Mar 16, 2021
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Nelly, born Cornell Iral Haynes Jr., was last on top of the charts in the early to mid 2000s, but has seen a resurgence in his career thanks to country music, and in particular Florida-Georgia Line. Their first collaboration was a remix of the smash “Cruise” which went on to become one of the biggest hits of the decade in any genre.
After than, many expected for Nelly to fade into the background and go back to doing club shows and the occasional rap album, but that has not been the case. FGL has collaborated with Nelly and brought him on several big tours long after the hype for “Cruise” died down, and it left many scratching their heads. When Nelly put out his own recent song featuring FGL, we had to do a little digging.
According to our inside source (nicknamed “Benny”) Nelly, performer of such hits as “Pimp Juice” and “Hot in Herre,” has possession of several photographs that keep Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley at his beck and call. He’s made such requests of them as songwriting sessions, car detailings, tour slots, and their Netflix passwords.
“They are willing to do just about anything to keep Nelly from publishing those pics,” said Benny. “I honestly don’t know what the photos are of, but it must be some seedy sh*t!” Benny also said that Nelly carries the photos with him in a Halliburton briefcase attached to his wrist with handcuffs, and is never more than 5 feet from the case.
“Not to demean him because he’s had a good career, but that briefcase keeps him in steak and lobster and Bugattis,” laughed Benny. “And he’s also just showing up at their houses at all hours of the night to just hang out… their wives aren’t crazy about it but the guys just tell them they’re working on music, but they’re just shooting pool in the treehouse.”
When asked to guess what’s in the photos, Benny ventures a few possibilities. “I doubt it’s anything sexual, those dudes never had any game until they were rich and then they got married immediately, so it’s probably pics of them at a real country concert, enjoying themselves. That would devastate Florida-Georgia Line fans!”
At press time, Nelly was taking a shower with one arm through the curtain.
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The roots of modern mainstream country music run deep… well, not deep, but long. All the way back to the 70s anyway. You hear the disco beats of ABBA and others in the slick sounds of Chris Lane and Thomas Rhett. There's not a ton of 80s influence in the current sound - though you'll hear a little hair metal flourish from time to time. The 90s is where 2010's country really finds its 'soul.' From the chillaxing flow of Jack Johnson to the gleeful boy band harmonies, to the danceable pop rock of Sugar Ray, it's undeniable that the generation of music the most popular artists and songwriters grew up on is a huge influence on their sound.
So what about country music? Is modern country influenced by any of that? Well, sure. If you call Shania Twain and Rascal Flatts country. (Yeah, we have a few outliers with a semi-traditional sound, but even Jon Pardi only releases his most dance floor ready tracks to radio)
Check out this Spotify playlist if you don't believe me. You'll hear some really familiar sounds if you're a consumer of iheartradio's commercial country soundscape. If you're not, you'll just get a knowing laugh out of it. Oh, and don't think I'm saying all this music is bad… I like some of it; it's just not necessarily the well a genre called "country" should be drawing most of its water from.
Here's the tracklist if you don't wanna put your ears through all that.
Smash Mouth – All Star
Drake – Take Care
Everything – Hooch
John Mayer – Your Body Is a Wonderland
Britney Spears – ...Baby One More Time
Sugar Ray – Every Morning
Shawn Mendes – I Know What You Did Last Summer
Winger – Seventeen
Kesha – TiK ToK
Lil Wayne – A Milli
Rascal Flatts – Prayin' For Daylight
*NSYNC – Bye Bye Bye
Limp Bizkit – Rollin' (Air Raid Vehicle)
Katy Perry – Teenage Dream
Jack Johnson – Sitting, Waiting, Wishing
Nelly – Country Grammar (Hot Shit)
Eminem – The Monster
Zedd – Stay (with Alessia Cara)
Montgomery Gentry – Hell Yeah
Bloodhound Gang – The Bad Touch
Dave Matthews Band – Ants Marching
The Pussycat Dolls – Don't Cha
Warrant – Cherry Pie
Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud
Crazy Town – Butterfly
ABBA – Dancing Queen
Calvin Harris – My Way
Shania Twain – That Don't Impress Me Much
Nickelback – Something In Your Mouth
LFO – Summer Girls
Ariana Grande – The Way
G. Love & Special Sauce – Cold Beverage