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Nappy Roots: Nappy Dot Org

AVJ

"How you doin' y'all, it's been a sec/we been on the Internet/don't call this a comeback/we just wasn't finished yet," intones Fish Scales on the leadoff track from Nappy Roots' new record. It's hard not to view Nappy Dot Org as a comeback of sorts; not only for the unflagging Kentucky crew, who's toiled in relative obscurity since their breakout in 2002, but also for Atlanta production team Organized Noize, who haven't helmed an entire album since 2001's Dungeon Family compilation Even in Darkness. Consequently, Nappy Dot Org's synth horns and 808 vertebrae seem slightly out of time. Tracks like "Karma," which aims for Wu-style drama, feel like sketches not quite completed. When the Noize expand their horizons, like on techno-pop banger "Y'all Party," the Roots follow suit, delivering keyed up, crucial performances that belie their underdog status. But therein lies Nappy Roots' appeal: They're still running steady, close to the ground, as always. (3 out of 5 stars)