Vito Banga 

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2 Real 2 Be Hard

Dream
Vito Banga
0:00/4:30
July, 18th 2012
 
Artist of the day: Vito Banga
 

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.”

Nappy Roots Frontman Big V Parts Ways With Group, Releases First-Ever Solo EP

by Jake Paine

posted June 11, 2012 at 1:45PM EDT

Exclusive: Now known as Vito Banga, Big V is the latest member to leave the multi-platinum Kentucky collective. He offers HipHopDX readers a first listen at his new free EP.

Vito Banga (f/k/a) Big V has left the group he co-founded, Bowling Green, Kentucky's Nappy Roots. The multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated artist has already begun pursuing solo endeavors, in the form of free 2 Real 2 Be Hard EP. With the solo focus, Vito will reportedly branch out into more singing and production. The remaining Nappy Roots members include Skinny DeVille, B. Stille, Ron Clutch and Fish Scales. R. Prophet previously left the collective in 2007.

Vito is offering HipHopDX readers a first listen at 2 Real 2 Be Hard EP, available here.

Having recorded five albums with Nappy Roots - including last year's Nappy Dot Org, Vito also released the following statement:

"I want to apologize to all our Nappy Root fans around the world for my recent absence. I live to make our fans happy because without you guys I would be just another southern boy with an unfulfilled dream. I am truly sorry for disappointing you with my nonappearances. However, as with most things in life, there comes a pivotal moment when you realize it is time for a change. There are different seasons in life. And although I will always cherish the times I spent with my brothers [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.

After 14 years of being identified as a member of Nappy Roots, I have learned many things. I have learned from our fans, I have learned from my fellow group members, I’ve learned from many talented people I’ve worked alongside in this industry. I am forever grateful. One valuable thing that I have learned is that 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.

The timing and the temperature had to be just right for me to finally make this decision. And I want to take nothing away from Nappy Roots, who will continue to bring you fresh, new music. My manager, Geoff Rocque of BlackedOut Management, created the perfect atmosphere for me to develop and conceptualize this new album. My team set the mood perfectly, and I went in there and delivered a no-holds-barred, unplugged version of Vito Banga. It just felt right.

NAPPY ROOTS’ FRONTMAN VITO BANGA FIRST-EVER SOLO ALBUM

The first-ever solo album from Kentucky’s premiere hip-hop collective Nappy Roots. 

Tampa, Florida    To the dismay of fans everywhere, the unforgettable frontman—known for his infectious energy and animated personality—has been noticeably absent from many recent performances by the Grammy-nominated, Multi-Platinum southern rap group Nappy Roots.

Early reports that Vito Banga had relocated from his home in Bowling Green, Kentucky to Tampa, Florida to begin working on his own solo project were recently confirmed. In the prepared statement, Vito announced that he has been in the process of completing his debut solo album, slated for release on June 12th.

"I want to apologize to all our Nappy Root fans around the world for my recent absence. I live to make our fans happy because without you guys I would be just another southern boy with an unfulfilled dream. I am truly sorry for disappointing you with my nonappearances. However, as with most things in life, there comes a pivotal moment when you realize it is time for a change. There are different seasons in life. And although I will always cherish the times I spent with my brothers [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. 

 After fourteen years of being identified as a member of Nappy Roots, I have learned many things. I have learned from our fans, I have learned from my fellow group members, I’ve learned from many talented people I’ve worked alongside in this industry. I am forever grateful. One valuable thing that I have learned is that 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.

The timing and the temperature had to be just right for me to finally make this decision. And I want to take nothing away from Nappy Roots, who will continue to bring you fresh, new music.

My manager, Geoff Rocque of BlackedOut Management, created the perfect atmosphere for me to develop and conceptualize this new album. My team set the mood perfectly, and I went in there and delivered a no-holds-barred, unplugged version of Vito Banga. It just felt right.”    

Nappy Roots were the best-selling hip-hop group of 2002 and have since maintained a constant presence in the music industry for over a decade with five studio albums commercially released to the masses. As the co-author of chart-topping hits such as "Awnaw" (and the "Awnaw Remix" featuring Marcos of P.O.D), "Po' Folks" and "Good Day", Vito helped define the success of the southern-fried group.  

With over 5 Million records sold, Grammy and American Music Award nominations, Soul Train and MTV Award nominations, Nappy Roots has seen and done it all. They have been featured on best-selling video games such as "Madden NFL" and "NBA Ballers" and have collaborated with the likes of Kanye West, Dave Matthews, David Banner, Lil Jon, Raphael Saadiq, Mark Ronson, Organized Noise, and countless others. They featured on a Major Motion Picture Soundtrack starring Tom Hanks and have helped launch the superstar careers of Anthony Hamilton, Jazze Pha, and Trey Songz. Governor Paul E. Patton sanctioned September 16th as “Nappy Roots Day” in the group’s home state of Kentucky. Together they have accomplished a world of success within the music industry and have received worldwide recognition.

In 2010, XXL Magazine labeled Vito Banga as having one of the best voices in hip-hop along with such legendary artists as Notorious B.I.G., Method Man, and D.M.X., to name a few.  Vito first began rapping at the age of thirteen and has since helped “put the south on the map” in the rap industry, considered to have been very influential in the southern movement.

With his new solo project dubbed “Too Real Too Be Hard”, Vito has taken on the role of a singer, songwriter and producer. "It's been a long, tough road and I am thankful for that because it has given me a lot to write about. I've wanted to do this for a while, but it required the right team of people, the right timing, and the right temperature. Once those things were established, it all fell into place."

 

BlackedOut Management, the team behind the beloved charismatic emcee, was founded by Florida natives Geoff Rocque and Ron Rueff, entrepreneurs who have grounded their company as a major player in the entertainment management business. 

 "We have put together a team of individuals with the experience and drive to take our artists' careers to the next level and beyond. We have only been so lucky to work with such professionals creating some of the world's newest and most creative music," Geoff Rocque said in a recent interview. "Recently, we’ve signed national acts Mike Digg [of Norfolk, VA] and Groove Stain [of Atlanta, GA]. And as for Vito, people are going to hear a side from him they have never heard, nor probably expected. This album is one of those defining works....stuff that people will be listening to in 50 years. It was truly amazing—Vito’s capabilities—when he was simply given an opportunity."

Vito Banga’s EP, due to be released June 12th, will contain only six tracks. “Too Real Too Be Hard” will be followed by the full album, slated to be released in July. Vito is set to embark on a national tour; tour dates will be released via vitobanga.com.