After 10 years as independent artists and label owners, Nappy Roots will be releasing their 6th studio album, and their 4th independent release on their very own label Nappy Roots Entertainment Group (NREG). Their latest project, The 40 Akerz Project is produced entirely by Atlanta based outfit SMKA. Coming off working with the legendary production team Organized Noize on 2011’s Nappy Dot Org, Nappy Roots wanted to again partner with those who understand who they are and could provide the sound and direction that 2015 Nappy Roots are in.
“We have had so much respect for the work they have done with other projects and we just vibed, 808 Blake goes with us on the road, he is a part of the group, they are family, it just made sense” says Skinny Deville.
The 40 Akerz Project was born out of celebrating independence- “Reminding people how far we have come. Being independent, still don’t work for no one else, still work for ourselves…. let’s celebrate” says Fishscales.
With that thought, the album opens with the track Party For The Ages which sets the tone, to the electronic breakdown in Doesn’t Matter to the emotional and heart-felt honesty of Window. “Window is a big record for us. When we layed it down, the vibe in the studio was heavy, its like we all new we made something special,” Skinny stated.
By far one of the most underrated Hip-Hop acts to have emerged over the past few years, their accomplishments and the milestones they’ve reached are the stuff of often-referenced Hip-Hop legacies. But theirs remains a legacy that isn’t celebrated nearly as much as it should be… at least not by the “industry.” The fans, on the other hand, recognize just what sets Nappy Roots apart: consistency. In addition to their three independent releases – The Humdinger and Pursuit Of Nappyness, and Nappy Dot Org released in 2008, 2010, and 2011 respectively– Nappy Roots has provided their fans with new music every year since 2004, amassing a total of no less than 11 full-length albums and mixtapes.
The TV and Film industry has been good to the group. 2008’s Good Day has proved to be a licensing dream. Featured in 2014’s Neighbors film staring Seth Rogen and Zach Efron and a recent Kellogg’s Special K commercial among many others. “Licensing is the new music business model money maker. Hope we can continue to create music that can fit into TV and Film needs, ” says Skinny.
The group has also maintained one of the most active touring schedules in Hip-Hop, performing a total of 150 dates in 2014 alone. The heavy touring has not only helped to keep Nappy Roots ever present in the minds of their continually expanding fan base, it has provided them a wider perspective on life, which in turn allows them to create music for a wider audience than most Hip-Hop act have access to.
Of course, throughout their work, Nappy Roots has never abandoned its dedication to service and education. Since it was first proclaimed a statewide holiday in Kentucky in 2002, the group has celebrated “Nappy Roots Day,” on September 16, as an opportunity to share impart the importance of education to younger fans. Of course, this band of brothers, whose friendship was forged on the campus of Western Kentucky University, doesn’t limit their dedication to promoting higher learning to that one day of the year.
Until the May 5th release of The 40 Akerz Project you can keep up with Nappy Roots via Twitter: @NappyRoots @fishscales @ronclutch @KYBuffalo @SkinnyDeville