Putting on for St. Louis is one of the many things Nelly continues to do. The Diamond certified rapper has reached more milestones than one can count on their hands and toes, yet still maintains the “je ne sais quais” the world initially loved him for.
To give the nation a taste of what St.Louis is made of, Bud Light and Nelly teamed up to bring the Bud Light Party campaign to those ready to turn-up for the sake of summer. As it’s anointed party-starter, Nelly brought out other St.Louis figures like Ali of the St. Lunatics and Chingy to blaze the stage with him as endless Bud Light was served to keep the party inspired.
We chopped it up with the man behind the brand and music the world rightfully knows as Nelly.
The Source: How do you feel about Country Grammar being certified Diamond?
Nelly: I thought it was dope. Anytime you get to make achievements in your life that are unexpected the better. With Country Grammar, I just never knew. To see the reception of it and to see it get this type of recognition was unbelievable.
How has St.Louis contributed to your long career in music?
I think being in the middle helped. That’s what the midwest is about. That’s the special thing about us. Even though we’re in the midwest we still have a southern feel. It’s a bit of everything. That’s how is was growing up. NY is the mecca, then the west did their thing then the south did their thing and the midwest is somewhere in the middle.
In 1999, you got your first record deal and ever since then you have made hit after chart-topping hit. What song has been your favorite so far?
That’s like choosing a favorite child! That’s a hard question to ask because they all mean something to you. I think each song has had it’s moment. Obviously, “Hot In Here” is one of the biggest, “E-I” has a midwest flavor that I really liked, so it all depends.
You have a new song called “Die A Happy Man,” which is a cover to Thomas Rhett’s original version. You’ve worked with Florida Georgia Line and Tim McGraw. How do you feel about successfully tapping into the country genre as a rap artist?
That was also an advatage of being from St.Louis. It gives you a full circle of what you’re dealing with. You mix those up to come up with your own influence. I have a big respect for country music because of the honesty in it. You switch the beats up and the singers up, you can use the same lyrics from country songs. I would never think I’m ready to be a country artist, I’m grateful that the genre opened their arms and accepted me as an artist.
The Bud Light Party Campaign is such a live tour. How do you feel being a part of it?
The experience has been dope. Budweiser and BudLight is from my hometown so going across the country and bringing all audiences together to have a good time is always a good thing.
Chingy and Ali of the St.Lunatics was a great addition to the tour. Did you come up with those surprise appearances?
That was my idea. Chingy has been in the studio so I thought it was dope to bring him down and get the party live with me.
Are you listening to any new artist right now?
A little bit of everything. I been listening to my nephew JGE Retro and one of his best friends Shad. We’re looking forward to getting him out later on this year. I’ve been banging that Khaled album too. He has good variety in his music, so I can dig it.
Do you have any advice to artist coming up in the game?
Learn what you’re doing. I know a lot of people want to get in and it’s certain aspects that require you to be more than just an artist. If you’re coming into this business with the mentality of “I just want to perform” then you probably shouldn’t be in this business because in order for you to perform, there are other aspects that you have to be aware of. It’s a business for a reason. Learn the business first.
Your career has been very long and inspiring. Was there ever a moment where you had to step back and pinch yourself to realize that this is your life?
When we first got on! I was still flying coach and I had two and a half million sold. It took a minute for me to realize the impact I was making in music. I think it was around the time that I did the Super Bowl. It was me, N’Sync, Britney Spears, Aerosmith, and Mary J Blige. and I was like holy sh*t. We’re at the Superbowl.
Nelly continues to do what he does best with the same energy and charisma that got him here in the first place. For more, keep up with him on Twitter.