Music: Deep-Fried, Honey-Dipped

Southern rap--some real, some real corny

Is there a more potent cultural trope than a Southern accent? Just a few long vowels, and much of the rest of America is swept up by mystique, fascinated by the ancient hurt we imagine lurking behind the lips of the speaker.

Southerners know this, and they use it to great effect. Rappers are no exception. Nappy Roots, a six-man crew from Bowling Green, Ky., is the latest to make being from the South not just a fact in its bio but an agenda. To be fair, its major-label debut, Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz (last week's biggest gainer on the...

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