M.O. (album)

M.O. is the seventh studio album by American hip hop recording artist Nelly. The album was released on September 30, 2013, by Republic Records, as the follow up to his sixth album, 5.0 (2010). The album is preceded by the release of its lead single, "Hey Porsche", released on February 19, 2013, and reached number forty-two on the US Billboard Hot 100. "Get Like Me", featuring Nicki Minaj and Pharrell, premiered online on June 18, 2013, and was officially released on July 2, 2013, as the album's second single. The album features guest appearances from Nicki Minaj, Pharrell, Future, T.I., Daley, 2 Chainz, Trey Songz, Fabolous, Wiz Khalifa, Florida Georgia Line, Nelly Furtado and Yo Gotti.

Nelly - M.O. Album Cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 30, 2013 (2013-09-30)
Nelly chronology
Singles from M.O.
  1. "Hey Porsche"
    Released: February 19, 2013
  2. "Get Like Me"
    Released: July 2, 2013
  3. "Heaven"
    Released: September 2, 2013
  4. "All Around the World"
    Released: November 21, 2013
  5. "Rick James"
    Released: December 2013

Background and recordingEdit

On July 3, 2011, Nelly made a public announcement on Today that he was recording a new album.[2] On January 10, 2012, it was announced that Nelly would be working with producer Dr. Dre on new music, presumably for his seventh studio album.[3] On January 15, 2012, Nelly announced via Twitter that he was working with singers Chris Brown, Trey Songz and producer Noel "Detail" Fisher on his new album.[4] On July 3, 2012, he announced that the album would be titled M.O..[5] In August 2012, in an interview with ThisIs50.com, Nelly confirmed that Akon and the St. Lunatics will appear on the album.[6]

On August 10, 2012, Nelly posted a photo on Instagram of himself and producer Mike Will Made It in a recording studio working on new material for the album.[7] On July 7, 2013, it was announced that the album would be released on September 30, 2013.[8][9] On September 4, 2013, the album cover was released.[10] On September 10, 2013, the final track listing was released revealing guest appearances on the album from Nicki Minaj, Pharrell, Future, T.I., Daley, 2 Chainz, Trey Songz, Fabolous, Wiz Khalifa, Florida Georgia Line, Nelly Furtado and Yo Gotti.[11]

In September 2013, during an interview with Complex Nelly spoke about why he titled the album M.O., saying: "First of all, I’m excited that I get a chance to do a seventh album. [Laughs.] Also, being 14 years later [since Country Grammar was released], being able to do a lot of great things in 14 years and represent somewhere that a lot of people don’t get to represent, especially in the music business and definitely in the hip-hop game. I stand for the Midwest. That’s why the album’s titled M.O., ‘cause I’m still holding it down like that. My friends and family all call me Mo, so it’s kind of like really representing where I’m from and me at the same time."[12]


On July 3, 2012, Nelly announced via Twitter that the title of the album's first promotional single would be "Marry Go Round".[5] The Da Internz-produced track features Chris Brown and premiered in full online on July 4, 2012.[5] On February 19, 2013, the album's first single "Hey Porsche" was released.[13] On March 1, 2013, the music video was released for "Hey Porsche".[14] On July 2, 2013, the album's second single "Get Like Me" featuring Pharrell and Nicki Minaj was released.[15] On July 31, 2013, the music video was released for "Get Like Me" featuring Pharrell and Nicki Minaj.[16] On September 2, 2013, the album's third single "Heaven" featuring Daley was released.[17] On October 3, 2013, with the album in stores, Nelly appeared on Good Morning America to perform the Pharrell-produced song, "Rick James" alongside T.I..[18] In December 2013, "Rick James" will be sent to urban contemporary radio in the United States as the album's fifth single.[19]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [20]
Artistdirect     [21]
Rolling Stone     [22]
XXL     [23]

M.O. was met with generally mixed reviews from music critics. David Jeffries of AllMusic gave the album three out of five stars, saying "Even if Nelly had his most successful single in years with 2010's "Just a Dream," his defining numbers go back over a decade before this 2013 release, with "Country Grammar" landing in 2000 and the massive "Hot in Herre" dropping in 2002. The serene and smooth "Just a Dream" was also an odd duck for the party-time rapper as he always seemed more comfortable popping bottles and dropping drawers, so the semi-sweet M.O. splits the difference, dropping "Just a Dream" sequels like the uplifting "Heaven" with Daley, and the less-successful "Headphones" with Nelly Furtado, a rap-by-numbers "we need something that sounds like B.o.B's 'Airplanes'" track."[20]

Chris Mench of XXL gave the album an M, saying "In the end, M.O. simply fails to excite or innovate. It’s a serviceable enough album, one that may have been good if it had been released in 2004. However, not only does it not break new ground, but it has a pervasive sense of playing catch-up. It’s as if Nelly knows he’s lost the public’s ear and is trying desperately to get it back. Unfortunately for him the album fails to do so, and M.O. remains a disappointment for a rapper who was once among the most recognizable entities in hip-hop."[23] Caryn Ganz of Rolling Stone gave the album two out of five stars, saying "Nelly's seventh album opens strong with a brilliantly chill Nicki Minaj cameo on a gloriously narcotic Pharrell track ("Get Like Me") and a characteristically romantic turn from Future ("Give U Dat"), but wraps weakly with a jangly jam featuring country duo Florida Georgia Line and a cheesy ballad with Nelly Furtado."[22] Rick Florino of Artistdirect gave the album five out of five stars, saying "M.O. ebbs and flows with dynamics rarely seen in hip-hop. That's what makes it such a well-rounded listen overall. Ultimately, it's a milestone for Nelly, and that's saying a lot. He's not stopping anytime soon either."[21]

