Way before Big Boss Vette, Sexyy Red and others were putting on for St. Louis, there was Nelly. Nelly reigned supreme in the early 2000s. Nelly's career took off in 2000 with his debut, chart-topping album, Country Grammar. Him introducing his Midwest swang, lingo, signature bandaid and his crew the St. Lunatics were a few of the things that helped solidify Nelly's place in hip-hop. And then there were those Nelly songs.
The 3x Grammy Winner's unique style showcased elements of Southern hip-hop and pop hooks and melodies. His distinct blend of hip-hop created a crossover appeal that allowed him to break into the mainstream effortlessly. Throughout his career, Nelly has collaborated with numerous artists across various genres, including Kelly Rowland on the hit song "Dilemma," which won a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. Other notable collaborations include works with Tim McGraw, Paul Wall, T.I., Florida Georgia Line and others.
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Nelly's impact on the hip-hop industry is undeniable. He has sold millions of albums worldwide, won multiple Grammy Awards, and had several singles top the Billboard charts. His success helped pave the way for other St. Louis rappers and showed that hip-hop could have broad mainstream appeal. His influence continues to be felt in the industry today. Ever wonder what the best Nelly songs are? In this list, we will relive some of Nelly's magic, counting down the 22 best Nelly songs that have become staples in the world of hip hop.