Exclusive: Nappy Roots Plot Comeback, Depart from Atlantic
Saturday, Aug 9, 2008 6:00AM
Written By Thomas A. Harden
It's been five years since Grammy nominated hip-hop collective Nappy Roots released their critically acclaimed sophomore studio album Wooden Leather. Within that time the Kentucky rap group has endured a lot of changes, including the departure of member R. Prophet. Despite the few setbacks Nappy Roots remained focused on dishing their brand of southern soul fixin's. SOHH caught up with the guys to discuss their new album, The Humdinger, going independent and to inform their fans that it's still all love with R. Prophet.
"The Humdinger in the dictionary means an exceptional or outstanding person or thing and this album is something that's definitely over the top," explained Skinny DeVille. "The title comes from the conceptualism of the lyrics to the beats selection. It's our best work yet. It's a chapter in our book that we definitely wanted to be noted."
Independence is something the Nappy Roots, which is comprised of Skinny DeVille, B. Stille, Ron Clutch, Big V, Fish Scales and R. Prophet, have endured a lot cherishes. After departing Atlantic Records in 2005, the group immediately started working on The Humdinger, to prove to their former label and fans that the Nappy Roots sound is here to stay.
"Our last album at Atlantic kind of left a dissatisfied taste in our mouth on how the major institutions of a record label works," Skinny said. "To get off Atlantic and go independent and have full creative control over everything from the artwork, to the song selection, to production, that was the need. The need was to show [Atlantic] we can do it and to show our fans that we ain't forget and to let them know we can still make great music as the Nappy Roots."
On their third studio album, Nappy Roots reunited with R&B crooner Anthony Hamilton on the sets single "Down and Out" and with Gregg Street on the lead single "Good Day."
"Without Gregg getting behind the project, it would've been very difficult to operate," Ron Clutch stated.
The album also features Greg Nice and neo-soul newcomers Slick & Rose. David Banner, Rick Rock and Groove Chambers provided production for the set.
"We thought about it and really tried to collaborate with people that were in our same likeness," Skinny revealed. "That could give our sound a nice complement."
Meanwhile, in their home state of Kentucky, Governor Paul Patton has sanctioned September 16th as Nappy Roots Day. The holiday not only marks a day to pay homage to Nappy Roots but it will also reunite the group with R. Prophet.
"He hasn't record with us in over a year, year and a half, but when we see him it's still all love," Skinny explained. "It kind of got crazy with him and us because we felt the direction he wanted to go, that really wasn't what Nappy Roots was trying to do. [But] We still doing things together on September 16th we're going around the city of Louisville and talking about education to the kids. It's still all good."