Vito Banga (f/k/a) Big V has left the group he co-founded, Bowling Green, Kentucky’s Nappy Roots. The multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated artist has already begun pursuing solo endeavors, in the form of free 2 Real 2 Be Hard EP. With the solo focus, Vito will reportedly branch out into more singing and production. The remaining Nappy Roots members include Skinny DeVille, B. Stille, Ron Clutch and Fish Scales. R. Prophet previously left the collective in 2007.

Vito is offering HipHopDX readers a first listen at 2 Real 2 Be Hard EP, available here.

Having recorded five albums with Nappy Roots – including last year’s Nappy Dot Org, Vito also released the following statement:

“I want to apologize to all our Nappy Root fans around the world for my recent absence. I live to make our fans happy because without you guys I would be just another southern boy with an unfulfilled dream. I am truly sorry for disappointing you with my nonappearances. However, as with most things in life, there comes a pivotal moment when you realize it is time for a change. There are different seasons in life. And although I will always cherish the times I spent with my brothers [Nappy Roots] and all of the memories and music we made together, I believe I am moving into an exciting new season; a season to focus on my solo career.

After 14 years of being identified as a member of Nappy Roots, I have learned many things. I have learned from our fans, I have learned from my fellow group members, I’ve learned from many talented people I’ve worked alongside in this industry. I am forever grateful. One valuable thing that I have learned is that as individuals, sometimes we must follow our instincts, experiment with our own ideas. Over the years I have developed my own unique sound, and I am thrilled to finally be able to share it with the world.

The timing and the temperature had to be just right for me to finally make this decision. And I want to take nothing away from Nappy Roots, who will continue to bring you fresh, new music. My manager, Geoff Rocque of BlackedOut Management, created the perfect atmosphere for me to develop and conceptualize this new album. My team set the mood perfectly, and I went in there and delivered a no-holds-barred, unplugged version of Vito Banga. It just felt right.”

The tracklisting for 2 Real To Be Hard is as follows:

Riding Alone

Tom Petty

Burn One

Shit Got Serious

Live As Hell


It’s Ok

Purchase Music by Nappy Roots” target=”_blank”>Purchase Music by Nappy Roots