If you haven’t heard, Derrty Derrty’s debut album ‘Country Grammar’ went Diamond the other day! This is a tremendous feat! When the album first came out, did you expect this to happen? You mean to tell me the dude that copied a nursery rhyme as his first single could be mentioned in the same breath as legends like Michael, Whitney, and Pac with his debut album? Well if you don’t know, this album was pretty good, and I can tell you off the rip my top 5 songs from it! Where will the album rank on my all time list though? Let’s find out.
JUNE 27, 2000
5. BATTER UP
I LOVE BATTER UP! Nelly takes the theme song of the Jeffersons, and makes it into a metaphoric baseball song about how they came up in St. Louis. interesting!
This song was an introduction to Murphy Lee and Ali. I don’t care about Ali, but I’ve always felt like Murphy Lee was a star! Murphy Lee and Lloyd Banks should’ve been stars in this game! (Now Murphy Lee works at &pizza).
What made Murphy Lee good was his sarcasm. He always had some slick s–t to say right? He reminds me of that one homie that goes to the club with different groups of friends, and holds his own in a conversation no matter the group.
Just like ‘Ride Wit Me’, I get this whole sarcastic feel from this song. Nelly and his buddies aren’t being serious, they’re just clowning around, and it sounds vicious to me!
4. RIDE WIT ME (5/5)
The song that crossed Nelly over like Allen did Jordan comes in at #4!
At first, ‘Ride Wit Me’ was dope to the thugs, as Nelly had that whole gangsta celebratory sound on the track. I feel like The Republicans got a hold of the track, and decided that it was appropriate enough to divvy out to their off spring….Annnnnnnnnd 16 years later, we all think a white person made this song.
As KidzBop as this song may sound now, he’s actually talking about drugs, multiple women, and haters…. That doesn’t sound too Nickelodeon to me!
The dude on the rap verse (which is actually his blood brother), sounds like he recorded his verse 4 months before he had to do his jail bid…That doesn’t sound Nickelodeon to me!
My theory is that Nelly was trying to be funny when he made this song: “Hey guys! Watch me f around in the studio and make this Spongebob Square Pants sounding drug song!”….Welp, he F’ed around and made a hit record.
Unfortunately, this type of song became Nelly’s backup plan. Whenever his other stuff flops, he resorts to this cheesy formula to get some hits again….We weren’t buying it! (literally)
3. E.I. (5/5)
On first listen, the beat sorta sounds like ‘Country Grammar’ to me, as it has the same flow to it. ‘E.I’ is a little more raunchy though, as Nelly talks about his escapades with his, yours and my disloyal ass women.
What I like most about this song, is the brashness that he’s talking with on his verses. He knows he’s the s–t, and he’s very descriptive about it. This isn’t like Jay knowing he’s the s–t, because he’s established his name in the game; this is ‘I’m the s–t’, and I’m sure you don’t know it yet, and by the end of the song, you’re gonna know.
2. LUVEN ME (5/5)
I’m sure most of ya’ll are like “How can this song beat ‘E.I’., and ‘Ride With You’ on this list”? Ill explain…
‘Luven Me’ is a passionate song by Nelly that pays homage to both his mother, and his girl that held him down through all his trials and tribulations. The song is fully sung, and is extremely gentle.
The interesting thing to me about this song, is how far ahead of its time it was…..In 2000, rappers weren’t fully singing on tracks, so this song sounded a bit unique at the time. Not only does he fully sing, he’s singing about moving drugs, and shouting out his n—az (another aspect that was a bit bizarre at the time). Nonetheless, it’s a great song, and I think helped pave the way for rap artists to be passionate on a track without looking soft.
1. COUNTRY GRAMMAR (5/5)
It’s only right that this is the top song from the album, and 60 percent of that reason is ‘politics’… FDT!
Though the song sounds very corny, it served as an anthem for the people of St. Louis; It’s no different from ‘Black & Yellow’ by Wiz, or ‘California Girls’ by Katy Perry (Partially joking about that).
It’s funny, the vibe of the song is hella joyful, but he’s talking about drugs and guns with the best of them! On the song he says: ‘Streetsweeper cocked ready to let it go”….Unless this negro is one of those street janitors, he’s talking about a gun! Matter fact, there is no such thing as a damn street janitor as I think about it!
I take back what I said earlier, this song is more like ‘Juicy’ than the others I listed. On this song, he’s passionate, as he talks about how he came up, and how they get down in St. Louie (Very similar to Big on Juicy)….Ignore the Nickelodeon Theme song melody, and listen to the lyrics folks.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. St. Louie (3.8/5)
2. Greed Hate Envy (4.2/5)
3. Country Grammar (5/5)
4. Steal The Show (4/5)
5. Ride With Me (5/5)
6. E.I. (5/5)
7. Thicky Thick Girl (4.9/5)
8. For My (4.7/5)
9. Utha Side (4.8/5)
10. Tho Dem Wraps (4.3/5)
11. Wrap Sumden (3.5/5)
12. Batter Up (5/5)
13. Never Let Em’ C U Sweat (4.6/5)
Man it was fun rating this album!
I feel like this album is strictly for his homies in St Louis! Other rappers say they pay homage to their cities, but Nelly did it the best way in my opinion. This album is not “Oooh I’m so hood, and guns reflect how I came up” type of homage, it’s a “Man I’m so glad we don’t gotta do that dumb stuff anymore to make a living” type of homage! It’s like a celebration.
No one outside of St. Louis knew who Nelly was before this album. It’s not like he was on another major artists Mixtape, or was doing crazy things on social media to get seen, he came out with a song that grew in momentum. With that being said, no one knew what to expect when they popped that CD in. For him to make such a solid body of work still is impressive.
Musically, the sound is pretty ahead of its time: Nelly raps on this album, but most of his raps are in melody form. About 55 percent of the rappers out now rap like this, and I think in large part because of Nelly’s success.
Love him or hate him, when it’s all said and done, Nelly has had an impact in the game! Many rappers are just like Nelly in a sense, and who would’ve thunk this 16 years ago off of Country Grammar.
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.