Backbeat: Nappy Roots Stop By Billboard, Talk 'Nappy Dot Org'
Backbeat: Nappy Roots Stop By Billboard, Talk 'Nappy Dot Org'

Portishead
An Array of Dome Coverings: From Left: Nappy Roots members Fishscales, B. Stille, Big V (aka Vito), Skinny DeVille and Ron Clutch get reacquainted with Billboard's Gail Mitchell (second from left) and the gold plaque they autographed in 2002.

The last time Nappy Roots dropped by Billboard, the rap group was celebrating the then-gold-certified success of its 2002 Atlantic debut, "Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz." During the Los Angeles stopover on its current tour this week, Nappy Roots visited Billboard's 5700 Wilshire Boulevard digs to talk about the Oct. 11 arrival of "Nappy Dot Org" aka Nappy Roots.Organized Noize. Being released via Nappy Roots Entertainment Group/AVJ Records, the group's fifth studio album was produced by the pioneering Atlanta collective Organized Noize (TLC, OutKast, Goodie Mob).

"To have that association with such premier producers -- it's some of our best work to date," says Nappy Roots member Skinny DeVille. "When we stepped away from Atlantic and the fame, we wanted to have more control of our music --- a hefty price to pay. We knew we could handle the business of running a record label or production company; we've been doing it. But working with Organized Noize took some of the dirty work out of the equation and let us be creative without the pressure."

The 11-track project's lead single was released this week, the engaging mid-tempo "Hey Love," featuring Samuel Christian. A second single is also being lined up: "Pete Rose." A series of webisodes chronicling the recording of the new album is on view at nappyroots.com. The group's previous indie albums are 2008's "The Humdinger "and 2010's "Pursuit of Nappyness."

Also in tow were the group's publicist Drew Sanders, AVJ Records A&R Jason "Boogie" Brown, the band's tour manager Drae Jackson anad singer Samuel Christian.

Averaging 200 dates a year, Nappy Roots hit the road once again in August in support of the upcoming Nappy Dot Org. Following its Sept. 13 performance at El Cid Theatre in Los Angeles, the group will continue touring throughout September, October and November, then pick up again in January. Stops include Seattle (Sept. 15), New York (Sept. 23), Orlando (Oct. 14), Hiram, Ohio (Nov. 12) and Winter Park, Colo. (Jan. 5).

Portishead
Chair Men of the (Bill)Board: From Left: Skinny DeVille, Fishscales, B. Stille, Ron Clutch, Big V and Fishscales.
Portishead
The Nappy Team/Bad Texting Etiquette: From Left: publicist Drew Sanders, AVJ Records VP of A&R Jason "Boogie" Brown, tour manager Drae Jackson, and "Hey Love" singer Samuel Christian.
Portishead
Nappy Roots' new album.