In the past couple of days, I’ve seen a concerning trend on the Twittersphere:

Not just A$AP Rocky acting up, but the overall disrespect shown to the 4th highest selling rapper of all time, Nelly. Upon further investigation, I’ve seen countless people my age and under backing this up! I get that many are on the newer side of rap fandom, but too many people have forgotten just how massive Nelly was at his peak. For fuck’s sake, a year ago people were having the Nelly vs Drake debate, yet now people are saying he doesn’t belong in the same breath as A$AP ROCKY? I don’t know when this switch came, but I’m here to set the record straight – Nelly is one of the biggest rap artists of all time, and we best not forget it.

Nelly sold 21.8 million records in his career, putting him only behind Eminem, Drake, and Kayne for most rap record sales all time. Before he went all pop (“Just A Dream” was a gargantuan mistake and it’s best we all forget that song exists), Nelly had a plethora of absolute jams – including all time classics, “Ride Wit Me” and “Dilemma” with Kelly Rowland. How could you forget the misogynistic anthem and a personal post-breakup favorite of mine, “Tip Drill”? And if you bless the late night AUX with a little “Hot In Herre”? You’ve set yourself up for a sweaty and rugged OTPHJ on a disgusting dance floor. 

He also released probably the greatest earworm of all time, “Country Grammar (Hot Shit)”. In my 22 and a half years of life, there’s probably been over 10,000 incidences of me catching myself humming “I’m going down, down baby your street in a Range Rover” at any point in the day. And no Nelly list would be complete with the entire reason we got in this mess, “Air Force Ones”. Seriously, have you ever heard a song about SHOES be so good? Macklemore tried and completely whiffed on “Wingz”, and “Pumped Up Kicks” is probably the most depressing shit I’ve ever heard. Bottom line, Nelly can go hit for hit with almost anybody on the planet. 

I’m not sure if it’s naivety or pure ignorance, but it seems like “kids these days” forget just how big Nelly was – his plethora of hits, absolute classics, and revolutionary style shaped and influenced more of today’s music than people like to admit, but let’s not forget all this man’s done for music.