Nelly's albums have had over 20 years combined to cook in the music industry. In that time, Nelly became a cemented star, iconic to his fans and the general public. The rap icon's admirers mark his ability to blend rap and R&B into something like a new genre. The signature drawl in his songs is an iconic twist that has created millions of fans worldwide. This article will discuss some of the best Nelly albums and why they hit so hard.
5. Brass Knuckles (2008)
Brass Knuckles, as the name implies, hits hard. After a three-year hiatus, Nelly returned with Brass Knuckles in 2008. The album features a more mature sound than Nelly's previous work, with lyrics touching on politics and social issues. The album features collaborations with many big-name artists, including Fergie, Snoop Dogg, and Akon.
4. Sweat (2004)
Sweat was released in 2004, becoming the first of a two-album release by Nelly. Both parts in the set were successful, with Sweat being the stronger release. This album features iconic Nelly tracks, including "Tilt Ya Head Back" and "Flap Your Wings." While this didn't establish the Nelly sound, it sure did emphasize it to fans of the time. It is considered a quintessential Nelly album that showcases his ability and talent to make a good beat.
3. Suit (2004)
Released alongside Sweat in 2004, Suit is a more R&B-focused album than its counterpart. The album features collaborations with several big-name artists, including Jaheim, Christina Aguilera, and Tim McGraw. The hit single "My Place" spent five weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and featured a sample from the classic song "On Broadway." Despite the success of Suit, it lives in Sweat's shadow comparatively.
2. Nellyville (2002)
Nellyville, released in 2002, helped solidify the Nelly brand of music. It features a mixture of party ballads and heartfelt anthems for fans. The sophomore album broke expectations, reaching the top of the Billboard Hot 100 list with "Hot in Herre." The collaboration song "Dilemma," one made with the efforts of Kelly Rowland, won a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.
1. Country Grammar (2000)
The debut album, Country Grammar, is one of Nelly's most successful albums to this day. Released in 2000, the album sold over 10 million copies in the US alone. The title track became an instant hit. It has outsold every other Nelly song. Country Grammar as an album is an excellent testament to Nelly's style. Many fans regard the record as what cemented his style in the first place, which helped define the Nelly signature sound.