Retroactive: “Nellyville”

“Retroactive” is a series in which I highlight a music album from my past.  In the late 90’s early 00’s, going to buy an album when it came out was a big deal.  My goal is to revive those memories as well as illuminate new ones we might have missed the first time around.  

“Nellyville” is Nelly’s second studio album after “Country Grammar” and came out in 2002.  I was in 6th grade.  Most people would probably choose “Country Grammar” if we’re talking Nelly albums but Nellyville hit me at a very specific moment in my life.  For one, I was beginning to become aware of my attraction to the opposite sex and “Nellyville” delivered the greatest slow song for my 6th grade dances: Dilemma. Two, my obsession with sneakers was forming and “Air Force Ones” introduced me to an entire lexicon of “sneaker-head” terms that I would remember for the rest of my life. Last but not least, “Nellyville” delivered us the classic club anthem “Hot in Herre” which I still here to this day in 2018…16 years later.

The Hot Fiyah:

  • Dilemma: as already stated…gave us the best slow dance song of my generation; Nelly/Kelly is a crazy good duo in retrospect; CLASSIC video that includes Kelly texting from an Excel sheet and a Nelly face band-aid
  • Hot In Herre: that fuckin’ Neptunes beat is outrageous, it’s Pharrell and Chad Hugo at the peak of their hip hop powers; classic lines all over the place from Nelly; a ‘turn up’ song before we even knew what that was
  • Air Force Ones: This is the sneakerhead anthem; classic love song to a classic shoe

Steaming Pile: 

  • Pimp Juice:  I liked this song in ’02 and I know a lot of other people like it still but hearing it in ’18 was not an enjoyable experience for me; I’m not a fan of high-falsetto-crooning Nelly
  • Work it: just a shameless pop collab. grab with Justin Timberlake

Deep Cuts:

  • Roc the Mic (remix): admittedly slept on this song in ’02 but on my re-listen, I realized this is one of the best songs on the album; everyone brings it for their verses and the hook is an all-timer (“roc the mic right…”); Just Blaze on the beat is a classic
  • #1: has maintained a spot in my pump-up music for basketball playlist for years; Nelly spits hard as hell on this song

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