Southern-bred hip-hop group Nappy Roots fell off the mainstream music radar shortly after the success of their 2002 album Watermelon, Chicken, & Gritz. They feuded with their label, Atlantic Records, and their sophomore album received little attention from the public. But after a five year hiatus, Nappy Roots are back. The Humdinger marks the group's first effort as independent artists and as a quintet (member R. Prophet left to pursue a solo career). It exudes authenticity, brimming with personal anecdotes and socially conscientious lyrics about growing up poor in the South. Standout tracks like Small Town and Down N Out are as infectiousif not morethan their past hits Po Folks and Aw Naw. The country boys return to the stage this evening should provide a much needed breath of fresh air in a scene that too often relies on bravado without the substance to back it up.
Sat., Feb. 14, 9 p.m., 2009