Brass Knuckles is Nelly's Thriller.
It's not perfect, but neither was MJ's magnum opus; it jumped styles and wasn't particularly cohesive. Likewise, Knuckles skips haphazardly from Dirty South jams to G-funk throwbacks to would-be empowerment anthems. It's more of a collection of singles than an actual album—but what singles! There's not really a clunker here (as long as you can stomach Fergie), and every track feels inspired.
The recent slag on Nelly is that he recalls an earlier—and more embarrassing—era of rap. But barely anything here resembles the slurring Nelly of old. Brass Knuckles finds Nelly, after having been deemed irrelevant, coming back hungry, using every name in his Rolodex and teaching himself some new tricks.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Dallas, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.