Throughout the month, I am featuring songs which I have always liked, but for whatever reason, never became big hits. Some of them are by famous artists, some are from lesser-known musical acts.
Wickedest Man Alive – Naughty by Nature
When I first listened to Naughty by Nature’s self-titled debut album, it immediately became one of my favorites. I liked just about every song on the album, and played it repeatedly. You have probably heard of the big hits like “O.P.P” and “Ghetto Bastard (Everything’s Gonna Be Alright),” but my personal favorite is “Wickedest Man Alive.”
If I listened to the album without any prior knowledge and had to guess which of the songs became a huge hit, Wickedest Man Alive would have been my choice. It has a catchy reggae-style beat, there are some fun lyrics, and the chorus is supplied by a high-profile guest star in Queen Latifah.
So why wasn’t it a hit? My guess is that after the success of the party anthem “O.P.P.” they wanted to release a “harder” song, so “Ghetto Bastard” became the second single. After that, the song “Uptown Anthem” was featured in the movie “Juice,” so that received a good amount of play as well.
By that point, the group had already finished up with their second album, which contained another mega-hit in”Hip Hop Hooray.” So despite its potential, Wickedest Man Alive was never released as a single and never received much attention from mainstream audiences.
What do you think? Should Wickedest Man Alive have been a hit or does it deserve its obscure status?