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I'm now going to share my inexplicable obsession with Mr Cornell Haynes a.k.a Nelly. I am amazed that this is my first review about anything Nelly-related. I had started to write one about both Nellyville and Country Grammar but I found it impossible to be unbiased. I'm confident that I'm able to be honest about my thoughts about the latest offering from the talented St. Louis rapper. Most people are aware that Nelly was first a member of the St. Lunatics, and made is the first rapper to make it as a solo star.
Da Derrty Versions (The Reinvention) is more than a mere remix album. It is the first that I've actually gone out and bought, and am happy to keep! Being a Nelly fan from the 'EI' days I loved his songs in their original states, however Nelly (with some help from some friends) practically recreates his popular hits. Part of the reason of the success of these remixes is that each song is given a different approach. Some have revolutionary vocals, some have the beats played with, often both. Da Derrty Versions is a breath of fresh air for all Nelly fans
1. Country Grammar (Featuring E-40)(Remixed by Jason "Jay E" Epperson)
Really catchy beats and a brilliant start to the album. It still has the freshness of the original, and you can still sing along- even if you're hearing it for the first time. The song is refers to his St Louis roots.
2. Iz U
'She said "Iz u iz, or iz u ain't?"
"Iz u iz, or iz u ain't?"
Iz that you in a Lamborghini
Iz that your car parked outside?'
As this is Nelly's new single and not a previous hit- it's difficult to judge like the rest of the album. However it is definitely in my top 5 off the album, it works well and is very catchy.
It is all about a girl that is interested in Nelly because of his car and his money.
3. E.I. (Remixed by David Banner)
"Undelay, undelay, mommy E-I E-I, UH OH, what's poppin' tonight?"
Remember which track it is now?
Now the remix also has:
'It must be your ass, 'cos it ain't your face...'
Dubious lyrics? Maybe but it DOES work. It is a fun track that you can get down to on the dance floor. I'm hoping I hear it out soon!
By this point I am delirious with excitement of listening to Nelly. The order of tracks is faultless so far, and one of my ultimate fave Nelly songs is next...
4. Ride Wit Me (Remixed by Jason "Jay E" Epperson)
It starts off sounding not too dissimilar to the original. Then the music kicks in and the vocals are slower whilst the beats are stronger. The result is a nice laid-back song, it makes me think of a summery day. Personally I wouldn't put it in my top 5 favourite tracks.
5. Batter Up (Remixed by Jason "Jay E" Epperson)
Even better than the original- it's the vocals that make this version work so well
6. If (Produced by The Neptunes)
'If I couldn't take you around the world,
Would you still be my girl?'
I think this is Nelly's take on 'Girlfriend' and thankfully he has had the sense to keep Nsync well away from it.
I like this as it doesn't sound whiney, the tone is more questioning. It could quite easily have sounded needy- like Kevin Lyttle but Nelly has more style.
7. Hot In Herre (Remixed by The Neptunes)
'It's getting hot in herre,
So take off all your clothes'
It's difficult to touch a massive hit like 'Hot in Herre' and not have people be critical. I've chosen to judge it as a stand alone track, and it is a good dance record. The vocals are practically the same so you can still sing along which helps the track work. The main changes are that there are extra rhythmic beats but the whole song isn't speeded up or anything.
8. Dilemma (Remixed by Jermaine Dupri)
'Nelly, I love you.... and I need youuuuu..'
This version is way better than the original. I think it benefits from the new stronger beats and it just sounds sexier and less cheesy. Anyone else would be tempted to just speed it up and turn it into a dance number but thankfully they didn't!
I like the rap in it, a particular genius remix.
9. Kings Highway (Remixed by Jason "Jay E" Epperson)
To be honest I wasn't a big fan of the original. This remix is fine, it doesn't spoil it or anything.
10. Groovin' Tonight
The first time I was listening to the album I didn't have much time and I skipped this as the first few seconds sounded really cheesy:
'Tonights the night, tonights the night...
When you lookin sooo fine...'
