G Koop; Kelly Sheehan; Jason Schuester; Anthony Terrebonne; David "Smitty" Smith; Fred Guarino; John Horesco IV; Jason Schweitzer; Carl Nappa
Giorgio Tuinfort; G Koop; Theron Feemster "Neff U"; Jermaine Dupri; James "Polow Da Don" Jones; Sean Garrett; Boom-Batt; Theron Feemster "Neff U"; Jermaine Dupri; James "Polow Da Don" Jones; Akon; LROC; The Neptunes; The Wyshmaster; Sean Garrett; Free Age
Number of Discs
58m : 7s
LL Cool J
Album Notes and Credits
Personnel: The Wyshmaster (various instruments, programming); Free Agentz (various instruments); Elvis Williams, Brian Kennedy, The Ambassadors, Brian Kennedy (keyboards); Alicia Parker (percussion).
Audio Mixers: Demacio "Demo" Castellon; Mr. Leslie Braithwaite; Ken "Supa Engineer" Duro; Jermaine Dupri; Phil Tan; Serban Ghenea; Carl Nappa.
Recording information: BattCave, Hollywood, CA; Brandon's Way, LA; Chalice Studios, Hollywood, CA; Derrty Studios, St. Louis, MO; Hitland Studios, Alpharetta, GA; Legacy Recording, New York, NY; SouthSide Studios, Atlanta, GA; The Record Plant, LA; Track Record Studios, LA; Zac Recording, Atlanta, GA.
Photographers: Marc Baptiste; Jonathan Mannion.
Release date delays and hype that just doesn't pan out are nothing new or rare in the world of urban music, but Nelly's 2008 release could be the quintessential result. Fitting squarely in the middle of the "troubled album" spectrum, Brass Knuckles is neither a disaster nor a brilliant mistake. It's an album where the forgettable lows marginalize the towering highs, while the feeling that something is missing covers it all. Maybe it's Nelly's dream collaboration with Bruce Springsteen that never happened or the lack of any fresh, breakthrough number, but this parade of mostly unsurprising pop-rap tracks has no anchor. Still, there are plenty of winners, as the macho thug anthem "U Ain't Him" with Rick Ross kicks open the door with proper swagger. Snoop and Nate Dogg dominate with their G-funk memories on the very good "LA," while both the Akon vehicle "Body on Me" and the Jermaine Dupri production "Stepped on My J'Z" are great singles, polished to perfection with hooks that last. On the other hand, the single "Party People" with Fergie feels like a dull outtake from either of Nelly's 2004 albums Sweat or Suit, while the Neptunes production "Let It Go Lil' Mama" ruins its wicked beat with clich?d lyrics from both Nelly and Pharrell. While the LL Cool J and Chuck D appearances are worth hearing, they fail to pull the ambitious, loud, and cocksure Brass Knuckles out of its three-star, been there, done that rut. [Brass Knuckles was also made available in a clean version with all explicit material removed.] ~ David Jeffries
XXL (Magazine) (pp.115-116) - "[Nelly's] charged up on the Fergie-assisted first single, 'Party People,' and expertly rides a haunting piano melody with his fellow St. Lunatics on 'Chill.'"
U Ain't Him - (featuring Rick Ross)
Hold Up - (featuring LL Cool J/T.I.)
LA - (featuring Nate Dogg/Snoop Dogg)
Long Night - (featuring Usher)
Lie - (featuring St. Lunatics)
Party People - (featuring Fergie)
Self-Esteem - (featuring Chuck D)
Body On Me - (featuring Akon/Ashanti)
Stepped On My J'z - (featuring Jermaine Dupri/Ciara)
Let It Go Lil' Mama - (featuring Lil' Mama/Pharrell Williams)