Billboard put Nelly on the third spot on its list of the “Artists of the Decade” for 2000-2009. Considering he released his debut studio album in the year 2000, that is some achievement. Nelly has had a rollercoaster of a career, however he has been at the top of the ladder for a while now. The last few years may have not been as great as he’d have hoped but he is still there and going strong. Now he is out on tour and will soon make his way to your city. If hip hop is your thing, then grab your Nelly tickets and watch him live in concert.
The Starting Point
Nelly’s parents divorced when he was just seven years old. As a teenager, he re-located to University City, Missouri, with his mother. When he was in high school, Nelly formed a hip hop group called St. Lunatics. They came out with a single Gimme What Ya Got which made quite a lot of noise on the local circuit. Nelly wanted to take the next step in his career and when the band failed to attract any major record label, he decided to go solo.
Kevin Law, an A&R at the Universal Music Group signed Nelly to the label and began to build him up as a rapper from the Midwest. At that time, there were not a lot of hip hop stars from that part of the country.
An Incredible Debut
Nelly came out with his first studio album titled “Country Grammar” in the year 2000. The album introduced a unique sound to the hip hop scene. It was rap from the Midwest. The album spent five straight weeks at the top of the US Billboard 200. Apart from that it stayed at the first position on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart for six weeks. Country Grammar also charted in countries like Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Finland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. It was certified diamond in the United States and went three times platinum in both Canada and New Zealand.
Country Grammar was also a critical hit. It received three stars out of four from the Los Angeles Times and received a nine out of ten rating from NME. The album also got four stars out of five from Q Magazine and three and a half stars out of five from Rolling Stone. The album also won Nelly a Soul Train Award. The break that Nelly had been looking for, came with this album.
It Kept Getting Better
Nelly then came out with “Nellyville” his second studio album on June 25, 2002. The album received a lot of critical acclaim. It received four stars out of five from AllMusic, The Guardian and Q Magazine. Rolling Stone gave it three out of five while The Los Angeles Times gave it three out of four stars.
Nellyville also went on to peak at the first spot on the US Billboard 200. It also captured top spots on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and the US Top Rap Albums charts. The record also went to the first spot on the UK R&B Album Chart. Nellyville also charted in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, New Zealand, France, Poland, Ireland and Sweden.
The record was certified six times platinum in the US and twice platinum in the UK. It also went twice platinum in New Zealand, triple platinum in Australia and quadruple platinum in Canada. It won two Grammys and six Billboard Music Awards.
Two years later, Nelly went for a double treat and came out with two studio albums on the same day. The records were titled “Sweat” and “Suit” and they both came out on September 14, 2004. The former received three stars out of five from AllMusic and three and a half out of five from Rolling Stone.
It also went on to peak at the second spot on the US Billboard 200, the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and the US Top Rap Albums charts. Sweat also charted in countries like Australia, UK, Switzerland, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands. It sold in excess of a million copies in the US and was certified platinum as a result of that. The record also went gold in the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.
Suit on the other hand did even better commercially. It went on to top the US Billboard 200 and in the process became Nelly’s third straight number one album. It also peaked at the first spot on both the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and the US Top Rap Albums chart. The record also went as high as the second spot in the UK and first spot in Canada. Suit also charted in countries like Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, New Zealand and the Netherlands among others. The record was also certified triple platinum in the US and platinum in the UK. It was certified gold in Australia and New Zealand.
Nelly then released “Brass Knuckles” in September of 2014 and it was certified gold in the US. The album went to the first spot on the US Top Rap Albums chart and to the second position on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It climbed to the third position on the US Billboard 200. It also received three stars out of five from both AllMusic and Rolling Stone.
Nelly Tour Tickets
Nelly has released two more albums since then – “5.0” and “M.O.” The latter came out in 2013 and while the rapper has not come out with any more music for a while, he has been on the road constantly. He is about to hit the road once again and has already announced multiple shows leading up to the middle of June, 2018. If you want to see him in his element live, then grab your Nelly tour tickets now.