When the Nappy Roots play the State Theatre on July 27, they’ll be missing the big, booming basso profundo of Vito Banga.
Banga, also known as Big V, recently left the Bowling Green, Ky., rap group and relocated to Tampa Bay, where he recorded his first solo project, a seven-song album titled 2 Real 2 Be Hard. The album contains plenty of the genre experimentation that made Nappy Roots — see the voodoo-bayou thump of Girls and the half-growled sex-’em-up ballad Live As Hell — with a noticeably harder edge.
“As with most things in life, there comes a pivotal moment when you realize it is time for a change,” Banga said in a statement announcing his departure from the group. “There are different seasons in life. And although I will always cherish the times I spent with my brothers (in Nappy Roots) and all of the memories and music we made together, I believe I am moving into an exciting new season; a season to focus on my solo career. ... As individuals, sometimes we must follow our instincts, experiment with our own ideas. Over the years I have developed my own unique sound, and I am thrilled to finally be able to share it with the world.”