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Nelly: "Grillz" (feat. Paul Wall, Ali, and Gipp)

Nelly: "Grillz" (feat. Paul Wall, Ali, and Gipp)

Release Date:2006
Genre:Hip Hop/Rap

By Bret McCabe | Posted 1/25/2006

When Nelly’s “Country Grammar” rocked down your street, little did we know he was taking that Range Rover right outta St. Louis and into Total Request Live suburbia. His singsong delivery and knack for finishing any line with a cheerleader’s “whoo!” made even his most superficially risqué material—“Hot in Herre,” “Pimp Juice”—feel PG-13 family friendly. Nelly isn’t gonna offend, just say something that might earn him a smiling tsk-tsk.

And in Sweatsuit’s sleeper single “Grillz,” he’s just about the cutest gangsta since Ja Rule started sporting moustache fuzz to downplay his resemblance to Stuart Little. Producer Jermaine Dupri never met a hard edge he couldn’t blunt into polished pop, and here he flattens a Houston woofer-waffling bass throb into Gap Band R&B synth blips and handclaps. By the time Nelly’s multitracked voice chirps, “I’m changing grillz erryday/ Like Jay change clothes,” it all sounds like a 10-year-old clomping around in his older brother’s Air Force Ones.

The whole song would feel equally tea-party play-acting if Nelly didn’t puff-puff-pass the song along to the goofy menace of Paul Wall—who elides his lines as if hehasnoideawhatthespacebarisfor and squeezes out “Call me George Foreman, ’cause I’m selling everybody grillz” without winking. Burly baritones Ali and Gipp trade patently absurd rhymes: “Yeah deez hos can’t focus ’cause they eyesight blurry”; “Got a bill in my mouth like I’m Hillary Rodham.” “Grillz” finishes in a discombobulating haze of nonsense, and Nelly, rap’s Eddie Haskell, adds another woozily entertaining single to his hit list.

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