The thing that is dope about the 40 Akerz Project by Nappy Roots is that its different from what I expected to hear. I must admit I fell off on my Nappy Roots support, i got the first album they put out on Atlantic, “Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz“. I didn’t really check for them until 2011 when they dropped the “Nappy dot org” album which was produced by the mighty Organized Noize. It seems as though the independent material that they have dropped seems to be really what they wanted to do. Watermelon Chicken & Gritz was dope but this seems like them, it feels like a natural progression. I remember being so proud that Kentucky of all places got on in hip hop when i first heard that monster “Awnaw” . Also off the WC&G album the song “Po Folk” was another anthem that really gave a look at southern life in a way that was authentic, it was also my introduction to Anthony Hamilton. Being a native Texan I counted the WC&G album as a victory for the south.
Whereas WCG felt like some southern cats fresh out of college getting a chance to give their interpretation of southern life 40 Akers feels like those same southern cats giving you an update on how they are LIVING now. I stress living because the project feels organic it feels natural and it feels like something that was created with no time limit no label demands on a release date, Un-rushed. Another reason the 40 Akers Project feels so good is because they chose to work with one set of producers SMKA out of Atlanta. Its not just that they worked with one set of producers on 40 Akers its that they worked with the right set of producers, this projects seems to be born out of time spent between Nappy Roots and SMKA. This doesn’t sound like a situation where beats that were sent over email by SMKA to Nappy Roots, it feels like the 2 entities being in the studio for a few weeks at a time and really feeling out each other. In my opinion is very experimental for Nappy Roots, again remember I haven’t followed the entire catalog and I’m glad that they have progressed from the first album. Don’t get it twisted they still have that old Nappy Roots in it “The Scene from Collateral” feels like something that may have been on WC&G.
40 Akerz is definitely something you want to check out if you liked anything about Nappy Roots or Southern Hip Hop.