Average to Savage
Average to Savage

Episode · 1 month ago

Nelly | Average to Savage EP150

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This is the one hundred and fiftieth episode of the Average to Savage podcast featuring Grammy award-winning artist Nelly. Paul Guarino talked with Nelly discussing how Country Grammar was so successful going diamond, his new country-influenced album Heartland, and the business side of Nelly that includes his brand deals and being part-owner of the Charlotte Hornets with Michael Jordan.   

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This podcast interview with Nelly was originally recorded on September 15, 2021

This is the average to Savage podcastwith paul Guerrino. Mhm. Everyone in anyone athletes celebs and much more.All right. What's up everybody? I'm back for another episode of the averageSavage podcast. Our special guest today is none other than nelly nelly what'sgoing on? I appreciate you coming on. Thank you bro. I'm good man. How aboutyourself? I'm good. I just want to read off some of your accolades. You know, Ilooked up, I did a lot of research just to get the numbers correct because Ihad to come correct. Eight studio albums, Six number ones. You got tocorrect me if I'm wrong to three Grammys, you got BT awards, Billboardawards. MTV Awards, Soul Train Awards. Teen Choice Awards Awards. A diamondalbum. Six times platinum album, three times platinum album. The one timeplatinum album, won gold album. You probably got it right. Uh Not like youprobably close. I mean, I haven't checked the scores in a minute, butwhen you're in the game, you try not to look up at the scoreboard too much, youknow what I mean? Right. Yeah, for sure. And as I looked it up as of 2,024 yearsold over 22 million albums. So I'm assuming it's like probably like 25. Ithink. I know why I definitely think that's way more than that. I think Idefinitely I definitely think it's more than that because as it sits. Yeah,country grammar is diamond, Nellyville is all diamond. So that's almost 20 byitself. So yeah. When do you think I saw? Well, once again it was like 2014,7 million for Nelly Ville. Like when do you think it will hit diamond? It'sprobably pretty close man considering all every sense like dilemma kind oflike the surge of dilemma and the billion views and things like that. Thenellyville album has been kicking drive a little bit so it's probably wrongabout next year depending on how it's going. We might we might tip the scale.Yeah, for sure. And like since you were obviously released that one for the2002, another one released in 2000. Like how does it account for albumsales now with like the streaming like how does it count? I think it's like acombination of a lot of different...

...things, you know what I'm saying? It'sa combination of the streams as far as um streaming the whole album. If peopleare listening to the album's a certain amount of times or some shit like that,I'm not clear on it specifically, so only in reference to old albums likebecause it's kind of hard because back then you're kind of mixing physicalcopies with this because nobody buys physical copies now, you know what Imean? Like everybody just, you know, you go straight to Apple or you go toSpotify, where you go to wherever, you know, you're getting your music fromand you're basically just you know, purchasing the album from there or evenjust listening to that guy's channel, so to speak. And so it's a differentway. Yeah, for sure. That's why I think it's more impressive that you probablysold Like 10 million physical copies. Oh yeah. And trust me, it wouldprobably be doubled like now the way that people listen to music, it wouldprobably be like two times like country grammar came out now and was to dodiamond. That shit would probably be like two diamonds. I'm theory by theway that you know what I'm saying? Yeah, going out physically, buying the albumswas something different. Yeah, definitely. And then just like when yourecord a country grammar, did you ever think it would become this big? I mean,you know, you dream about it, you dream about it. You hope so, but you neverknow. You know, you feel blessed that it did happen and you feel thankfulthat, you know, so many people all over, not just the 10 mill that was here inthe US, but you know, you're talking about another 10 mills around the worldbeing a part of that album and touching so many people. So you just truly feelblessed that that happened, man. We didn't know though. No, and said that Iknew Yeah, for sure. And then just going into now you just releasedHeartland, It's country influence. I did my research for that. I mean, thishas been eight years since you released an album. Like, what was that journeybeen like for you? Just like in between that and then like, what took so long?Well, I think for me it's just I love to do new things. And if I'm not justkind of like new or in a new space, you...

...know what I mean? Like, it's almostlike you have to be inspired, so to speak, and and it's not that there'snot things that are inspiring that's been going on in between thoseprocesses. But, you know, I was switching labels at the label headacheof trying to do this, trying to do that, you know, life in general, you're justgoing through stuff, you know, trying for that shit out. But I think it justwas the point of getting focused enough to put your energy into a project thatyou really feel comfortable about, where you really feel good about. Youknow what I mean? And this was something I was like, wow, because Ilove the challenge. It's just not a challenge of just putting an album out,getting people to like it. But it's the challenge of trying to break down thebarriers. And that's what this album got me so excited about doing thisalbum, because it's something nobody has ever done before. You know what Imean? And you're trying to again create a lane instead of falling in the lane,because nobody knows what to categorize this album is and that's what makes nodope because, you know, it is country influenced, I don't call it a countryalbum out of respect for country music artists, you know what I'm saying, theworld of country music because I get it, I get it because if tim McGraw woke upand said he wanted to do a rap album, I would you know what I mean? But Idefinitely feel like tim could make an album that could be hip hop influence,that can be like yo this is my appreciation and that's what this albumis. It was showing my appreciation and my love for what country music hasallowed nearly to do and participate in their world from and that's what thisis. So I don't know what took so long time wise, but I know energy wise, Ithink just being excited about the project, so to speak. Yeah, for sure.And what has been the response of it so far? I mean it's been dope bro, I meanit's just been dope. I think it's shocking. I think it's one of thosesituations to where it's going to grow on people, the more and more theylisten to it and the more and more people get a chance to understand itbecause again it's a brand new concept...