Commercial performanceEdit

The album debuted at number 14 on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 15,000 copies in the United States. This was the lowest first week sales of Nelly's career.[24] In its second week, the album sold 5,000 more copies.[25] In its third week, the album sold 3,000 more copies bringing its total album sales to 23,000.[26]

Track listingEdit

M.O. – Standard version[27]
1."Get Like Me" (featuring Nicki Minaj & Pharrell)
Pharrell Williams3:51
2."Give U Dat" (featuring Future)
3."Rick James" (featuring T.I.)
Pharrell Williams3:46
4."Heaven" (featuring Daley)
  • Haynes
  • Fisher
  • Evan Taubenfeld
  • Sidney Swift
  • Alex Goodwin
5."Maryland, Massachusetts"
  • Haynes
  • Williams
Pharrell Williams3:48
6."100K" (featuring 2 Chainz)
7."All Around the World" (featuring Trey Songz)
J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League4:07
8."IDGAF" (featuring Pharrell & T.I.)
Pharrell Williams3:10
9."U Know U Want To"
Planet VI3:50
10."My Chick Better" (featuring Fabolous & Wiz Khalifa)
John "$K" McGee4:18
11."Walk Away" (featuring Florida Georgia Line)
Rico Love4:18
12."Headphones" (featuring Nelly Furtado)
  • Haynes
  • Starley Hope
  • Martin Evans
  • John Goodier
  • Andrew Roettger
  • Allen Ritter
  • Brandon Green
Soul Unique[28]4:18
Total length:46:50
M.O. – Deluxe version (bonus tracks)[29]
13."Ciroc & Simply Lemonade" (featuring Yo Gotti)
  • Nelly
  • Sag Live
14."Hey Porsche"
15."Shake Whatever"
  • Haynes
  • Williams
Pharrell Williams3:10
16."Mo's Focused"
  • Haynes
  • Jared Johnson
  • Arnaldo Gordon
  • Karriem Mack
  • Keith Lamar Conover
  • K-Mack
  • Jared "Face 49" Johnson
  • Keith Lamar Conover*
Total length:59:54


  • (*) signifies a co-producer
  • The track order is sequenced differently on physical and digital releases.

Chart positionsEdit

Chart (2013) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[30] 81
UK Albums (OCC)[31] 89
US Billboard 200[32] 14
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[33] 4

Release historyEdit

Region Date Format Label(s)
United Kingdom[34] September 30, 2013 Universal Island
United States[35]
Italy[36] October 2, 2013 Universal Music
Germany[37] October 4, 2013


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  2. ^ "Nelly Plans New Album for This Year". Rap-Up.com. 2011-05-18. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
  3. ^ "Nelly Hits the Studio with Dr. Dre". Rap-Up.com. 2012-01-10. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  4. ^ "Twitter: Nelly_Mo (@Nelly_Mo)". Twitter. 2012-01-15. Retrieved 2012-01-15.
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  11. ^ "Tracklisting: Nelly – 'M.O.'". Rap-Up.com. 2010-10-18. Retrieved 2013-09-11.
  12. ^ "Interview: Nelly Talks Upcoming Album "M.O."". Complex. 2013-04-14. Retrieved 2013-09-30.
  13. ^ "iTunes - Music - Hey Porsche - Single by Nelly". Itunes.apple.com. 2013-02-19. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
  14. ^ "Nelly - "Hey Porsche"". HipHop DX. 2013-03-01. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
  15. ^ "iTunes - Music - Get Like Me (feat. Nicki Minaj & Pharrell) - Single by Nelly". Itunes.apple.com. 2013-07-02. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
  16. ^ "Video: Nelly f/ Nicki Minaj & Pharrell – 'Get Like Me'". Rap-Up.com. 2013-07-31. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
  17. ^ "iTunes - Music - Heaven (feat. Daley) - Single by Nelly". Itunes.apple.com. 1974-11-02. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
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  21. ^ a b "Nelly "M.O." Album Review — 5 out of 5 stars @ARTISTdirect". Artistdirect.com. Retrieved 2013-10-06.
  22. ^ a b Caryn Ganz (2013-09-23). "Nelly, 'M.O.'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-10-09.
  23. ^ a b "Nelly Gets Lost In The Shuffle On 'M.O.' - XXL". Xxlmag.com. Retrieved 2013-10-06.
  24. ^ Tardio, Andres (2013-10-06). "Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 10/6/2013". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2013-10-06.
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  26. ^ Tardio, Andres (2013-10-23). "Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 10/20/2013". HipHopDX. Archived from the original on 2013-10-25. Retrieved 2013-10-23.
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  34. ^ "101 new albums to get excited about between now and Christmas!". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2013-09-30.
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