Hip Hop

Nelly Explains Why 2000s Was ‘Hardest Era Ever’ In Hip Hop

Nelly says 2000s hip hop was hardest era


Nelly raised some eyebrows when he shared why the 2000s era in hip hop was the hardest, although he saw tremendous success.

Although Nelly started recording music in the mid-1990s, he really became a household name in the early 2000s, with his albums Country Grammar and Nellyville becoming blockbuster projects. Both albums topped the Billboard 200 chart in an era when some of the biggest names in rap were competing. This forms the basis of Nelly’s argument that the 2000s was the toughest era for rappers.

The St. Louis rapper sat down with The Shop podcast on Tuesday (March 5), where he shared his opinion on what rap was like in the 2000s.

“My era of music was the toughest era in hip-hop ever. Ever!” he said. “When I put out songs, I had to go against DMX, JAY-Z, Eminem, Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, Luda (Ludacris) – all of us are fighting for one spot. So from 99 to like 2008, 10? It’s the hardest era ever.”

In that era, Nelly had some big songs on the airwaves, including “Ride With Me” featuring City Spud, “E.I.,” Batter Up,” featuring Murphy Lee and Ali, “Hot In Herre,” “Pimp Juice,” “Air Force Ones,” featuring Ali, Murphy Lee, and Kyjuan, “Work It” with Justin Timberlake, and the mega-hit “Dilemma” with Kelly Rowland.

Although Nelly had some big songs, rappers like 50 Cent, Ja Rule, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Eminem, and more also dominated the airwaves. Certainly, a lot of today’s hip hop fans who were younger during that era may disagree with his statement, but a lot of fans from that era and those folks from the 90s golden era seem to have mixed feelings.

“He forgetting 80’s and 90’s….better check that history,” one fan wrote while another added, “I get what you saying but our music was relatively new.. Nelly era rap was a commodity so the stacks was WAY HIGHER.. early mid 90’s ok but def not the 80’s.”

“Yeah he not lying 50 cent and Kanye and Wayne had us in a chokehold,” one fan who was listening hip hop in era quips. “It was so much good music out in hip hop … I remember living in New York and every single week flex was drop a new record with 100 bombs before it’s finished. Now we only have Drake, Lil baby and JCole keeping hip hop alive today.”

Nevertheless, Nelly is sticking by his statement.