Party starter, and number one on the charts. These are the best Nelly songs, a homage to the St. Louis rapper.
Nelly, a St. Louis rapper, redefined what it meant to be a midwestern hip-hop artist with the release of his debut album, Country Grammar, in 2000. He also represented his hometown with pride while enriching its culture.
Who Is Nelly?
Nelly’s solo debut, Country Grammar, was released in 2000 and generated the hit single of the same name. His distinctive approach to music has kept his sound fresh and helped him continue to score successes.
All four of Nelly’s subsequent albums debuted in the top three on the Billboard 200, with the singles frequently reaching the top 20 and four reaching No. 1.
The two-time Grammy Award winner Nelly works in cinema and television when he is not generating successful songs with partners or on his own.
Nelly was born Cornell Haynes Jr. in Austin, Texas on November 2, 1974. Nelly and his mother relocated from downtown St. Louis to University City, Missouri, following his parents’ divorce when he was a child. His childhood hobbies ranged from baseball to rap, and he created his first musical group, St. Lunatics, with his classmates in high school.
St. Lunatics had local popularity in 1996 with the self-produced song “Gimme What You Got,” but the success did not endure, and the group concluded that Nelly would be better off as a solo artist who could attract the attention of the entire group. Soon thereafter, Universal signed Nelly to a solo contract, proving the idea to be accurate.
Nelly Albums and Music
Nelly’s debut album, Country Grammar (2000), which included St. Lunatics, Lil Wayne, and Cedric the Entertainer, was a major success. The album was certified nine times platinum in the United States and debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 list.
It achieved No. 1 on the album list, while the first song, also titled “Country Grammar,” peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the rap chart. The third-ranked second single, “Ride with Me,” featured St. Lunatic member City Spud.
The next year, Nelly returned to the studio with St. Lunatics, and the group released their platinum-certified first album, Free City, in the United States.
In 2002, when the iron was still hot, Nelly released his second solo album, Nellyville. One week after launching at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, the artist reached the top of ten Billboard charts, with Nellyville eventually being certified six-times platinum.
“Hot in Herre” was a global No. 1 and won the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Male Rap Solo Performance, while “Dilemma,” starring Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child, won the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Performance.
Additional hits dominated the airwaves, including “Work It” with Justin Timberlake and “Air Force Ones” featuring Murphy Lee and the St. Lunatics.
‘Sweat,’ ‘Suit,’ ‘Sweatsuit’
Before releasing two additional studio albums in 2004, Sweat (an R&B album) and Suit, Nelly literally mixed things up in 2003 by releasing a remix album titled Da Derrty Versions: The Reinvention (a more rap-oriented album).
Suit and Sweat both debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard albums list, maintaining Nelly at the top of the music industry. 2005 winter saw the arrival of the inevitable Sweatsuit.
Sweatsuit, a collection of songs from Sweat and Suit with three new tracks, sent “Grillz” to the top of the charts, while “Flap Your Wings” and “My Place” also topped the charts.
‘Brass Knuckles,’ ‘5.0,’ ‘M.O.’
Brass Knuckles, Nelly’s fifth studio album, debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 albums list in 2008. “Party People” reached No. 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, followed by “Stepped on My J’z” and “Body on Me,” which reached numbers 90 and 42, respectively.
In 2010, Nelly released the album 5.0, which included the top-three singles “Just a Dream” (No. 3) and “Move That Body” (No. In 2013, he released M.O., which featured a duet with Nicki Minaj and Pharrell Williams on “Get Like Me”
What Are The Best Nelly Songs?
The bandage-wearing rapper Nelly is equally competent at composing loud dance anthems (‘Hot in Herre’) and hypnotic contemplative tracks (‘Dilemma’). His impact on hip-hop music is enormous, and his career has been phenomenal. These are Nelly’s greatest songs.
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Nelly’s debut single was a tremendous success. The 2000 single “Country Grammar” transformed an ancient nursery rhyme, “Down, Down Baby,” into one of the most recognizable hip-hop choruses. This song revolutionized midwestern rap and introduced the world to a musician determined to change a culture.
