For a full two years now, we've all been walking around with a Nelly-shaped hole in our hearts. In 2010, though, that gap will finally be filled, when the St. Louis rapper finally drops his highly-anticipated new album.
The buzz surrounding Nelly's studio comeback began back in summer, 2009, when the rapper announced that he had begun laying tracks in earnest from the comfort of his Las Vegas studio. This time around, he's tapped high-profile producer Jim Jonsin to work alongside him in the studio -- the same Jim Jonsin, it should be noted, who produced Lil Wayne's 'Lollipop' and Beyonce's 'Sweet Dreams' singles.
As the Press Association reports, Usher, Jamie Foxx and producer Dr. Luke have also signed on to collaborate on the new album, which will be titled '5.O' -- presumably because of the 2011 Mustang 5.0-liter V8 car that Nelly says will be featured on the album's cover. Other names rumored to appear on '5.O' include Janet Jackson, Diddy, Akon and, of course, the St. Lunatics.
Although much of the new album's sound remains a mystery, there will be at least one familiar face on '5.O.' Kelly Rowland, who teamed up with Nelly back in 2002 to produce the chart-topping duet 'Dilemma,' has reportedly signed on to collaborate on the sequel, appropriately titled 'Dilemma 2.' Jonsin recently explained the decision to Rap-Up.com, saying "I've worked with Kelly and I've heard her sound, and that kind of triggered me to call and put her in the studio." As Nelly told the Press Association this week, "I've reconnected with Kelly Rowland again which was fun. She's like my little sister."
Although a full track list has yet to be revealed, Nelly did share two new songs during an early morning performance in Las Vegas last summer. As the Las Vegas Sun reports, Nelly performed the album's first single, '1000 Stacks,' as well as the new song 'Angel Eyes,' which the Sun describes as "an uncharacteristically vocal ballad."
The rapper, however, remains confident that regardless of how different his sound may be, fans will most likely be blown away. As he told the UKPA this week, the new album, by his estimation, is "unbelievable." Nelly hasn't confirmed an official release date for '5.O,' but all signs are currently pointing to an expected drop date around late summer.