The album that brought you hits like “Country Grammar (Hot Sh*t),” “E.I.,” and “Ride With Me” turned 16 years old this month. While Nelly and The St. Lunatics set the bar in achievement for Hip Hop, it wasn’t done without controversy. Country Grammar single-handily changed the game after delivering hit after hit in just one album. Nelly instilled a whole new pride in St. Louis with one album that got the world talking.

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Yesterday [Monday, July 25] in Philadelphia, the RIAA announced that Nelly’s debut album sold 10 million units. Country Grammar is only the eighth album that has reached diamond status since it was instituted in 1999. MC Hammer, Outkast, Eminem, Tupac, and Biggie were the only other Hip Hop artist to achieve the same success.

With five-week stints on the Billboard Hot 100, Nelly’s music created a new wave and he bought The St. Lunatics along for the ride. He used his voice to rap and sing making a mixture of hot bars and melodies that the world couldn’t get enough of.


Today while many artists strive to reach half of Nelly’s level of recognition in Hip Hop, Nelly did it signed under Universal with only a handful of producers and writers. He celebrated the occasion on his Instagram page and recollected on the success he achieved in his mid-twenties with a sound the world never saw coming.