Album: Nellyville

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Album:

Nellyville

Artist: Nelly
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Label: Umvd Labels

When your debut album scans 8x platinum, why mess with the formula? That’s what Nelly must have been thinking on Nellyville, as he virtually carbon-copies the Country Grammar template on his follow-up. This time around, though, unusually large chunks of his rhyme schemes are fixated on tales of his rise from rags-to-bitches. On tracks like “Work It” (which sadly features Justin Timberlake of toy band ‘N Sync) and the title track, hip-hop’s materialistic excess hits a fever pitch. Still, “bling, bling” never sounded so good over St. Lunatics in-house…

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When your debut album scans 8x platinum, why mess with the formula? That’s what Nelly must have been thinking on Nellyville, as he virtually carbon-copies the Country Grammar template on his follow-up. This time around, though, unusually large chunks of his rhyme schemes are fixated on tales of his rise from rags-to-bitches. On tracks like “Work It” (which sadly features Justin Timberlake of toy band ‘N Sync) and the title track, hip-hop’s materialistic excess hits a fever pitch. Still, “bling, bling” never sounded so good over St. Lunatics in-house producer Jay E’s beats.

Nelly takes his down-home St. Louis rap cadence to, er, identical heights on “Country Grammar II,” one of the many similar-sounding sequels to original chart blazers “Country Grammar” and “E.I.” The anthemic “Hot in Herre,” whose hook implores hotties to get undressed over a poppy Neptunes beat, is the 2002 version of “Ride wit Me.” Nelly even pulls a Q-Tip routine, mutating his already singsong delivery into full-on balladeering on “The Gank” and “Pimp Juice,” with mixed results. KRS-One has called for a boycott of this album because he’s decided Nelly has no respect for hip-hop elders, and, well, maybe he’s right. But that won’t stop this St. Lunatic from taking his fresh approach to commercial hip-hop to the nearest Chase Manhattan. —Dalton Higgins

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