When Nelly dropped his debut album Country Grammar around the new millennium, fans fell in love with the St. Lunatic’s blatant singsong raps.
Now, a little more than sixteen years since the initial June 2000 release, the album that gave us white girl anthems like “E.I.” and “Ride With Me” has been given the ultimate acknowledgment from the RIAA, by being certified diamond. For those unaware, that’s ten million frikkin’ albums sold.
Team @RIAA surprises @Nelly_Mo with Diamond Album Award at last night's @musiciansoncall benefit! #CountryGrammar!? pic.twitter.com/FKb9pU5mYs
— RIAA (@RIAA) July 26, 2016
To give that accolade some context, very few albums from any genre even manage to go one time platinum in today’s digitally-driven industry and there are only seven other rap albums period that have achieved diamond status:
Eminem – The Eminem Show Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP MC Hammer ÔÇÿPlease Hammer – DonÔÇÖt Hurt ÔÇÿEm Outkast – Speakerboxxx/The Love Below Tupac – All Eyez On Me Tupac – Greatest Hits The Notorious B.I.G. – Life After Death
Back when Nelly was wearing jerseys backwards and rocking unnecessary Band-Aids, did anyone ever expect him to be one of the best selling rappers of all time? Maybe, actually. That dude was everywhere and in hindsight, Country Grammar holds up well sonically and also created a genre-wide justification for much of the pop-leaning southern rap we’ve heard since.
NellyÔÇÖs ÔÇÿCountry GrammarÔÇÖ Becomes The 8th Rap Album Certified Diamond : UPROXX