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Brass Knuckles – Nelly

Brass Knuckles - Nelly Artist: Nelly
Album: Brass Knuckles
Release Date: September 16, 2008
Duration: 58:07
Genre: Rap
Styles: Party Rap, Pop-Rap
Recording Location: BattCave, Hollywood, CA; Brandon’s Way, LA; Chalice Studios, Hollywood, CA; Derrty Studios, St. Louis, MO; Hitland Studios, Alpharetta, GA; Legacy Recording, New York, NY; SouthSide Studios, Atlanta, GA; The Record Plant, LA; Track Record Studios, LA; Zac Recording, Atlanta, GA

Release date delays and hype that just doesn’t pan out are nothing new or rare in the world of urban music, but Nelly’s 2008 release could be the quintessential result. Fitting squarely in the middle of the “troubled album” spectrum, Brass Knuckles is neither a disaster nor a brilliant mistake. It’s an album where the forgettable lows marginalize the towering highs, while the feeling that something is missing covers it all. Maybe it’s Nelly’s dream collaboration with Bruce Springsteen that never happened or the lack of any fresh, breakthrough number, but this parade of mostly unsurprising pop-rap tracks has no anchor. Still, there are plenty of winners, as the macho thug anthem “U Ain’t Him” with Rick Ross kicks open the door with proper swagger. Snoop and Nate Dogg dominate with their G-funk memories on the very good “LA,” while both the Akon vehicle “Body on Me” and the Jermaine Dupri production “Stepped on My J’Z” are great singles, polished to perfection with hooks that last. On the other hand, the single “Party People” with Fergie feels like a dull outtake from either of Nelly’s 2004 albums Sweat or Suit, while the Neptunes production “Let It Go Lil’ Mama” ruins its wicked beat with clichéd lyrics from both Nelly and Pharrell. While the LL Cool J and Chuck D appearances are worth hearing, they fail to pull the ambitious, loud, and cocksure Brass Knuckles out of its three-star, been there, done that rut.

Title/Composer Performer Time
U Ain’t Him / Cornell Haynes Nelly feat: Rick Ross 3:15
Hold Up / Cornell Haynes Nelly feat: LL Cool J / T.I. 3:48
LA / Calvin Broadus / Cornell Haynes Nelly feat: Nate Dogg / Snoop Dogg 4:23
Long Night / Cornell Haynes Nelly feat: Usher 3:15
Lie / Cornell Haynes Nelly feat: St. Lunatics 4:20
Party People / Cornell Haynes Nelly feat: Fergie 3:58
Self-Esteem / Chuck D / Cornell Haynes Nelly feat: Chuck D 3:37
Body on Me / Cornell Haynes / Giorgio Tuinfort Nelly feat: Akon / Ashanti 3:29
Stepped on My J’z / Jermaine Dupri / Cornell Haynes Nelly feat: Ciara / Jermaine Dupri 5:03
Let It Go Lil’ Mama / Cornell Haynes Nelly feat: Pharrell Williams 4:22
One and Only / Cornell Haynes Nelly 4:19
Chill / Cornell Haynes Nelly feat: St. Lunatics 5:42
Who F***s wit Me / Cornell Haynes Nelly feat: Avery Storm 4:08
Ucud Gedit / Cornell Haynes Nelly feat: R. Kelly / Gucci Mane 4:28
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