Gang Starr affiliate Bumpy Knuckles on their 2002 IIcons album.
The video can be seen below: