St. Louis native Nelly, also known as Cornell Iral Haynes Jr. distracted himself with music at a young age. He formed a group, St. Lunatics, with his high school friends: Kyjuan, Murphy Lee, Slo Down, City Spud, and Ali. Nelly's pull to rap music started out as an avid listener to artists like Jay Z, Outkast, Run-DMC, LL Cool J, and Rakim. Further, he became assured that rap was the path he would assemble as his career. Here we have five of Nelly's best records, and you'll agree that these tracks still get the party started.
5. "Ride Wit Me" feat. St. Lunatics
Country Grammar, released in 2000, gave us "Ride Wit Me" featuring Nelly's crew member and brother, City Spud from St. Lunatics. The song was produced by Dj Jay E, pushing the album to sell 10 million copies globally. The hook interpolates Bill Clinton's strategy slogan “Hey, must be the Economy, Stupid!” Further, the intro interposes DJ Jimi's '92 hit "Where They At?"
4. "The Fix" ft. Jeremih
"The Fix" featured R&B singer Jeremih and became a hit at first listen. The DJ Mustard and Mike Free's beat-mastering interpolates Marvin Gaye's '82 hit song "Sexual Healing." Due to Nelly and Mustard being under the same division and publisher, clearing the track was less of a hassle. "The Fix" debuted on Billboard Hot 100 at No 86.
3. "Get Like Me" feat. Pharrell, Nicki Minaj
Next on the list is "Get Like Me" with Nick Minaj and Pharrell Williams. The megaproducer fuses his distinct producing style that uses a percussive beat. He subtly adds drum elements through the song in the background. The sound is evocative of the early 2010s era. The success of "Get Like Me" was unexpected but not surprising. With an all-star lineup like Nicki's multifaceted skills and Pharrell's unique production style, it was inevitable. MTV News's Rob Markman reportedly praised the song and mentioned how complementary the trio was to each other.
2. "Hot In Herre"
Nelly delivers an upbeat, house party inspired by "Hot in Herre." He was working hard to outplay his debut album on this second attempt, Nellyville, and succeeded. The mood-lifter comprises vocals from Dani Stevenson, his former labelmate at Universal. The hook inserts "Bustin' Loose," Chuck Brown's '79 single.
The Neptune-produced track implants the popular Go-Go sound from the '70s, by way of Chuck Brown as aforementioned. Nelly instigates fun and a few double entendres to spice things up. His entry in his first verse is slick and evokes the highest level of nostalgia. He starts off, "I was like, good gracious, ass is bodacious," and "Flirtatious, tryna show patience."
1. "Dilemma" feat. Kelly Rowland
Last on the best of Nelly's songs list is another gem from Nellyville. "Dilemma" featuring Kelly Rowland is a classic infusion of Soul, Rap, and Indie pop. When the music video dropped, fans of Destiny's Child and Nelly sparked dating rumors. Their chemistry in the video sent the media into a whirlwind.
The best of Nelly's songs are underrated and should be reviewed more often. He is a crucial player in Hip-Hop with his musical contributions. Does your best of Nelly's songs list look like ours? Tell us in the comments.