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"Sweat" is half of a double album by Nelly, released in 2004. This part of it contrasts from the "Suit" side as this one has Nelly rapping in has more gritty style, and so it has all of the hyped-up club unes as well some the times where he attempts to get 'gangsta' on us (keep trying).
1. Heart of a Champion (feat. Lincoln University Vocal Ensemble)
Really, when you buy a Nelly album you know what you're in for: poor quality Hip Hop (and everything which comes along with it) but it's not smart to start the album off with such a tune which displays this. Nelly begins as if he's a boxer with some motivational music, however the enery which it creates simply transfers into him resorting to his old stupid rhymes as he brags about things like giving to charity.
2. Na-NaNa-Na (feat. Jazze Pha)
When I first heard this track, I couldn't believe that it was Nelly performing it because it is so out-of-character for him to do such a thing, however, i think that it was a great choice to have him perform in such a way as it has his sound underated as he it able to follow trends here by rapping on a reserved Crunk beat from Jazzy Pha. It's just what he needed to have him escape from the Pop side whihc he had been plagued with early on in his career, especially with his second album.
3. Flap Your Wings
This was the first track off "Sweat", and from the two albums collectively. has Nelly go back to his strongest style of rapping as it has him performing in a stlye which is simialr to his hit, "Hot In Herre", as it is a big club tune. To go along with this, you have Nelly's tune produced by the top club beat-makers in the game, The Neptunes, who offer a big dance rhymth for the track, allowing for Nelly to flow in a speedy and exciting way.
4. American Dream (feat. St. Lunatics)
You a track which sounds as if he's going back to his old days as he raps along with his crew, the St. Lunatics, however I never have much to say about them as they don't really have anything to offer; they are nothing more than average rappers and have shown no progression sicne their debut. .
5. River Don't Runnn (feat. Murphy Lee and Stephen Marley)
Although it was always going to be a risk for Nelly, this one has Nelly attempt to crossover to the Reggae scen as his collaborates with Bob's son, Stephen Marley, and so he tries to immitate the sound of the island, but faisl to do so with the chorus (which he sings), and the verses, don't really relate to them. Without the prescence of a Marley, or another Reggae artist, this would have been terrible throughout, but the odd melody from Stephan provides a little lift as you are frced to hear Nelly and Murphy Lee struggle through their raps.
6. Tilt Ya Head Back (feat. Christina Aguilera)
Here's one of the big singles from the album and has Nelly perform alongside one of the biggest nmaes in Pop, Christina Aguilera, in a track which has him rap in his singing style, which made him stna dout earlier on in his career. I thought that altohugh I enjoyed it's tempo and energy, at times Nelly's simply has nothing to say, and so just repeats lines over a few bars.
7. Grand Hang Out (feat. Fat Joe, Young Tru, and Remy Martin)
Following various attempts to get Nelly's street cred up, this track has him rap with Young Tru (an unknown rapper to me), and New York's Fat Joe. Unfortunately, just because they rap with him, and he tries to get on their level during this track, he doesn't manage to make it believeble at all as he constantly resorts to a little "Uh Ohh" whenever he slighlty short of material.
8. Getcha Getcha (feat. St. Lunatics)
Finally we get something new out of Nelly and the St. Lunatics, and although it's obvious that Nelly wastes quite a few bars on predictable stuff, this is a strong tune from them. I think that the Dirty Swift & Bruce Waynne production is what inspired this change as they go more a lively and fun tune which would suit Pop audiences as well as genreal fans of Hip hop (even in ths watered-down form of it).
9. Another One
After such a big tune from him, the quality diminsihes once again as he goes for another high-energy tune, but instead of having it focus on something quite general, so that others can appreicate it, Nelly raps about how their is only one of himself, and nobody can compare to his lyrical skills (oh dear).
10. Spida Man
This one had so much potenital with some strong beats by Jayson "Koko" Bridges, who brings some hard Dirty South beats for Nelly, and then the rapper goes and spoils it by singing in a weird, off-putting manner and conpares himself to Spiderman (but I really don't see the links).
11. Playa (feat. Mobb Deep and Missy Elliot)
I wouldn't have put Nelly and the hardcore East Coasters Mobb Deep together, but I'm glad it did happen because it came up with great results as they combine their skills with that of Missy Elliot as well as the production from The Alchemist, and he comes up with a smooth groove which allows for the rhymes to flow with the rhythm naturally.
12. Down In Da Water (feat. Ali and Gube Thug)
This is the track you hear prior to the video "Flap Ya Wings" kicks in, but I can't say that I've ever wanted to hear anymore of it, and when I finally did , I wasn't too impressed by what it had to offer me. It's simply a tough track by Nelly, but doesn't really have much to make it memorable.
13. Boy (feat. Lil' Flip and Big Gipp)
Nelly address all his haters here as he has Houston's Lil' Flip and Atlanta's Big Gipp to aid him, and to be honest, without them this track would not be worth listening to as it is very predictable and becomes very annoying after a couple of listens. However the way that the guests go about it take make you forget about the poor start which Nelly offers.
As always, you are going to et an aweful lot of complaint with a Nelly album, and the issues remain with this record as his lyrics haven't improved at all, and he still tries to cover this up by singing the parts instead. However, I must say that it is an improvemnt for him, especially since "Nellyville", which was terrible throughout. So you do have a number of decent club bangers, but they are in amongst his typical flawed tunes.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Heart Of A Champion - Nelly, Lincoln University Vocal Ensemble
2 Na-NaNa-Na - Nelly
3 Flap Your Wings - Nelly
4 American Dream - Nelly, St. Lunatics
5 River Don't Runnn - Nelly, Murphy Lee, Stephen Marley
6 Tilt Ya Head Back - Nelly, Christina Aguilera
7 Grand Hang Out - Nelly, Fat Joe, Young Tru, Remy Martin
8 Getcha Getcha - Nelly, St. Lunatics
9 Another One - Nelly
10 Spida Man - Nelly
11 Playa - Nelly, Mobb Deep, Missy Elliot
12 Down In Da Water - Nelly, Ali, Gube Thug
13 Boy - Nelly, Lil' Flip, Big Gipp
14 Don't Stop - Nelly