Brass Knuckles (album)

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For the type of weapon, see Brass knuckles.
Brass Knuckles
Nelly - Brass Knuckles.jpg
Studio album by Nelly
Released September 16, 2008 (2008-09-16)
Genre Hip hop
Length 58:15
Label Derrty Ent., Universal Motown
Producer Nelly (exec.), Wyshmaster, Free Agentz, Theron "Neff-U" Feemster, James "JLack" Lackey, Polow da Don, G Koop, Akon, Giorgio Tuinfort, Jermaine Dupri, The Neptunes, Andrew "Papa Justifi" Wansel, Boom-Batts, Droop-E
Nelly chronology
Sweat / Suit
Brass Knuckles
Singles from Brass Knuckles
  1. "Wadsyaname"
    Released: August 21, 2007
  2. "Party People"
    Released: April 15, 2008
  3. "Body on Me"
    Released: June 10, 2008
  4. "Stepped on My J'z"
    Released: July 1, 2008
  5. "One and Only"
    Released: November 18, 2008

Brass Knuckles is the fifth studio album by American recording artist Nelly, released on September 16, 2008. The album cover was voted the 'Sexiest Album Cover Women Play Themselves To' in the Playboy Bunnies Convention in 2009.[1] In 2008 Nelly embarked on The Brass Knuckles Tour in support of the album.


Production was set to come from Bryan-Michael Cox, Neff-U and Pharrell, among others.[2][2][3][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] Nelly mentioned in an interview that producer Polow da Don produced tracks for the album.[10] On March 30, Nelly told that "the album would feature a handful of new producers."[11] Nelly was unable to collaborate with Springsteen but he is still hopeful to collaborate with him on a future album, or even a repackage of Brass Knuckles. Dupri gave a look into the two collaborations, one being Nelly, Carey and Jackson all appearing on the same track, in which he stated Nelly has laid the following blueprint.[12]

Nelly's got a crazy collaboration he's trying to put together, which is him, Janet and Mariah Carey all on one song...That's what he wants. If he could convince them to do it, it would be crazy. [He] wants [Janet] to rap a 16-bar verse, he wants [Mariah] to sing the hook and he's gonna do two verses. [He] has it all planned out. You ask him about it! This is what he wants; he's 100-percent deadlocked into it.

Jermaine Dupri also stated possibilities of hopeful collaborations with Bruce Springsteen, Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson.[3][12] Nelly went on to speak about the possibility of the Springsteen collaboration and that two of his own tracks will appear on the album.[12]

I think he's doing a record with Bruce Springsteen. You know he always has to do one of those! My two records [that J.D. has produced for Nelly so far], he's gonna have some people on them—I won't tell it yet. I don't want to jinx the record.


The first single was believed to be "Cut It Out" which features rappers Pimp C and Sean P of YoungBloodZ, but was later confirmed to be "Wadsyaname", which was released digitally on August 21, 2007. However, because of the pushed release dates from October 16, 2007 and on, the first official single was changed to "Party People", which features Fergie. It was released on March 18, 2008 and peaked at number forty on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number fourteen on the UK Singles Chart. The album's second single "Stepped on My J'z", which features Ciara and Jermaine Dupri was released on June 11, 2008. It peaked at number ninety on the US Billboard Hot 100. "Body on Me", which features Akon and Ashanti, was released as the third single from the album on June 9, 2008. It peaked at number forty-two on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number three on the UK Singles Chart.


Commercial performance[edit]

Brass Knuckles debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200, selling 83,717 copies in its first week in the United States. Only 8-weeks later, the album was left on the Billboard 200 chart. On March 21, 2009, the album re-appeared at number 152. On December 12, 2008, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipping over 500,000 copies in the United States.[13] As of September 2010, the album has sold over 623,000 copies in the United States.[14]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[15]
RapReviews 8/10[16]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[17]
Vibe 4.5/5 stars[18]

