Nelly is no stranger to crossing genres but the rapper/actor turned heads when it was reported that he would be doing a country EP. When Rolling Stone caught up with the STL rep after he got off stage with Taylor Swift, he clarified that that he isn’t exactly doing a full blown project of country music.
“It got kinda twisted,” said the “Country Grammar” rapper. “It’s not actually country, so to speak. I love country music. I respect country music so much that I would never think that I can sit down and just as easy do a country album. That’s not it. That’s just like some country artist saying, ‘Hell, I’m just gonna do a rap album.'”
Nelly says that he wants to create a project that “all boundaries” and “all genres.”
“That is something I kinda kicked around as far as the EP, kinda coming up with different songs and different music in a field that I think may appeal to more of a pop-country, pop-R&B, hip-hop, country hip-hop [laughs] type of vibe. But never a “country album,” not like that. I respect country music to the utmost, I never think it’s just that easy. Never.”
With this year being the 15th anniversary of the release of his debut album, Country Grammar, Nelly spoke on how his album gave a “difference in sound” to hip-hop back then but now feels that that same sound is highly popular.
“I was kinda the only one doing what I was doing, now the whole f–king game is singing. [Laughs.] The whole game is melodic now, and I was the only one doing it. You know? I was the first one to sing his own hook, rap his own verses and sing his own bridge. And continuously doing that because my influences, such as Bone Thugs, Goodie Mob, Cee-Lo Green and Arrested Development, you’re listening to ’em and trying to find your own niche and then when you come with it but you come with it in a way that’s so surprising to people. People don’t understand that, s–t, the whole game is doing Nelly.”
The Real Husbands of Hollywood star also named which artists he listens to nowadays.
“Drake is my guy. He’s dope. And I say that to say we like Meek Mill. Neither one can make me stop listening to the other. As long as I get great music out of it . . . hear hear! Future is dope. Fetty