Nellyville debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 714,000 copies in its opening week. It stayed atop the chart for four non-consecutive weeks and went on to be certified six times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipments of over six million copies. Internationally, Nellyville peaked at number two in Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and United Kingdom. By March 16, 2011, the album went on to sell 6,488,000 copies in the US, and is the fourteenth best-selling rap album of all time.
Executive producers for Nellyville include Nelly, Kevin Law and C-Love. The majority of recording was done by Steve Eigner, who was assisted by Marc Lee. Rich Travali, assisted by Jeff Robinette, Jamie Duncan and Dan Milazzo performed the mixing. Audio mastering was done by Herb Powers, with A&R directed by Law and coordinated by Jennifer Havey. Art direction was done by Sandy Brummels with Robert Sims undertaking design and Jonathan Mannion handling photography. Road management was executed by Keith Brent, with additional management done so by Tony Davis, Courtney Benson and Team Lunatics. Legality was handled by Richard Grable and Tim Mandelbaum. Several artists made an appearance on the album, including Justin Timberlake, Kelly Rowland, Beanie Sigel, Freeway and Dani Stevenson.
Nellyville received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received an average score of 70, based on 15 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews". Wayne Franklin of PopMatters held low expectations for the album prior to listening to it, following Nelly's feud with rapper KRS-One, but found its music to be "incredible". Wayne lauded the track "Air Force One", describing it as an "unbelievable ode" to hip hop, while noting several other songs as stand-outs.Allmusic's Jason Birchmeier gave the album three-and-a-half stars out of five, noting "Hot in Herre", "Dilemma" and "Roc the Mic" as "three well-calculated, standout moments". Birchmeier praised "Hot in Herre"'s production, "Roc the Mic"'s hip hop composition and the "Dilemma"'s interpolation of Patti LaBelle's "Love, Need and Want You". RapReviews.com's Steve Juon gave Nellyville an 8.5 out of ten, citing the album's consistency and production, praising "Hot in Herre" for its Midwestern drawl and "harmonious musical flow". Giving the album a B+, Tom Sinclair of Entertainment Weekly praised several new additions to Nelly's vocal style, summarizing: "If you like your rap loose and funny, Nelly's the man for you".
NME 's Dele Fadele saw Nellyville as Nelly's "reply to the haters"; Fadele described the album as a "glossy, well-produced album of populist anthems with a gangsta undertow" that expands his perspective of the world and "celebrates success". Though Fadele wasn't impressed at the Justin Timberlake featured track "Work It", calling the song a "silly pop-directed collaboration".The A.V. Club 's Nathan Rabin praised Nellyville for achieving similar universal appeal to Nelly's previous effort Country Grammar, which achieved it with songs such as its self-titled track and "E.I.". Rabin criticized Timberlake's "high-schooler doing a Bee Gees impersonation" on "Work It", though noted the song as the only "glaring misstep" on the album.People lauded "Hot in Herre" for its "funky go-go groove", declaring it the "perfect summer jam", but were ambivalent towards the rest of the album's beats for being slightly repetitive.Rolling Stone 's Rob Marriott described Nelly as a "gifted, witty MC" with the "catchiest rhymes to ever hit the pop charts" but wrote that Nellyville sounds "weighted down" by the commercial pressure of having to have another multi-platinum album.
At the 2003 Grammy Awards, Nellyville was nominated for Album of the Year, "Hot in Herre" for Best Male Rap Solo Performance and "Dilemma" for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration; both songs won their respective nominations, with Nellyville losing out to Norah Jones' Come Away with Me (2002). Nelly received three BET Award nominations: Best Male Hip-Hop Artist, Best Collaboration (for "Dilemma") and Video of the Year (for "Hot in Herre"). At the American Music Awards, Nelly was nominated for Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist and the Fan's Choice Award, with Nellyville nominated for Favorite Pop/Rock Album and Favorite Hip/Hop/R&B Album, with Nelly winning the Fan's Choice Award. Nelly received six awards at the 2002 Billboard Music Awards, winning the awards for Artist of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Hot 100 Singles Male Artist of the Year, R&B/Hip-Hop Male Artist of the Year, Rap Artist of the Year and Rap Track of the Year (for "Hot in Herre"). On the 2002 Billboard year-end charts, the album was ranked third on the Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums charts.
The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 714,000 copies, outperforming Nelly's previous effort Country Grammar (2000), which debuted at number 3 selling 235,000 copies. With the single "Hot in Herre" number one on the Billboard Hot 100 that week, Nelly was in possession of the top spot on ten different Billboard charts. The following two weeks of its release, Nellyville remained atop the Billboard 200, selling 447,000 and 340,000 copies, respectively, surpassing 1.5 million copies in sales in its third week. In its fourth week, Nellyville replaced atop the chart by Dave Matthews Band's Busted Stuff, which debuted with 622,000 copies. The former album was positioned at number 2 on the Billboard 200, with its sales decreasing to 305,000 copies. In the album's fifth week, it sold 271,000 copies, dropping from number 2 to number 3, and in its sixth week sold 244,000 copies remaining at number 3.Nellville moved up to number 2 and sold 208,000 units in its seventh week of release and in its eighth week, topped the Billboard 200, accumulating to four non-consecutive weeks atop. The album sold 183,000 copies that week.Nellyville 's four-week number one run and sales were, according to Billboard, largely in part to the success of the album's singles, "Hot in Herre" and "Dilemma". The former track was number one on the Hot 100 prior to the album's release, maintaining a third week atop the chart when Nellville made its debut. The song topped the Hot 100 for seven consecutive weeks before being replaced by its successor, "Dilemma", which topped the chart for ten non-consecutive weeks, selling worldwide over 7,6 million copies. On June 25, 2002, Nellyville was certified six times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipments of six million copies. On March 16, 2011, the album went on to sell 6,488,000 copies in the United States, becoming the fourteenth best-selling rap album of all time.
^ abSteve Eigner and Marc Lee recorded and engineered every track, except "Hot in Herre", "Dilemma", "Work It", "Gettin' it Started", "In the Store", "Fuck it Then", "5000", "#1", "On the Grind" and "Roc the Mic" (Remix).