No doubt the novelty of being a hip-hop group from Bowling Green, Kentucky, played a large part in the success of Nappy Roots. Now that Goodie Mob is no more, the seven-member Nappy Roots has taken the role of Southern-victual champion. Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz, the band's 2002 debut, represents the last word in rural-road hip-hop, what with the gritty realism of "Po' Folks" and "Awnaw," not to mention photos of mouth-watering collard greens and mac 'n' cheese. Wooden Leather, this summer's follow-up, is more of the same -- homespun front-porch folk tales about cars, females, and plenty of good eats. Economic downturns factor heavily in the gospel blues of "These Walls," and Lil Jon helps cook up some Kentucky-fried crunk on "What Cha Gonna Do? (The Anthem)," two high points on an album that leave these Dirty South rappers feeling less like a novelty and more like a standard-bearer. Nappy Roots perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, October 23, on the Outdoor Stage at Florida Atlantic University, 777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton. Tickets cost $7 for FAU students, $12 for the general public, $15 day of show. Call 561-297-3737
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