Music: Woe Nelly

A rapper with a great voice and not much to say

Most of what you need to know about Nelly's world view can be gleaned from listening to his 2000 breakout hit, Country Grammar: "You can find me, in St. Louis rollin' on dubs/Smokin' them dubs in clubs, blowin' up like cocoa puff." Nelly loves his hometown. Nelly loves pot. Nelly loves Nelly. It's a pretty narrow vision, but Nelly (real name: Cornell Haynes Jr.) moved 8 million copies of his debut album, and his follow-up, Nellyville (Universal), won't lag far behind. The secret is the twang. Nelly, like Snoop Dogg, raps in a Southern-inflected singsong so bouncy and joy-filled that he...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!