What’s the most informative debut album title, you ask? Why, 2002’s Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz, of course. The title says it all, and what better way to announce yourself in the hip hop scene than that? Take three racially charged foodstuffs, slap ’em on a sleeve and call yourself Nappy Roots. Yes folks, it’s that country rap you’ve loved since Birdman, Nelly or Ludacris first pimp-slapped your brain. Jangly piano, minimalist beats, red-beans-and-rice-style hooks: It’s all you’ve ever wanted from the dirty South and more.
The Kentucky-based quartet hit the scene in 2002 with the single “Awnaw,” which placed 18th on hip-hop charts. Twelve years and four more albums later, Nappy Roots still grind the grind. They’ve had some fair success; among their most notable triumphs, Kentucky Gov. Paul E. Patton named Sept. 16 “Nappy Roots Day.” Put that in your pipe and smoke it. The group also has strong ties with Marcos Curiel of P.O.D., so if you’re one of the 10 or so people that liked P.O.D., that might float your boat.
In all seriousness, though, Nappy Roots is one of country rap’s last bastions of freedom; the point being it’s still country. None of that whack-rapper touted ra-ra-platinum-chain-yell-a-buncha foolishness you find these days. It’s good, down-home fun and it’s truly off the chain.
So getcha grits out, stir in the butter and bob your head. Nappy Roots is here to make your week.
Pedal Power Music presents Nappy Roots with Tope 9 pm Saturday, Jan. 25, at Cozmic; $12 adv., $15 door.