Home Read Classic Album Review: Nelly | Nellyville

Classic Album Review: Nelly | Nellyville

The St. Loo rap phenom avoids the sophomore slump on his tricked-out second LP.

This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Countless performers have come out of nowhere with one good album. But getting lightning to strike a second time — well, that’s what separates the thoroughbreds from the also-rans.

St. Louis rap phenom Nelly shows he’s in it for the long run with his excellent sophomore disc Nellyville, a strong followup to his 2000 star-making debut Country Grammar. Wisely surmising that nothing succeeds like success, Nelly doesn’t try to fix what ain’t broke — most of the 19-track Nellyville is cut from the same cloth as his first album, down to the Dirty South vibe, crackling beats and lazy melodic delivery. That’s no big surprise. But what makes Nellyville a remarkable sequel is the continued strength of Nelly’s writing. From the lumpy title cut to the snappy single Hot in Herre to the old-school George Clinton grease of Pimp Juice and even the Justin Timberlake duet Work It, these tracks are as tricked-out, funked-out and crunked-out as anything from CG (and just in case you want to compare, he rejigs that hit on CG2). You’ll feel right at home.