The Score: Nelly, "5.0"

Tuesday, Nov 16, 2010 3:00PM

Written by J. Bachelor

Buy Now
The Dallas AM News 4/5
DJ Booth 3.5/5
Slant 2/5
Speakerboxxx 3/5
As Is Hip-Hop 2/5

After a two-year hiatus, Grammy Award-winning rapper Nelly is back with his fifth studio album, aptly titled 5.0.

Nelly cultivated a strong following in the early 2000's and alongside Jay-Z and Eminem, was named one of the top-selling rap artists of the decade.

St. Louis Rap Star Nelly will release "5.0" - his follow up to 2008's Brass Knuckles - on Tues., Nov. 16. In the decade since he and the St. Lunatics put St. Louis on the map in hip-hop, Nelly has one countless awards - including Grammy Awards and American Music Awards. In 2000, Nelly was named "Top Rap Artist of the Year" and "Country Grammar" was among the "Top Ten Selling Albums of the Decade" for 2000-2009. (STL American)

With appearances, 5.0 offers hip-hop and r&b audience much Southern exposure, as well as boasts one of hip-hop's notorious personalities as a guest star.

The guest list includes the second-best recently released rapper (T.I., now back in prison), some compulsory Southern representation (DJ Khaled and the increasingly dreadful Plies), R&B voices sinking steadily toward irrelevance (Akon and Kelly Rowland) and some established but creaky names (Baby and the typically useless Diddy). A further hint of what's in store comes via Diddy's appearance on "1000 Stacks," where he hawks some familiar merchandise: a dusty Biggie sample. That it's one of the albums high points is another bad sign. (Slant Magazine)

Nelly continued his southern alliance by enlisting beatsmiths such as Polow Da Don and Rico Love to handle the album's production.

I got some talented producers like Dr. Luke and Polow Da Don. I got my man Rico Love. I got Smash Factory, which is T.I.'s production company. Me and Tip did a joint that was crazy. I got Don Vito again featured on the album.(The Rap Up)

"Just a Dream" producer Rico Love recently spoke with SOHH about the impact crafting the album's lead single had on his career.

This is going to end up being one of my biggest records to date and that's saying a lot. I'm very excited because as I have been telling everybody, I did a big portion of Nelly's 5.0 album and I have been telling a lot of people through the process that there was doubt. A lot of people in the business, and I won't say [any] names, were telling me "Nah, why you working with Nelly? He's over". Those are their words, I'm pulling them out because this industry is full of a lot of bullsh*t people that are afraid to take chances and to work with artists that they believe in and that they're fans of. They're d*ck riders, all of these motherf*ckers.(SOHH Fall Music Preview)

While some note that 5.0 lacks the enthusiasm of his earlier work, others admit that Nelly's  ability to create party songs is duly noted on the LP. 

This album is disappointing. I think mostly because Nelly started off so big with his catchy rhymes that deep down everyone wants to see him do that again. But alas, that may never happen.(Speakerboxxx)
As a rapper, Nelly (a.k.a. Cornell Haynes Jr.) isn't the most commanding MC in the business. Eminem and Jay-Z, for example, pack way more rhyming potency. But 5.0 solidifies Nelly as one of the best beats-and-grooves men on the hip-hop landscape. Several slammers, particularly "I'm Number 1," "Move That Body" and "Don't It Feel Good," seriously turn up the dance-floor heat. The beats are lean, strong and electrified. They bring to mind classic Nelly workouts such as "E.I." and "Hot in Herre." That's the idea, given that Nelly tripped with 2008's Brass Knuckles. 5.0, featuring Nelly singing on the R&B ballad "Nothing Without Her," puts him back in the club action. (The Dallas Morning News)

To purchase 5.0, just click here.

Preview songs from 5.0 below:

For the latest gadgets, gear and giveaways, check out

blog comments powered by Disqus