A savvy pop-rapper with crossover appeal, Nelly seemed like a novelty when he first debuted in summer 2000 with "Country Grammar (Hot...)," yet he was no one-hit wonder, consistently returning to the pop charts with successive smash hits like "Hot in Herre." His universality is partly rooted in his hometown: the Gateway City, officially known as St. Louis, MO, which set him apart from all of the prevailing rap styles of his time. He wasn't from the East or West Coast, nor was he from the South; located in the middle of the United States, St. Louis is a Midwestern city halfway between Minneapolis and New Orleans, built upon on the western banks of the Mississippi River. Nelly's locale certainly informs his rapping style, which is as much country as urban, and his dialect as well, which is as much Southern drawl as Midwestern twang. Plus, Nelly never shied away from a pop-rap approach, embracing a singalong vocal style that made his hooks catchier than most, thanks also in part to his standby producer, Jason "Jay E" Epperson. As a result, Nelly became a rapper capable of crossing practically all boundaries, from the Dirty South to TRL and everything in between. His first hit, "Country Grammar (Hot...)," became a nationwide summer anthem, and many more smash hits followed. His popularity peaked in summer 2002, when he topped seemingly every Billboard chart possible with his Nellyville album and its lead single, "Hot in Herre."


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  • 5.0 [Deluxe Edition] (2010)

    5.0 [Deluxe Edition]

  • 5.0 [Clean] (2010)

    5.0 [Clean]

  • 5.0 [Deluxe Edition] [Clean] (2010)

    5.0 [Deluxe Edition] [Clean]

  • 5.0 (2010)


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