One of the biggest benefits to the BET Hip Hop Awards being held in Atlanta is the BET Hip Hop Awards being held in Atlanta. The peachtree city is, after all, the mecca of Southern Hip-Hop and the breeding ground for some of the most famous country spitters of all time.
Remember a little, ingenious conglomerate called Organized Noize and their Dungeon Family? Especially in the 1990s, Organized Noize churned out monstrous, down home groups and MCs like Outkast, Goodie Mob, and Slimm Cutta Calhoun. Eventually, they also helped form a many-armed posse called Nappy Roots – known, like their labelmates, for eclectic sounds that stayed close to the Southern tradition but meshed with ahead-of-their-time sounds that set the South on a course for Hip-Hop domination:
Nappy Roots once had a massive cult following, with hits like “Awnaw” putting them on the rap map. Then, seemingly as the best of rappers and rap groups do, they disappeared from the limelight for years, while still performing and recording music. But, as rappers do, particularly in 2011, they reemerge – more country than ever – and still taking risks that set them apart from the crowd:
During Hip Hop Awards weekend in Atlanta, AllHipHop.com got up close and personal with Nappy Roots at their listening session for the upcoming album Nappy Dot Org. The whole family was there that evening – the whole family these days consisting of Fish Scales, Skinny DeVille, B. Stille, Ron Clutch, and Big V – smiling from ear-to-ear, with cups in hand. They appeared glad to know that a legion of followers and press had packed New Era sports store in downtown Atlanta to hear from them:
Nappy Dot Org has some winners – the first single, “Hey Love,” has that perfect blend of radio-friendliness and Southern swag that any respectable G or thug can croon to. To boot, they shot a thoughtful video for the single that pays extremely close homage to a Spike Lee classic. The tracks previewed at the listening session were as diverse as the group itself. Nappy Roots’ personalities and images clash in a good way like their music – as they say, it’s about making feel-good music “for the common man:”
Before the evening is out, AllHipHop.com bumps into another Southern gentleman – the gifted rapper Dee-1 from New Orleans, The last time we ran into Dee-1, he was traversing the country on the Grind & Hustle Tour with Killer Mike, Pac Div, and Young Dro. As it turns out, the academic turned MC has been touring with Nappy Roots as of late, and he’s excited to talk about their legacy and what the impact of Southern rap has done for him as a young rapper in the present day:
Nappy Roots – the name says it all. They come from the Organized Noize tradition of letting it all hang out – proud, sometimes weird, and Black as they wanna be. So, is today’s new rap crowd loveable enough to embrace the return of the feel-good Southern sound? Will fans from the past come back and support music that reminds of a simpler, more fun time? Nappy Roots sure hopes so. And, AllHipHop.com thinks we might need some of that in these crazy times.
Nappy Dot Org releases on October 11 – find it on iTunes and in national music retailers. Visit www.nappyroots.com for more info.