Lke their moniker suggests, the six-man hip-hop group known as Nappy Roots are raw and untamed, yet deeply connected to the musical past. The Kentucky-based collective (Big V, Ron Clutch, Fishscales, R. Prophet, B. Stille, and Skinny DeVille) first made a name for themselves with their two independently released collections - 1998's COUNTRY FRIED CESS and and 1999's NO COMB, NO BRUSH, NO FADE, NO PERM - as well as with live shows alongside such hip-hop stars as Digital Underground, Youngbloods, Jim Crowes, 112, Cashmoney Millionaire, 8 Ball, Ruffryders, MJG, Sole, and Twista. In addition, the group scored with their version of "Riches To Rags (Mmmkay)," which was featured on Atlantic's 1999 release, MUSIC FROM AND INSPIRED BY THE MOTION PICTURE - SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER amp; UNCUT.
Now, with their long-awaited Atlantic Records debut, WATERMELON, CHICKEN, AND GRITZ, Nappy Roots are ready to spread their unique sound and vision from coast to coast. The group's organically funky hip-hop stylings blend serious lyrical science and Dirty South grooves, notably on tracks like the ruminating "Life's A Risk" and the block-rockin' party anthem, "Ballin On A Budget". Produced by such esteemed hip-hop studio whizes as Carlos Broady (The Notorious B.I.G., Lil' Kim, Black Rob, India.Aire), Mike City (Sunshine Anderson, Bilal), the Trackboyz (Abyss), Jazze Pha (Ludacris, Too $hort), and Troy Johnson (Ray-J, Lil' Mo), WATERMELON, CHICKEN, AND GRITZ is likely to propel Nappy Roots to the forefront of modern hip-hop and beyond.
Certified Gold by the RIAA. (4/02)
At a time when digitized beats and crudely consumerist attitudes rule the airwaves, the distinctively organic aesthetic of Kentucky-bred hip-hop sextet Nappy Roots' debut release is refreshing. Rotating MCs flip profound rhymes about growing up in the South and their struggles to be heard, giving a semiautobiographical feel to songs like "Peanuts." "Aw Naw," the first single and arguably the album's catchiest tune, surrounds a dope slice of country life with unique rhythms that fuse banjos and harmonicas with contemporary, bass-filled beats. In a similar vein, "Life's a Risk" boasts some slick introspective lyrics from group member Skinny DeVille, who rhymes about staying away from the pitfalls of street life. In the end, Nappy Roots come out sounding like a harder-edged upgrade of Arrested Development's Southern-tinged roots rap. Let's just hope they don't suffer a similar fall off the face of the earth. --Dalton Higgins