On this day, June 25, in hip-hop history...

Universal Motown Records
Universal Motown Records

2002: St. Louis rhyme-slinger Nelly made a boisterous and bolstering debut with his first studio album, Country Grammar. But it wasn't until his sophomore LP, Nellyville, released on June 25, 2002, that hip-hop realized the young stunner had real star power.

Released under Universal and executive produced by Cornell "Nelly" Haynes himself, the record held both club bangers and rap ballads worthy of living through the ages. Production credits on the LP include some of the hottest beat smiths in the business: The Neptunes, Just Blaze, Tracboyz and Jason "Jay E" Epperson. Nellyville debuted No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 with 714,000 copies sold in the first week. Nelly's infectious sing-song flow and party-starting beats made for mutiple No. 1 singles perfect for radio. Nellyville houses some of Nelly's biggest hits; "Air Force Ones," "Pimp Juice," "Dilemma" featuring Kelly Rowland and of course, the go-go inspired summer smash "Hot in Herre," which won a Grammy in 2003 for Best Male Rap Solo Performance and will forever be the soundtrack of a jumpin' house party.

According to the RIAA, Nellyville is certified six times platinum and as of 2011, has sold 6,488,000 copies in the U.S. After Nellyville, the St. Lunatic had the music world at his feet, going on to garner crossover appeal by working with Tim McGraw, Christina Aguilera and more.

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