...but it's hard to find anybody that's 50years or younger that doesn't like hip hop, that doesn't have some type ofaffinity for hip hop, no matter what music genre they end, you know, becausea lot of the young country artists, They grew up on nellie, they grew up onlil wayne, they grew up on you know, jay Z. S and it's Snoop Dogg and theylove that music. So every time we go around and we're meeting these youngtalented people, that's the first thing they say is old shit man. You know,like you know, you one of the first albums I ever bought or is this andit's a good feeling because you know, you want to touch everybody. Yeah, youralbum was definitely one of the first, I had had the edited version of mywalkman and then behind the cover design, obviously it's like the STlouis but like whose idea was that? Because I thought it was like reallydope. Yeah, it was iris you know what I'm saying? Like uh something that cameup with was like yo this this this this could work. It was all about merging.If you look at it from the first time the first single came out a little bit,it was merging, it was merging the Nashville skyline with the ST louisskyline. Everything is about just merging that ST louis from what I wasdoing as far as the hood, bringing that to country music and they had just fitright in, you know what I mean? It blended. Yeah, for sure. So actually,so you know like everyone was remaking like breaks cover. Yeah, I remade thenelly cover I put it out and then some people thought it was like a real hat.They were like, yeah, I want that hat. And I was just like, it's just likenelly's album, like cover that you guys just don't understand that was dope,dope. You should actually actually, that'd be dope. If you get like acustom hat would have to be split in two and then get it done. Yeah. Wetalked about it. It would be kind of hard because the back Yeah. But youknow, who knows again? Because as far as my second project Heartland, thatwe're talking about the concept because...

...all of these songs on here were likeall male representations. So Heartland to is going to be female representationof country music and things like that. So hopefully we get a chance to comeout with a concept of taking some exclusive and giving those out as faras merchandise type of field. You know what I'm saying? Make it in that hatand putting it together. Hopefully, you know what I'm saying. Yeah. So, andthen you're going on tour October nine. And does that include the little bit ofmusic series? Is that the same thing? That's what that is the music series.Yeah. So are you looking forward to going on to Oregon? I know you'realways contour. Yeah, Yeah, that's what I mean. Yeah, that's one of theblessings that I can truly say I'm thankful for is that, you know, peoplealways want to see nelly somewhere, you know what I mean? So it's not ashortage of shows finally. Yeah, sure. This has been a beautiful situation asfar as on being able to, like you said, bring some new music to the shows andthings like that. Yeah, definitely. And I know in a lot of interviews and evenin your mini documentary, you always talk about like to come up and that waslike the most exciting part. So is it still like exciting to you even thoughyou're not on the come up anymore because you're way established? Well,yeah, I mean any time you get a chance to put a new project out and people areexcited about it because I think that's the thing is, you know, as we go around,we're unveiling this live because you know, for the past couple of yearseverything has been so bogged down because of Covid and that was one ofthe reasons why this project didn't come out sooner because I don't knowhow to present my music over the internet. You know what I mean? Like Ilike to get out. I like to touch the fans, I'd like to present it to him andit's just a better, overwhelming feeling. So I do get excited for that.Yeah, for sure. And what does it mean to you just have like time with songsthat are played at weddings, stadiums, like everywhere. It's dope bro. It'sdope man. I mean you know that's what...

...you wish for. That's what you hope foras an artist is that people can make or take what you have done and makeprecious moments for themselves with it. You know what I mean? That's exactlywhat you hope and wish for. Yeah definitely. And then just going on likethe business side of things. I feel like you're one of the few rappers thatget like a bunch of like brand deals and things like that. Like you haveNike Reebok got milk for Ontario's Mike and ikes Budweiser. And then recentlyjust now is burger game but to get a real meal. So how how did that comeabout actually through my manager I mean uh he called me like yo you knowBK trying to do something just like yo let's do it. You know what I mean? Soum but it was more like to keep it real well they didn't want nellie, Theywanted Cornell. So I was like oh you know same bank account. Yeah sure soall right. So I got to ask you is there a difference between NElly and Cornell?I mean I don't think so. But yeah I mean I guess I think yeah you knownellie's uh nellie's more out there. He's gonna hang, he's gonna kick itCornell is just going to sit in the house and watch sports, Watch kick hisspeed up and be on the couch for a minute, you know that's that's prettydifferent. Yeah for sure. You know what about just like going with like Nikeand Reebok deals like that you're like I tell you like one of the firstrappers besides like Run DMC like what did that mean to you to just have likea sneaker deal? Um I mean yeah it was it was great bro. I mean you know youagain when you are growing up in that world and you know I'm somewhat of ahead myself so to be able to have the connect is like you know especially atthat time, you know what I mean? It's just like you know we had shoes stackedup to the freaking ceiling bro. That was always good. Yeah definitely. Andthen I know you invested into the bobcats charlotte hornets, are you areyou still part of the horns? Yeah. How did that come about? And what'shappened like you know before actually...

