Nelly - Country Grammar (Hot Sh*t)
Once upon a time, if you asked someone to name the hottest rappers doing it, they’d list off Jay-Z, Eminem... and Nelly. Yeah, that was as strange for me to type as it was for you to read. But it’s true; during the first few years of the 2000s, the St. Louis native was standing at the apex of the mainstream hip-hop game. And Country Grammar (Hot Sh*t) was the record that started it all. The lead single off Nelly’s ‘00 debut of the same name, the record lived up to its subtitle where chart performance was concerned, peaking at #7 on the Hot 100 and earning the album a #3 debut on the Billboard 300. More than a decade later, it’s not hard to see why: the emcee’s breezy, melodic bars, Jason “Jay E” Epperson‘s simple, yet addictive production and the singalong hook (borrowed from a children’s rhyme called Down Down Baby) combine to form an instant-gratification pop-rap banger that demands repeat spins. Director Marc Klasfield‘s official visuals, centered around the perennially appealing themes of whips, rims and thick asses, certainly didn’t hurt the cut’s prospects.