Plug The Producer: Kay Gee
By Stereo Williams
In Naughty By Nature, superproducer Kay Gee (born Keir Gist), is a force. He's the mastermind behind the group's ridiculously infectious sound; the guy who merged shrewd sampling with some of the most distinct keys and basslines in the rap game. After his group's initial success, Kay Gee branched out into R&B, and found even more success helming hits for artists like Zhané and Next.
When you look back at the 1990s, when it comes to Black radio of the era, Kay Gee's sound is the sound of summer. From "Hip-Hop Hooray" to "Hey Mr. D.J.," his songs were anthems for the warmer months.
You won't see either of those uber-classics here, but that's no diss. It's just evidence of how many bangers Kay Gee has under his belt. We picked five of our favorites.
"Uptown Anthem" - Naughty By Nature
First appearing on the hit soundtrack for 1991'sJuice, this Naughty banger featured one of Kay Gee's slickest basslines--and evidence of the reggae influence present in much of his work with his famous group. The bassline was so catchy that2Pac(who cameos in the music video here) borrowed it for his 1996 song "Bomb First."
"U.N.I.T.Y." - Queen Latifah
This anthem was almost the "R.E.S.P.E.C.T." of the 1990s. Latifah's iconic single features Kay Gee flipping "Message From the Inner City" by the Crusaders into one of the Queen's most beloved songs.
"Sending My Love" - Zhané
You have to respect the greatness of Jean and Renee. One of the 1990s best R&B acts, this duo from Jersey jumped out the gate with a string of classic singles, including this one, from their debut album.
"Feel Me Flow" - Naughty By Nature
Naughty By Nature's effervescent summertime staple is one of their best singles, and a perfect example of how Kay Gee's melodicism and Treach's flow have always been a match made in Hip-Hop heaven.
"Just In Case" - Jaheim
A Hip-Hop soul classic, this ode to street love is one of Kay Gee's best R&B moments (and he has no shortage of those.) Jaheim's gritty and soulful voice floats over Kay Gee's groove. One of the best R&B tracks of the early 00s.