However when I heard it kick in I was pleasantly surprised, it is a nice 'end of the night' kind of track. It isn't a rap track, and yet I like it a lot.
11. Air Force Ones
Much 'dirtier' but it works. It's really different sound to the original.
"If the shoe is on the shelf you should have some man, you can't sit up and tell me you that you have none, man, you may not have three or four but you got one..."
Air Force Ones is about Nelly's affection for the Nike Air Force brand and if you listen carefully to the lyrics you'll see that is is quite an amusing number.
12. Work It (Remixed by Scott Storch)
The vocals are similar, the rhythm is funked up. And there is a lot more Nelly and less Timberlake- bonus! The difference is mainly in the rhythm, a few extra beats are added.
However it is a remix which is easily forgettable.
13. #1 (Remixed by Wally)
I like songs which sound like they've been recorded live, and this one starts off like that. I do think it sounds pretty similar to the original. To tell the truth I tend to skip it after I hear the rap in the middle.
14. Pimp Juice (Remixed by Jason "Jay E" Epperson)
It begins with a mechanical sounding female voice saying something like 'This is too too Pimp Juice'. Thankfully after a quick cringe the song immediately redeems itself. This is so different with the saxophone and it's slowed down and more mellow. It is not a rap track by any standard. The only problem is the order doesn't work very well and I tend to skip to the next track because it's brilliant.
15. E.I. (Tipdrill Remix Remixed by David Banner)
This bears little resemblance to the original, it is not so much a reinvention as a remake.
'It must be your money 'cos it ain't your face'
The female vocals come in for a moment on this version. It works really well. I like it when the male vocals come together in the fourth minute it sounds spontaneous and evocative of a night out. I like the attitude and vibe that you get from this song. Yes the lyrics aren't exactly flattering, but it's still sexy and good to dance to.
16. Splurge (Remix)
This song is about how Nelly feels he is at a point where he deserves to 'splurge a little' since he has worked damn hard to get where he is today and he is right.
I'm sure the 'remix!' shout in the beginning and middle is Missy Elliott. I think this could have been a genius track with Missy's input. Unfortunately it sounds a little amateurish with the small changes to the beat and little alteration to the vocals. There are also some god awful 'futuristic' twinkly beats popping up at one point. It would have been good to have Splurge remixed into a dancey track but it hasn't been twiddled with enough in terms of the tempo and rhythm.
A shame to end an otherwise excellent album with this track. I would have switched EI and Splurge around in the listing.
The only real moan I have about this album is where is 'Shake Your Tailfeather'? That could have been an amazing remix and it could have finished off the album with a blast!
I would recommend this album to any Rap, Hip hop and R'n'B fan and it is a must for all Nelly fans. Although it is a remix album most of them still retain a hiphop and rap vibe (apart from Pimp Juice).
Let me know what you think if you've heard it!
This is one of the best remix albums I've heard, not that I've gone through many, but still with a lot of mixes which sound better than the originals. This LP uses what I believe to be the better, earlier part of his career, using material from 'Country Grammar' and 'Nellyville' Nelly's tracks are re-invented bringing about a more improved selection of his singles.
1. "Country Grammar" (feat. E-40)
To kick off this album Nelly uses the track that brought himself into the limelight, this debut single gave us a taste of life in the 'Dirty South' and his home of St. Louis. This remix features Hyphy pioneer E-40 with a quick few lines to ease us into the Southern classic.
2. "Iz U"
This is the new single which featured as the soundtrack to "Haunted Mansion" starring Eddie Murphy. It is regarded as the worst single nelly released however I don't agree, I find this rather catchy and doees compete with some of the best-selling singles which he released.
Strong remix to a weak track, this blow the original, which was more relaxed out of the water, this is more in-ya-face, which I prefer giving it a strong appeal to those who like this type of thing from Nelly.
4. "Ride Wit Me" (feat. City Spud)
Starting with City Spud's verse from the original, this track is a completely new interpretation of the lyrics, which are not different, the track is slowed and is more hard-hitting with a totally different backing track.