...when they were the bobcats bob johnsonwho had previously owned B. T. He got into it and you know you can call andwas like yo are you interested in this? And I was like yeah sounds dope to me,you know what I mean? So I was very privileged and honored that he wouldthink of me and when we did it I was overwhelmed because you know you watchthe NBA obviously I'm a fan of the NBA obviously I love basketball and thingslike that, but you never think that you would actually be part owner of a of ateam and that was that was shocking man. And again I was very very thankful sobut it's still here and then I have might come in, it's just like that manman is like God to me to have the relationship that I have with him aswell as it is amazing because he's he's dope man and you know, he's been socool with me and so you know what I'm saying, pick the phone up, call themtalk shit, it's nothing and it's a cool guy man, he's just it's unbelievable.Yeah. Yeah, that's awesome. And then like I know you're into nascar to andyou're friends with Denny Hamlin, he's sponsored by Jordan so that's like afull circle. So who knew uh Danny first, who knew Danny burger. Uh probably hedid. I mean I don't know that's a good question. I don't know, you knowbecause we're in charlotte were all there like you know Denny lives incharlotte down for the games and all that and obviously mj so you know he'salways there, it's just it's different, it's different. I don't know him first,what advice would you give to a young artist, you know what, just love whatyou do invest in yourself, you know just believe in yourself so to speak,things like that man and just stay focused, man. It's different for me.You know, now artists, you know, it's all about, you know, your social andthings like that. I didn't have that. We had to visit me through talent showsand selling out the truck. So you know, I can't tell you how to get started,right? I don't truly and honestly don't...

...know. That's why, you know, that's whyI think it's more impressive what you've done because because it's knownon social media. Yeah, it's tough. Especially, you know, we used to try tobe a little, I don't want to say secretive, but we were trying to keepour personal life personal boom boom. And now you have to let people intoeverything for sure. So definitely a while the world there last couplequestions. These are the fun questions or you know from average Savage, areyou ready? Okay, let's do it. I think I know the reason why, but how did youget the name nelly? Well obviously it's part of Cornell. You can see that, youcan definitely see that. But my dad, they used to call my dad big nail andthey used to call me Lionel. You know what I'm saying? It's just nelly, youknow, that's what about what's your favorite song right now? Non nelly song, favorite song, that's not nelly song,not nelly song, I would probably say essence. I love the essence whisk it. Ilove that kid wins or whatever that is. Um, I like the essence record. That's a,that's a dope record. All right. I'll have to check it out. You've done a lotof clouds with many artists. Who is your dream cloud that you haven't doneon this? Well considering I'm doing the country influence as of right about now,I'm trying to get the O. G hank Williams. I clock out. I wanna rock outwith bank one good time. So I want, I want to see you do a song with drakedrake. Yeah, phenomenal artists. Who knows? You know what I'm saying? Maybewe can put it together. Yeah, I had, I actually had Anthony Hamilton on so Igot to ask him how you guys linked up and he said there was always dope tocollab with you guys. Yeah, well you know that's family man, that's familymade the priest like my big brother. So that holds. So, so def thing is that'snothing but a phone call, its own breach, anything, anything I need viceversa. Yeah, for sure. So my last one is I'm the biggest nelly fan. I'll say,I don't know if you knew that. But so every time everyone always asked me whomy favorite checkout shirt. Uh, so everyone always asks me who was myfavorite rapper and they're always like surprised that I say nelly and I'm justlike what like have like back accolades,...

...like all this stuff. I don't know. Andthen I sell them the songs and they're like oh yeah that is nellie. So what doyou guys say the haters out there? Um Yeah actually oh yeah so a perfectexample to I was on live with you know speedy from complex speedy. Yeah. UmNot the producer. No no from from Complex magazine. So I was online withhim. He asked me who my favorite artist was, I said nellie and he was like youknow at first he was like it was the M. And M. And I was like no it's nelly, Igot the clip, I got the clip, I always tweeted the clips but I'll tell youagain the clip. But it's funny why would he say why would he say uhprobably say it's just uh I don't know now let's think about Harry. I'massuming he was just stereotyping. Yeah like crazy bro. Thank you so much, Iappreciate it, I appreciate that already. Yeah I appreciate it. No thistook me three years to get you. Oh yeah that as it took me but no I appreciateit for real. No definitely bro it won't take three again bro that's the waypleasure.

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