2011 “JUST A DREAM” from 5.0
Following the death of Nelly’s cousin, he took a little break from music. He came back in 2011 with his sixth CD, released on Universal Motown, it didn’t get the airplay and credit it deserved. In fact, Nelly sued his label for not promoting the disc. Nelly continued using multiple guest stars including: Keri Hilson, T.I., Biggy, Chris Brown, and Talib Kewli. The epic song “Just A Dream” is one of those songs that gets your mind racing, thinking about decisions made in your life, reminiscing about the past, pondering the future. It’s Nelly’s finest moment.
2008 “BODY ON ME” from BRASS KNUCKLES
Nelly’s flop, if you can call debuting at #3, a flop. Unlike his other multi-platinum CDs, Brass Knuckles has yet to sell a million copies. The singles were less than memorable. Steppin on My J’z featured Ciara (who I love!) and Party People (with Fergie) made a little dent on video channels. The favorite cut here is Body On Me with Ashanti and Akon, a stylish video but the collaboration feels a little less than inspired compared to the great Suit CD.
2004 “PARADISE” from SUIT
Nelly’s on top of the world so he releases TWO new albums, Sweat & Suit, on the same day. Suit was more R&B, while Sweat emphasized more of the hip hop beats. The two CD’s went #1 and #2 that week. Guns N Roses did this trick in the 90’s with their Use Your Illusion series. Suit’s most creative moment was Nelly’s duet with country music’s heartthrob, Tim McGraw, on Over & Over. The other big hit was the incredible R&B slow jam, “My Place” with Jaheim. I’m also partial to “Die For You” starring his baby daughter, but the sex jam, “Paradise” and those lines about the “apple bottom jeans” was the highlight song in my opinion.
2004 “HEART OF A CHAMPION” from SWEAT
Suit was the CD that has “legs” and doesn’t sound as dated in comparison to Sweat. Nelly goes for a who’s who of guest stars on this album including: Mobb Deep, Missy Elliott, Ali, Fat Joe, Stephen Marley, and Christina Aguilera. The song I keep going back to is the sports-themed cliche driven, Heart Of A Champion. Like any great sports movie, you know where it will end, but the ride is still so much fun!
2002 “HOT IN HERRE” from NELLYVILLE
I liked Nelly’s debut CD but this was the CD that made me a big fan. Six mega-hits including Dilemma with Kelly Rowland, Work It with Justin Timberlake, Air Force Ones, and #1 that was the theme song for the Tiger Woods video game. But you’ve got to go with one of the best party jams of the decade. Who can resist that line, “It’s getting hot it herre, so take off all your clothes”!
2000 “COUNTRY GRAMMAR” from COUNTRY GRAMMAR
Nelly’s debut CD, Country Grammar, is his top selling CD of all-time. It’s gone platinum eight times over. “Ride Wit Me” was the jam that summer. Add in the slow burner, Luvin Me, and Batter Up with Murphy Lee and the St Lunatics, and Nelly made a huge splash on the rap game. I’ll go with the title track for it’s creativity: Utilizing a David Bowie sample mixed with a kid’s rhyme, “Down Down Baby” and a couple of cool verses name-checking Donald Trump.