Reviews for the album have been generally mixed. Pharoh Martin of Vibe stated that "Brass Knuckles is standard Nelly fare."[18] RapReviews wrote that "underneath the materialistic veneer Nelly's got a good delivery, sharp lyrics and impeccable breath control." [16]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "U Ain't Him" (featuring Rick Ross) Cornell Haynes, Jr., William Roberts II, Adam Cherrington Wyshmaster 3:15
2. "Hold Up" (featuring T.I. & LL Cool J) Haynes, Clifford Harris, Jr., Todd Smith, T. Mingo, R. Morgan Free Agentz 3:48
3. "LA" (featuring Snoop Dogg & Nate Dogg) Haynes, Calvin Broadus, Jr., Nathaniel Hale, Theron Feemster Theron "Neff-U" Feemster 4:23
4. "Long Night" (featuring Usher) Haynes, Usher Raymond IV, James Lackey, Ryon Lovette, Ryon Raymond James "JLack" Lackey 3:15
5. "Lie" (featuring St. Lunatics) Haynes, Robert Cleveland, Torhi Harper, Jamal Jones, Ali Jones, Brian Kennedy Polow da Don 4:20
6. "Party People" (featuring Fergie) Haynes, Jones, Stacy Ferguson, Garrett Hamler Polow da Don 3:58
7. "Self-Esteem" (featuring Chuck D) Haynes, Carlton Ridenhour, Mandell, R. Mandell G Koop 3:37
8. "Body on Me" (featuring Akon & Ashanti) Haynes, Ashanti Douglas, Aliaune Thiam, Giorgio Tuinfort Akon, Giorgio Tuinfort 3:29
9. "Stepped on My J'z" (featuring Ciara & Jermaine Dupri) Haynes, Ciara Harris, Jermaine Mauldin Jermaine Dupri 5:03
10. "Let It Go (Lil Mama)" (featuring Pharrell) Haynes, Pharrell Williams The Neptunes 4:22
11. "One and Only"   Haynes, Jones, D. Dalton, L. Taylor Polow da Don, Andrew "Papa Justifi" Wansel 4:20
12. "Chill" (featuring St. Lunatics) Haynes, Cleveland, Harper, Jones, Cherrington, Lavell Webb Wyshmaster 5:42
13. "Who Fucks wit Me" (featuring Avery Storm) Haynes, M. Battle, C. Saleh Boom-Batts 4:08
14. "Ucud Gedit" (featuring Gucci Mane & R. Kelly) Haynes, Jones, Radric Davis, Robert Kelly Polow da Don 4:28
Total length:
Sample credits
  • "Stepped on My J'z" Contains a sample of "Tipsy" performed by J-Kwon.


Chart (2008) Peak
Australian ARIA Albums Chart[22] 15
Canadian Albums Chart[23] 22
French Albums Chart[22] 88
Irish Albums Chart[22] 60
New Zealand Albums Chart[22] 22
Swiss Albums Chart[22] 55
UK Albums Chart[22] 20
US Billboard 200[24] 3
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[24] 2
US Top Rap Albums (Billboard)[24] 1


  1. ^ Credits: Brass Knuckles. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2010-08-13.
  2. ^ a b Scott Bowles, Steve Jones and Pete Johnson (September 6, 2007). Coming attractions: Nelly's ready to crack his 'Knuckles'. USA Today. Accessed September 9, 2007.
  3. ^ a b c Shaheem Reid (August 22, 2007). T.I., Akon, Snoop, Pimp C Get Behind Nelly's Brass Knuckles. MTV. Accessed August 22, 2007.
  4. ^ Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Tim Kash and Jayson Rodriguez (May 1, 2007). Mixtape Monday: 50 Cent Talks Batman, Both New LPs; Rick Ross Rubs Elbows With Jay, Jeezy MTV. Accessed August 22, 2007.
  5. ^ Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Rahman Dukes and Brennan Williams (October 8, 2007). The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes from the Underground. MTV. Accessed October 10, 2007.
  6. ^ Jayson Rodriguez, with additional reporting by Sway J. Calloway (October 16, 2007). Nelly Ready to Battle Don Imus, Other Foes with Hard-Hitting New LP. MTV. Accessed October 16, 2007.
  7. ^ Nelly in Studio with JoJo. KISS-FM (August 14, 2007). Accessed December 13, 2007.
  8. ^ DADDYMACKOFNYC (February 12, 2008). Chuck D Interview Part 4 of 4 on YouTube. Accessed February 13, 2008.
  9. ^ Nelly & Ashanti Interview – Rap-Up TV. Rap-Up TV. Accessed August 25, 2007.
  10. ^ Nelly Exclusive Interview Part 1 on YouTube
  11. ^ (March 30, 2008). Nelly Preps New Album. Accessed April 20, 2008.
  12. ^ a b c Anthony Springer, Jr. (August 23, 2007). Nelly Is Back!. HipHopDX. Accessed August 23, 2007.
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ "Nelly Regains Cool with Taylor Swift's Help". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-11-12. 
  15. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Brass Knuckles - Nelly". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-12-04. 
  16. ^ a b RR. "Nelly's "Brass Knuckles"". RapReviews. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  17. ^ Hoard, Christian (2008-09-18). "Brass Knuckles : Nelly : Review". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2008-09-06. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  18. ^ a b Pharoh Martin (September 17, 2008). Nelly: "Brass Knuckles" at the Wayback Machine (archived September 20, 2008) Vibe. Accessed September 24, 2008
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ a b c d e f Nelly - Brass Knuckles - Music Charts αCharts. Accessed September 24, 2008.
  23. ^ Top Canadian Albums - Brass Knuckles - Nelly Billboard. Accessed September 25, 2008.
  24. ^ a b c Katie Hasty (September 24, 2008). Metallica Edges Ne-Yo, Nelly To Remain No. 1 Billboard. Accessed September 24, 2008.