It's been years since Nelly reigned, and like The Game's, this fourth album is star-studded for insurance. Lil Wayne and T-Pain, who are occupying Nelly's old number-one spot, are just about the only big dogs not on Brass Knuckles. T.I. holds his own here, but is LL still bitterly spitting subliminals at Jay-Z, claiming to be "the blueprint" as the admirable Hold Up fades out? Probably.
Nelly is arguably the greatest singles rapper of all time. Love him or hate him, few artists, if any, have hovered around the Billboard charts like Nelly. Simply put, dude can write a hook. Be it through his breakout smash “Hot In Herre”, the grinding and singable “E.I.”, or the playful “Air Force Ones”, Nelly has become a staple in the pop world, elevating himself above the status of hip-hop kingpin to that of pop superstar.