Kentucky rappers Nappy Roots will release their new album, The 40 Akerz Project, on March 3rd. Their 2002 song “Po’ Folks” (feat. Anthony Hamilton) connected with this lifelong poor, Appalachian girl in a way that not many popular songs do. Even over a decade later, I still find myself singing the song’s resigned lyrical refrain “all my life been po’ but it really don’t matter no mo’” when facing adversity (such as last year’s WV water crisis.) That, in my opinion, is the mark of a great song — that feeling of recognition.
My excitement over Nappy Roots’ album news quickly turned to trepidation, though, when I saw their new song title “Party for the Ages.” Had my beloved Nappy Roots abandoned their own authentic, poetic, real life rap style in favor of the more popular, party lifestyle brand of rap? Thankfully the answer is a resounding no.
The song’s arrangement and chorus do have a more modern, ambient sound, but the verses show Nappy Roots are still rapping from their hearts.