The Nappy Roots-Big V, B. Stille, Ron Clutch, Scales, R. Prophet and Skinny Prophet-appear to have it all together musically, but you’ll have to excuse rap fans if they aren’t lining up at Sam Goody’s to purchase their Atlantic Records debut Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz. With the number of cats like Petey Pablo, Ludacris and Field Mob screaming, “The south shall rise again, shawty,” it’s kinda hard for a kid on the block to differentiate whose country grammar is whose. But while Nappy is very proud of its roots (Bowling Green, Kentucky and Milledgeville, Georgia), the group has little problem in separating itself from everybody else who has a southern accent.

Hell, the names of the songs alone-including “Ballin’ On A Budget” and “Dime, Quarter“-indicate how anti-glitz, pro-gritz the Nappy Roots truly are. Sure, if W, C & G goes triple platinum and the group wins four awards at next year’s Grammys, they’ll be pleased. But if the things said on carefree, organ-driven tracks like “Sholiz,” “Po Folks” and “Awnaw” are true, the fame won’t change ’em one bit. And that’s good to know seeing as though their down-home guitar plucks, easy-going flows and comical lyrics are some of the only things we have right now to counter all of the Courvoisier-sippin’ and Escalade-drivin’ mainstream hip hop has to offer.