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 r... more »hymes 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« less
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
"Watermelon, Chicken & Grits is packed with excellent production. Complete with layered beats of all tempos, lush instrumentation and mind-blowing melodies. These boys are pretty country and one of them sounds like he got a deeper southern drawl than myself and that's pretty amazing considering their location. Country music at its best. These southern boyz are really good rappers, I myself, was surprised that the cd was as good as it is because Nappy Roots virtually came from nowhere ( no pun intended )with Awnaw and stunned a lot of people. But considering that Jazze Pha handled the production of that song, it had to be something special. Exactly like Pha did with Jim Crow ( providing them with a tight beat that perfectly complimented the group and gave them some attention ) he does with Nappy Roots. Although Nappy Roots may be a better group, they still manage put out a classic debut album and, so far, the best album of the year. The production is refreshing to hear and is very unique. I wish the cd notes would have told us who produced each track because they have talent. Each song is diverse and sounds different from the next.Their subject matter is Po Folk talk; food, nappiness, fros, project dreams, cutting, lack of money, gold grills etc. etc. Their execution is excellent, each member gets ample time to shine, and the album flows very smoothly. Tight songs include the single Awnaw, Hustla, Country Boyz, Ballin On A Budget, Kentucky Mud, Blowin Trees, Po Folk, Sholiz...heck all of em are tight. The best song has to be Headz Up with just an exceptional sing along chorus " Shawty where yo head at" and a pure dirty south beat as well as cypher like rapping by Nappy Roots.The cd does have a few minor flaws. First of all, Nappy Roots is a six man collective and I still can't figure out which rapper is rapping because there was no intro to introduce each character and 16 barz of their style and there is very little braggadocio tracks. This is frustrating in the vein that Enter The 36 Chambers was because you didn't know who was rapping. They act like you already know who they are and can recognize the voices. Also in the liner notes it doesn't have which rapper is rapping on which song so again it would be a guessing game. Also there are some voice resemblances. One sounds a little like Scarface and another sounds like Cee-Lo, but the voice is as far as the comparisons go. Also one of the bonus "tracks" is just another stupid skit ( the only one on the album ), which to me makes no sense. These problems definitely don't detract from the cd but they are worth mentioning.Nappy Roots gives the listener a full fledged meal, and further shows that people from the South can rap and produce just as good as anyone else. This cd shows further proof that the South is coming up not only in regular folks eyes, but also in the public's eye as well. I suggest that you get to your nearest record store as quickly as possible and give these country boys a chance. How could it hurt?"
5 Country Boys on the Rise
N. Whitworth | Louisville, KY | 03/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You cannot hate on this album. Even if you don't like this album, you're gonna buy it because it is one of the best debut albums since Bone Thugs-n-Harmony's first album.This rap collective is the definition of "dirty south." One look at their current video, "AwwNaw," will tell you all you need to know about this group: They are in this game to have fun, and make some good music along the way. You will not need to hit the skip button on your cd player at any point while you listen to this album. "Ballin on a budget" is the broke-anthem of the year. This song is so funny that you will want to keep playing it over and over again. "Hustla," "Headz Up" and "Kentucky Mud" are sonme examples of the priceless gems you will find on this cd.Now, since I am from Kentucky, does that mean my review is biased since I want so badly for Nappy Roots to succed? Maybe, but Kentucky hasn't had something to be proud of since....NEVER. If this album is any indication at the success that these five men will have, then we can expect many, many more albums from them in the future."
N. Whitworth | 02/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I cannot remember the last "debut" (I say this because Nappy have 2 independent albums) album by a rap artist to be filled with this much good stuff. It's right up there with Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik by Outkast. There's 20 tracks, minus 2 skits, for 18 songs. Out of these 18, 15 of them are great. It would be impossible to pick out a best, although the ones that shine, besides the hit single "Awnaw," are Set It Out, Country Boyz, Kentucky Mud, Dime Quarter Nickel Penny, Blowin Trees and Headz Up. Skinny DeVille drops some sick flows on almost every track, and every time Prophet grabs the mic, he tears it up. Big V, Scales and B. Stille all hold it down and are all very tight, and Ron Clutch is tight, too, although it seems like he's only on 3 tracks. Anyway, years from now this will be remember as the album that not only put Kentucky on the hip-hop map, but also introduced the world to one of the freshest and most talented rap groups to come along in years. An instant classic, one that you'll be bumpin' for quite a long time."
Nappy Roots...A Classic Group in the Making
Jeff L. | Mad-Town, WI | 03/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, I would just like to clarify that there are SIX (6) members in Nappy Roots, cause one of the other reviewers said 5. Alright, This album was plain and simply the best album that I have bought in a very long time. FINALLY, a rap group that doesn't talk about money and jewelry throughout the damn album! This group is as real as it gets, and their lyrics prove it. Personally, I like just about every track on the cd, but some of my Favorites are "AwNaw", "Headz Up", "Hustla", "Slums", "Po' Folks" and "Start it Over".You can put this cd in and listen to the whole thing from start to finish. "AwNaw" is no doubt the best rap song out right now, the whole thing flows together and combines different styles of rapping. This group has a lot of depth, each rapper with their own style.Ive already explained why this album is so amazing. All I can say now is...GO OUT AND BUY THIS ALBUM RIGHT NOW!-J.L."