It’s almost like clockwork: Every couple of years, Nelly drops an album in the summer, and it goes on to sell a gazillion copies. In 2004, the king of St. Louis is once again planning a summer release date, but this time he’s hoping to receive double the love.
Nelly is embarking on a first for a major hip-hop artist. Unlike such rappers as Outkast, Wu-Tang Clan, Tupac, Jay-Z and Notorious B.I.G., who have dropped double albums, Nelly will release two different LPs on the same day, August 17, and sell them separately.
According to his rep, Nelly’s albums will be dissimilar thematically: One is more melodic and party-oriented in the vein of records like “E.I.” and “Tip Drill,” while the other is described as having a harder edge. In advance of the LPs, the captain of the St. Lunatics will put out a single and video from each disc. Album and song titles have not been announced, nor have names of collaborators. A source close to Bad Boy’s golden-boy-turned-pastor Mase, however, says that the retired (but rumored to be returning) MC has recorded a new song for one of the albums.
While Nelly’s game plan is relatively new for hip-hop, rock artists have trodden this path before. Most notably, Guns N’ Roses released Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II simultaneously in 1991, and a year later Bruce Springsteen put out the albums Lucky Town and Human Touch on the same day.