5. "Batter Up" (feat. St. Lunatics)
Nelly steps up to the plate with is one, bringing this tune about baseball into a hit which could be about anything with the laid-back music used being as good as it is.
I cannot on comment this in comparison to the original however, I can say that i enjoyed this, with typical Nelly lyrics on a soft track/
7. "Hot In Herre"
The massively successful club track is completely re-vamped, and as the original was so good there wasn't much chance of improving, this is why I feel that I did not enjoy this remix. It has more of a 70s feel to it, more disco as I fel nelly tried to continue the dance theme which is where I personally feel the track falls down. Still good to dance to and sing along with.
8. "Dilemma" (feat. Kelly Rowland)
This duet feels just as soft and sensual as the original without much change, thus not spoiling a great R&B tune. The remix is produced by JD, president of 'So So Def', an R&B specialist label therefore he knows what is reqired to make a good soulful tune, using the talent of an ex-member of Destiny's Child.
9. "King's Highway"
Very Hip Hop, with hard-hitting beats, this does have quite a old school feel to it whilst still bringing Nelly's originality of a new style.
10. "Groovin' Tonight (feat. Brian McKnight,Ali & City Spud)
Not very memorable, however does feature nice Brian McKnight melodies along with some of the St. Lunatics Southern flava.
11. "Air Force Ones" (feat. David Banner & Eightball)
David Banner produces this track in which Nelly talks about his favourite footwear, as most people of the Hip Hop generation, the Nike Air Force Ones. With the addition artists influence, this is made to be much more country than before as Eightball and Banner come from the 'Dirty South' of the US.
12. "Work It" (feat. Justin Timberlake)
As the remix to "Hot In Herre", this features a 70s vibe, from Scott Storch which improves the original track, unlike the aforementioned song. With Justin Timberlake, Nelly
13. "#1" (feat. Clipse & Postaboy)
With a nice guitar riff throughout, Nelly speaks about his pursuit of reaching legendary status, claiming, "Two isn't a winner and three nobody remembers.." There is suspicion of this being a diss track aimed at KRS-One, causing their beef about Dirty South not being true Hip Hop - no disrespect, but KRS, shut up. This undercurrent of trension is removed and replaced by a verse by members of Clipse.
14. "Pimp Juice" (feat. Ron Isley)
Softer version of the track, in which Nelly talks about his charm, Pimp Juice, which allows him to get the girls.
Using this "E.I." remix as it's foundation, this is the remix to that sing. This is easily the greatest track on the album with a lot of call-and-response. If you have followed the artists music well then you would know how infamous the video is, and the music itself is very strong and so doesn't get forgotten when competing for attention against the video.
Nelly expresses his desire to spend a little now that he feels good about where he come to so far, after working hard for a long while and now his career has made a good start. All about the lyrics, the beat isn't as strong.
I would have preferred letting the album end with a bang and using something much more memorable, making us want more and instead a wind-down tune is used, i find this annoying as i would have liked it better if he gave me a reason to follow his material rather than to go back in the album- oh well
No true Nelly fan can go without this remix album, it uses his better tracks therefore it has a good base, and what comes from those foundations is phenomenal, a great Nelly album.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Intro - Nelly
2 Country Grammar (Hot...) - E-40, , Nelly
3 Iz U - Nelly
4 E. I. - Nelly
5 Ride Wit Me - City Spud, Nelly
6 Batter Up - Ali, , Prentice Church, , Jason "Jay E" Epperson, King Jacob, Murphy Lee, Nelly, True
7 If - Nelly
8 Hot in Herre - Nelly
9 Dilemma - Nelly
10 King's Highway - Nelly
11 Groovin' Tonight - Ali, City Spud, Brian McKnight, Nelly
12 Air Force Ones - David Banner, 8Ball, Nelly
13 Work It - Nelly, Justin Timberlake
14 #1 - Clipse, Nelly,
15 Pimp Juice - Ronald Isley, Nelly
16 E. I. [Tipdrill Remix] - Nelly, St. Lunatics