Nappy Roots will be in Columbia for Famously Hot New Year’s Eve as part of an incredibly diverse lineup of musicians performing on Main Street, and the hip-hop stars want everyone to know the night is about coming together.
“Everybody wants to take off and let the music soothe your soul,” Skinny DeVille of Nappy Roots told Midlands Anchor. “Everybody is pretty much the same. The whole damn world is country.”
DeVille and his bandmates know the truth of those words from experience. As a hip-hop group made up of three Kentucky natives and one Georgian, they’ve heard the negatives.
This year, they became the first hip-hop group to headline a festival in Johnston County, North Carolina, and played there and many other concerts as the only black group on the bill, and in front of many crowds made up mostly of Trump voters.
In the year of Charlottesville, of taking a knee, and so much more, DeVille said Nappy Roots is certainly aware of the political climate.
“You can’t avoid what’s going on in America,” he said, but added that he believes people have more in common than some realize. “We’re not as divided as (President Trump) might say. America has been great. We’ve come together and been tough through unity rather than being divisive.”
The men of Nappy Roots are ready to stand up for their beliefs, but politics is not a central focus during their concerts.
“We’re gonna have a good day
And ain’t nobody gotta cry today
‘Cause ain’t nobody gonna die today
You save that drama for another day”
“It’s a raw and energetic show and all positive. It’s for everybody,” DeVille said. “When the music hits, everybody wants to dance. So if you’re coming with a negative attitude, stay in the back.”
DeVille said the New Year’s Eve show will include songs spanning the band’s entire 22-year career, from their early days as students at Western Kentucky University to their hits like “Po’ Folks,” “Awnaw,” “Good Day” and “Keep It Real” to deep tracks from mixtapes through the years and songs from recent albums like their 2017 release “Another 40 Akerz.”
The band has kept producing music regularly over their long career, and have launched the Nappy Hour podcast to share their thoughts with fans as well as to interview fellow musicians and others, exposing fans to new music along the way.
“We’ve been interviewing a lot of great people that come through Atlanta [the band’s current base],” Deville said. “”People that are grinding and figuring out how to get a slice of that American pie.”
As a group, Nappy Roots hopes existing fans and people new to their music will come together in Columbia for Famously Hot New Year’s Eve with an open mind for them and the other performers, and join them in enjoying the city after the show.
“We’re going to come with a hot track list and have a good time, and then we’re going to take it to the clubs,” DeVille said. “Our next show ain’t until January 3. We’ve got time to shake it off.”
“We’re coming in with a positive attitude and starting 2018 off right,” he added. Midlands Anchor will be there to join them. We hope you will be too.