Ride Wit Me
One of Nelly’s most successful songs is an intricate anthem that alternates between pop, country, and hip-hop. Its captivating guitar entrance, enchanting soundscapes, and subtle cadences are uncomplicated, and this is the point. Ultimately, the song demonstrates Nelly’s flexibility. “Ride Wit Me” opened the way for rappers seeking to expand their sound.
Hot in Herre
His first number one on the Billboard Hot 100 is one of his most well-known compositions. “Hot in Herre” by The Neptunes is the ideal party song, interpolating Chuck Brown’s “Bustin’ Loose” with Nelly’s trademark, sugary drawl.
His classic opening line, “I was like/Good god, ass is bodacious,” served as a funny beginning to a story about a boisterous but wonderful evening.
“Dilemma” is an R&B ballad rather than a straightforward hip-hop cut. Nonetheless, it continues to be one of Nelly’s and Kelly Rowland’s most successful songs.
The duet borrowed “Love, Need, and Want You” by Patti LaBelle and highlighted Nelly’s vocal and emotional versatility.
“E.I.” embodies the essence of Nelly. His exuberant flow is infectious, particularly in the song’s comical chorus (“Andele, andele, Mami/ E.I. E.I./Uh-oh/poppin’ What’s tonight? “). This tune exemplifies Nelly’s genius when things are breezy and perky to perfection.
Nelly, The Sh_t Talker
Nelly is one of the few rappers capable of trash-talking as well as he can. Nelly radiates confidence regardless of whether he is boasting about his poetic ability, pursuing a woman, or exhibiting his achievements.
In 2002, on “Pimp Juice,” Nelly tried a seductive sound. Nelly has recently adopted one of the most notorious clichés in the history of rap, despite the offensive nature of its lyrical content.
On it, Nelly said that everything about him, from his footwear (“everything from Timberland to Gators”) to his car (“that 1974 Coupe de Ville”), made him attractive to the other sex. (It was also the inspiration for the name of an energy drink.)
#1 is used in both the 2001 film Training Day and the second album by Nelly, Nellyville. This is the epitome of unabashed boastfulness. A chorus of jokes emphasizing the rapper’s innate superiority is both effective and very appealing. On the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles Chart, it peaked at No. 20.
As suggested by the title, “Batter Up” is full of baseball metaphors. The song focuses on Nelly and his team St. Lunatics’ rise to prominence, including a line about the group reaching the “big leagues.”
In this scenario, the actual sign of success is Sherman Hemsley’s presence in the music video. The greatest endorsement.
Nelly, The Lothario
The majority of Nelly’s repertoire varies between hypermasculinity and feel-good music, but he also has an abundance of tracks that explore other emotions. Nelly has built a pattern of using his sexuality to keep fans on their toes, whether he is collaborating with big R&B singers or delivering a song alone.
“My Place,” only Jaheim’s silky and sensual voice is smoother than Nelly’s murmured cries. The chorus of the album’s opening track, “Suit,” blatantly samples Teddy Pendergrass’ “Come Go With Me.” Nelly and Jaheim are a dynamic team whose connection and lyrical flow are clear.
Even though this song was only featured as a bonus track on Nelly’s fifth studio album, Brass Knuckles, it remains one of his most engaging songs.
The rapper’s decision to sample the piano melody from K-Ci & JoJo’s “All My Life” proved advantageous; he added a relentless chorus in which he attempts to holler at a potential muse. Nelly’s romance has always been based on persuasion.
One & Only
“One & Only” by Nelly pays homage to synthy 1980s love ballads with his distinctive style. This is one of his most emotionally charged performances. When he is appealing and demanding on giving and receiving love, you will never hear from Nelly greater compassion.
The Style Rebel Nelly Nelly’s style, which consists of du-rags, massive chains, and sports shirts, is renowned. Fashion has always been a priority.
Air Force Ones
“Air Force Ones” is an eloquent homage to the classic Nike sneaker. The rappers, including Ali, Murphy Lee, and Kyjuan, boast about the colors and designs of the shoes they’re buying and how it almost feels like a religious rite. A rumbling rhythm conjures me an image of Nelly “stomping in [his] Air Force Ones.”
