Nappy Roots – Interview

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How has life changed?

It’s big, but its what I had hoped for.

When did the ball start rolling?

Actually we got signed in ’98 so you do the math. It’s been four years. We had a lot of hurdles to over come, a lot of sleeping on floors, but we prayed it would pay off.

What happened in those four years?

The world wasn’t ready. The late ’90’s was more bling and a lot of diamonds. I ain’t anti-bling, but that isn’t what we are on. We are more about representing ourselves. The world wasn’t ready for us, but we weren’t ready for the world either. We had to grow up; we had to mature musically and as men. We went through a lot of changes, but its time.

Are the songs new or have they been written over that span of time?

Over the span of the four years, yeah.

What does each member bring to the table?

We’ve all got our own personalities. You’d have to sit down with each of us to see who we are, but lyrically we all bring something different to the table. You’re going to find something on our album to your liking.

How long ago did you become friends?

Me and Skinny (Deville) hooked up in ’93 at Western Kentucky University. That is where we all met. The university was in Bowling Green. That is where Big V is from; he went to Eastern Kentucky University. But he came back around the time me and Skinny hooked up. In ’95 or ’96 we met Scales, he was hooping. R. Prophet brought something new to the table later on and B. Stille was the last member to join in ’97. So we locked it down in ’97 and have been knocking it down ever since.

Did you all bring different flavors to the table?

For sure. When we met there was chemistry. That is what is so great about Nappy Roots, the chemistry.

What do you listen to?

Wu-Tang, Ghetto Boys, Nas, Ice Cube, you name it we listen to it. We just like good music. We pride ourselves on making good music too. Coming out of Kentucky we are in Middle America. We smack dab in the middle and that is to our advantage because we listen to everything and we make our own little gumbo.

How did the flavor come out?

Skinny and me were doing songs and then I went off to the military. I came back and Skinny and Scales hooked up and they were doing songs. So when I got back we all hooked up and used to go to this producer named General Lee and sit in his living room and he’d play us a beat and we’d put it down. We’d come up with a hook and verses and it was wild. Then others would come over and then all of the sudden we were all over there it was like ‘hey, this is Nappy Roots’.

Do you think that because you had that long time between getting signed and getting the album out that you can now really appreciate it more?

Of course, and it built a lot of character. We had to work to get it so once it comes we are going to hold on to it. Easy come easy go. We aren’t no one hit wonders.

You guys don’t try to be trendy.

Right. Trends come and go and Nappy is real. Nappy is equivalent to the word real. We pride ourselves on being Nappy. We’re real to the roots.

If the popularity comes along, are you in a better position to handle it?

We’re more prepared than we would have been four years ago.

When did you finish the album?

Late last year. Nappy, we always doing something, we go into the studio and are always doing something. It’s an ongoing process. It’s year round, there’s no season for us.

Is it good to have other guys around to support you during times when maybe you can’t come up with something?

That’s the advantage of having five brothers. We’re family and we feed off of each others energy. If I’m down I can count on them to pick me up. Six heads are better than one.

Growing up, what did you want to be?

Growing up I wanted to be an artist. I had a knack for drawing that is what I went to college for. I’ve always loved to create. I like breathing life into something.

What were the other guys doing in school?

Scales came to school to play ball. Big V was playing football.

Were you worried about the business side of the music industry?

I wouldn’t say afraid, we were concerned. You’ve got to know the business side though. Making music is the fun part, but if you don’t know your business its bad news. You either handle your business or the business will handle you.

Are there any surprises now that everything is full swing?

I’m not going to say it’s overwhelming, but it’s a job. It’s crazy now, but it’s going to get more insane.

What is your dream for the future?

For the whole world to be nappy.

+ charlie craine

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