Nelly is returning to country music.
From his very first single, Nelly established his "Country Grammar," but it wasn't until a few albums later that he really started to experiment with country music. "Over and Over" -- Nelly's collaboration with Tim McGraw -- may have been a divisive record, but it certainly didn't hurt its chart presence, making it what might've been the first country/rap crossover hit that wasn't recorded by Kid Rock.
After experimenting with pop and EDM on M.O., Nelly has decided to revisit country on his upcoming project, and at a time where country artists are embracing hip hop more than ever (Florida Georgia Line, Sam Hunt, Miley Cyrus), it seems like perfect timing.
“He’s a free agent on the label side now, and is working on a country-based Heartland EP, which should be really interesting,” Nelly's manager told Billboard. “He may be one of the first hip-hop artists to jump into that space in an authentic way with Florida Georgia Line and Tim McGraw, so we think he has an opportunity to grow that base even more.”
As Nelly has parted with Universal, it seems the EP will be an independent release. Look out for it soon.