The jewel-encrusted mouthpieces of Nelly are prominently featured on the appropriately-titled track “Grillz.” In hip hop, getting a grill is virtually a rite of passage, but Nelly’s No. 1 single elevated the custom.
As he described one of his favorites, his pride is evident: “I have a grill they call penny candy, you know what that means/It resembles Now and Laters, gumdrops, and jelly beans.”
Stepped On My J’z
In “Stepped on My J’z,” Nelly, Ciara, and Jermaine Dupri recount the consequences of having his Air Jordans defiled. The dramatic aspects increase the intensity of the song. Ciara discreetly reminds the listener that women are also a part of the culture while Nelly and Dupri rap about their shoe obsession.
Nelly, the Experimental Crooner
Exploration is one of Nelly’s most desirable musical qualities. Although he debuted as a hip-hop musician, he quickly demonstrated an interest in other genres. Nelly’s musical flexibility, whether in pop, country, or rap, has not only led to big album sales but has also inspired the next generation to be more adventurous.
Over & Over
Both musicians mourn the prospect of losing a partner in the second single from the 2004 album Suit, which featured a notable cameo by country superstar Tim McGraw.
Despite McGraw’s declaration that “Over & Over” was never intended to be a country ballad, the song pushed the boundaries of both genres. Over & Over is an excellent example of a successful collision of worlds.
Just A Dream
“Just a Dream” exemplifies Nelly’s mainstream tastes as well as his lyrical and emotional maturity. It is impossible to imagine Nelly in his early career singing about losing the love of his life, let alone addressing his probable role in the occurrence.
On the first single from M.O., Nelly achieved full pop star status. The artist engaged in risky behavior. Although he has dabbled with genre-bending in the past, this song has a more polished radio sound. “Hey Porsche” underscores the rapper’s self-assurance and dedication to creating enticing commercial songs through its manufactured beauty.
Nelly, the Party Starter
If you were at a hip-hop club in the 2000s, chances are you heard a Nelly song (or two). Nelly makes the transfer of provocative dance moves into cultural trends look simple.
Shake Ya Tailfeathers
There is nothing equivalent to “Shake Your Tailfeather,” the club standard. It is one of the most infamous songs from the soundtrack of the 2003 film Bad Boys II, and its lyrics are among Nelly’s most frequently referenced. (“Is that your mother or your posterior?”)
Flap Your Wings
“Descend and expand your wings!” This is the well-known dancefloor command from “Flap Your Wings,” but it wouldn’t be nearly as effective if it weren’t complemented by a typically straightforward and excellent Neptune production. The Neptunes’ minimalistic, tribal tones offer the appropriate backdrop for Nelly’s breezy, lyrical delivery.
This song featuring Fergie was included on both the deluxe version of The Dutchess and Nelly’s fifth studio album Brass Knuckles. It is quite loud and disruptive. Its massive beat serves as the perfect backdrop for Nelly’s harsh and tempestuous shouts. In “Party People,” hedonism reigns supreme as the pair brags about their better clubbing style.
Nelly’s Song Fan Favorites
Nelly Highest-Charting Songs – U.S.
- #1 “Hot in Herre”, 2002
- #1 “Dilemma” (featuring Kelly Rowland), 2002
- #1 “Shake Ya Tailfeather” (with P. Diddy and Murphy Lee), 2003
- #1 “Grillz” (featuring Paul Wall and Ali & Gipp), 2005
- #3 “Ride wit Me” (featuring City Spud), 2001
- #3 “Where the Party At” (Jagged Edge featuring Nelly), 2001
- #3 “Air Force Ones” (featuring Kyjuan, Murphy Lee and Ali), 2002
- #3 “Over and Over” (featuring Tim McGraw), 2004
- #3 “Just a Dream”, 2010
- #4 “My Place” (featuring Jaheim), 2004
- #4 “Cruise” (Remix) (Florida Georgia Line featuring Nelly), 2013
- #5 “Girlfriend” (Remix) (‘N Sync featuring Nelly), 2002
- #7 “Country Grammar (Hot Shit)”, 2000
- #9 “Get It Poppin'” (Fat Joe featuring Nelly), 2002
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What are your thoughts on these Nelly songs? Do you have a favorite that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below!