Call this one concreteplayalisticbrainfoodmusik. A natural-sounding team-up between Kentucky’s proudly self-proclaimed “barnyard’s baddest” crew and the Organized Noize production unit, who are entrusted to handle the entirety of the project, Nappy Dot Org is another fine chapter in the Nappy Roots story that leaves you wishing a little more of the commercial southern shine could be directed the underrated group’s way.
Smartly short at only 11 tracks, the album impresses from the off, with “Legends Live On” coming off like vintage Goodie Mob back in their early earthy era, and “Country Boy Return,” all handclaps and jutting synth stabs, hinting that it could be adopted as a minor anthem for the group. By the time of “Ea$y Money,” with its electro-tendencies and warped bass-line, you suspect that more than a few of the productions were are one-point previously ear-marked for Outkast. Organized Noise have a proven track record of producing quality, but sometimes it takes hearing rappers other than Andre and Big Boi to appreciate the unit’s talent. Crucially, the production they’ve served up here has also given Nappy Roots something of a chance at notching up some renewed club or radio appeal: “Y’All Party” threatens to break into Debbie Deb’s freestyle anthem “When I Hear Music,” while tracks like “Good & Evil” and “Congratulations” benefit from being hook-heavy.
“We put the South on another level,” the Nappy Roots boast right at the beginning of the project. They did, with “Awnaw” and their Grammy-nominated tryst with Anthony Hamilton, “Po’ Folks.” But since then, the south has moved on, and mined the trap-rap formula to commercial riches. It’s a template Nappy Roots has always resisted the urge to switch-up and tap into. Hopefully Nappy Dot Org will reward their virtuous stance.