Record Review - 2 May 29 2002

Just when you thought Southern hip-hop done come from every dirty corner, Nappy Roots — six Kentucky hustlas ballin' on a budget — cook up Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz, a finger-lickin' good album, tasty as that utha chicken the Bluegrass State is known for. Dripping with sweet and juicy hooks, down-home front-porch instrumentation and the modest group's far-from-modest flow, the disc is driven by greasy, gritty bass-beats like something Timbaland done deep-fried.

But for all their easygoing backwoods grooves, Nappy Roots ain't slow like molasses. They know the difference between bumpin' and bumpkin, spitting out rapid tales of common folk with uncommon flair. Organs, bluesy guitar plucks, honks and clatters roll over round West Coast beats, bouncing like a tractor tilling fields of rhythm. And these six MCs have as much of a sense of perspective as they do a sense of rhythm. Choosing a life of buttery grits over Courvoisier glitz on the rollicking "Awnaw" and "Sholiz." Ample soul food for fans of OutKast, Field Mob and YoungBloodz.??