Actually, if you think about it, Nelly’s six or seven year run was longer than probably should have been expected. The St. Louis rapper’s career was more or less based on a gimmick-Nelly pretty much spilt the difference between your average singer and your average rapper…and make no mistake, he was pretty average at both. The failure of his current album “Brass Knuckles” and his label’s yearlong campaign to turn shit into sunshine to no avail should put the cap on the career of one of the biggest selling pop rappers in recent history.
Make no mistake, Nelly was a superstar from the moment he appeared on the scene in the summer of 1999. At a time when Midwest rappers from Bone Thugs n Harmony to Eminem were making waves, the rapper was in the right place geographically, and his sing-song flow had massive amounts of pop (and youth) appeal. Despite the occasionally sexually explicit lyric, he was the MC that was playable to a street audience as well as the Nickelodeon set.