HOT SHIT! Nelly bombarded the game in the summer of 2000 with his debut album, Country Grammar. Sixteen years later, Nelly's rookie project becomes just the ninth rap album to be certified diamond.

Country Grammar sold 235,000 copies in its first week of release, debuting at the number three spot on the Billboard, before eventually topping the list in August. The 17-track body of work was so well-received because of its fresh sound - Nelly captured a distinct, St. Louis vibe that the nation had never heard before. Standout tracks like "Country Grammar," "Ride Wit Me," "E.I." and "Batter Up" still bang and are played at bars and house parties to this day.

Obviously, the album still does numbers nearly two decades after its initial release. Executives from RIAA awarded Nelly with the diamond plaque on July 26 at the Musicians On Call event in Philadelphia.

Country Grammar joins 2Pac's All Eyez On Me and Greatest Hits, Eminem's The Eminem Show and The Marshall Mathers LP, Outkast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, MC Hammer's Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em, The Notorious B.I.G.'s Life After Death and Beastie Boys' Licensed To Ill as the only rap albums to go diamond.

Two years after Country Grammar, Nelly dropped his successful follow-up, Nellyville. And that's when the Midwest rhyme slinger became a full-fledged superstar: the album contained tracks like "Air Force Ones," "Hot in Herre," "Dilemma" and "Pimp Juice," all of which set the rap game on fire.

Keep it locked to XXL for more Nelly news.

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