*Nelly has collaborated with a number of big name artists – from T.I., to Kelly Rowland, to Tim McGraw – but it was a tweet about the rapper from country sensation Taylor Swift that finally cemented the father of two as cool in the eyes of his teenage daughter.
Last week, Swift posted on her Twitter page: “I’m so in love with that new Nelly song,” referring to “Just a Dream,” produced by Jim Jonsin and Rico Love. [Scroll down to listen.]
“My daughter was like, ‘OMG!’ “the 36-year-old told Billboard about Swift’s recognition. “I’m only cool to her because I know Chris Brown and Bow Wow, and now Taylor tweeted about me.”
Apparently, Swift isn’t the only one enamored with the track. “Just a Dream”- one of two lead singles from Nelly’s upcoming “5.0” album from Derrty/Universal Motown (Nov. 16)-debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 8 on Hot Digital Songs, marking his first top 10 hit since “Grillz” topped the Hot 100 in 2006.
Released concurrently with club track “Tippin’ in Da Club,” the midtempo, guitar-driven “Dream” is No. 7 on Hot Digital Songs and No. 13 on the Hot 100. [Scroll down to listen.]
“When I did the song, I knew I had something; I loved the strings in it,” the St. Louis-raised rapper says. “As an artist, you get those feelings, like when I did ‘Dilemma’ [with Rowland] and ‘Over and Over’ [with McGraw]. Me, Jim and Rico . . . we just felt it.”
As for the title of his upcoming sixth album “5.0,” Nelly explains. “Like the 5.0 Mustang, it’s going to be a classic. This album is a lot more melodic than most of my previous albums. It has the power, energy and diversity that my fans have allowed me to [draw from] over the years, including pop, rhythmic, urban and even country.”
In addition to “Dream” and “Club,” the album includes “She So Fly.” Featuring T.I., who also produced, the song is about having a second opportunity to impress someone you desire. “1000 Stacks” is another club track featuring Sean “Diddy” Combs and the late Notorious B.I.G. Other guests include Rowland, Baby, Plies, Chris Brown and Nelly’s own St. Lunatics crew. The Runners, Polow Da Don, Dutch and Juke Box are among the set’s producers.
As the countdown to “5.0” begins, Nelly is savoring his return. “I was always told good artists are only one hit away from re-establishing themselves or becoming bigger than they were,” he says. “I love the comeback. I love the triumph in it.”