SF Weekly Interview: Nelly

By Tamara Palmer

Rap star Nelly has some very public love affairs. He loves to make and sell millions of records, he loves him some Apple Bottoms and he definitely loves to represent his hometown of St. Louis. But he’s also quite the fan of our Bay Area rap scene, a movement he insists is worth supporting even when some of the locals just don’t anymore. And until it gets more love here, Nelly’s sharing it with “The Bay.” The song, produced by E-40’s son Droop-E, is rife with references to lyrics by 40 and Too $hort, bounces to our regionally specialized beat and even makes a cameo in the season premiere of Entourage.

We called Nelly to talk about his love of the Yay Area, and found him to be full of energy and inspiration—the textbook of what hyphy really is—and genuinely interested in discussing the topic rather than pushing his latest product (the album Brass Knuckles, which comes out next Tuesday). He makes a rare S.F. appearance to perform on Saturday, September 13 at Mezzanine.

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