Average to Savage
Average to Savage

Episode · 11 months 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 podcast with 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 average Savage podcast. Our special guest today is none other than nelly nelly what's going on? I appreciate you coming on. Thank you bro. I'm good man. How about yourself? I'm good. I just want to read off some of your accolades. You know, I looked up, I did a lot of research just to get the numbers correct because I had to come correct. Eight studio albums, Six number ones. You got to correct me if I'm wrong to three Grammys, you got BT awards, Billboard awards. MTV Awards, Soul Train Awards. Teen Choice Awards Awards. A diamond album. Six times platinum album, three times platinum album. The one time platinum album, won gold album. You probably got it right. Uh Not like you probably close. I mean, I haven't checked the scores in a minute, but when you're in the game, you try not to look up at the scoreboard too much, you know what I mean? Right. Yeah, for sure. And as I looked it up as of 2,024 years old over 22 million albums. So I'm assuming it's like probably like 25. I think. I know why I definitely think that's way more than that. I think I definitely 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 by itself. 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's probably pretty close man considering all every sense like dilemma kind of like the surge of dilemma and the billion views and things like that. The nellyville album has been kicking drive a little bit so it's probably wrong about 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 the 2002, another one released in 2000. Like how does it account for album sales now with like the streaming like how does it count? I think it's like a combination of a lot of different...

...things, you know what I'm saying? It's a combination of the streams as far as um streaming the whole album. If people are 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 like because it's kind of hard because back then you're kind of mixing physical copies with this because nobody buys physical copies now, you know what I mean? Like everybody just, you know, you go straight to Apple or you go to Spotify, where you go to wherever, you know, you're getting your music from and you're basically just you know, purchasing the album from there or even just listening to that guy's channel, so to speak. And so it's a different way. Yeah, for sure. That's why I think it's more impressive that you probably sold Like 10 million physical copies. Oh yeah. And trust me, it would probably be doubled like now the way that people listen to music, it would probably be like two times like country grammar came out now and was to do diamond. That shit would probably be like two diamonds. I'm theory by the way that you know what I'm saying? Yeah, going out physically, buying the albums was something different. Yeah, definitely. And then just like when you record 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 never know. You know, you feel blessed that it did happen and you feel thankful that, you know, so many people all over, not just the 10 mill that was here in the US, but you know, you're talking about another 10 mills around the world being a part of that album and touching so many people. So you just truly feel blessed that that happened, man. We didn't know though. No, and said that I knew Yeah, for sure. And then just going into now you just released Heartland, It's country influence. I did my research for that. I mean, this has been eight years since you released an album. Like, what was that journey been 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 just kind of like new or in a new space, you...

...know what I mean? Like, it's almost like you have to be inspired, so to speak, and and it's not that there's not things that are inspiring that's been going on in between those processes. But, you know, I was switching labels at the label headache of trying to do this, trying to do that, you know, life in general, you're just going through stuff, you know, trying for that shit out. But I think it just was the point of getting focused enough to put your energy into a project that you really feel comfortable about, where you really feel good about. You know what I mean? And this was something I was like, wow, because I love 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 the barriers. And that's what this album got me so excited about doing this album, because it's something nobody has ever done before. You know what I mean? 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 no dope because, you know, it is country influenced, I don't call it a country album out of respect for country music artists, you know what I'm saying, the world of country music because I get it, I get it because if tim McGraw woke up and said he wanted to do a rap album, I would you know what I mean? But I definitely 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 album is. It was showing my appreciation and my love for what country music has allowed nearly to do and participate in their world from and that's what this is. So I don't know what took so long time wise, but I know energy wise, I think 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 mean it's just been dope. I think it's shocking. I think it's one of those situations to where it's going to grow on people, the more and more they listen to it and the more and more people get a chance to understand it because again it's a brand new concept...

...but it's hard to find anybody that's 50 years or younger that doesn't like hip hop, that doesn't have some type of affinity for hip hop, no matter what music genre they end, you know, because a lot of the young country artists, They grew up on nellie, they grew up on lil wayne, they grew up on you know, jay Z. S and it's Snoop Dogg and they love that music. So every time we go around and we're meeting these young talented 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 and it's a good feeling because you know, you want to touch everybody. Yeah, your album was definitely one of the first, I had had the edited version of my walkman and then behind the cover design, obviously it's like the ST louis but like whose idea was that? Because I thought it was like really dope. Yeah, it was iris you know what I'm saying? Like uh something that came up 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 louis skyline. Everything is about just merging that ST louis from what I was doing as far as the hood, bringing that to country music and they had just fit right 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 the nelly 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 like nelly'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 a custom hat would have to be split in two and then get it done. Yeah. We talked about it. It would be kind of hard because the back Yeah. But you know, who knows again? Because as far as my second project Heartland, that we're talking about the concept because...

...all of these songs on here were like all male representations. So Heartland to is going to be female representation of country music and things like that. So hopefully we get a chance to come out with a concept of taking some exclusive and giving those out as far as merchandise type of field. You know what I'm saying? Make it in that hat and putting it together. Hopefully, you know what I'm saying. Yeah. So, and then you're going on tour October nine. And does that include the little bit of music 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're always contour. Yeah, Yeah, that's what I mean. Yeah, that's one of the blessings that I can truly say I'm thankful for is that, you know, people always want to see nelly somewhere, you know what I mean? So it's not a shortage of shows finally. Yeah, sure. This has been a beautiful situation as far as on being able to, like you said, bring some new music to the shows and things like that. Yeah, definitely. And I know in a lot of interviews and even in your mini documentary, you always talk about like to come up and that was like the most exciting part. So is it still like exciting to you even though you'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 are excited 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 years everything has been so bogged down because of Covid and that was one of the reasons why this project didn't come out sooner because I don't know how to present my music over the internet. You know what I mean? Like I like to get out. I like to touch the fans, I'd like to present it to him and it'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 songs that are played at weddings, stadiums, like everywhere. It's dope bro. It's dope man. I mean you know that's what...

...you wish for. That's what you hope for as an artist is that people can make or take what you have done and make precious moments for themselves with it. You know what I mean? That's exactly what you hope and wish for. Yeah definitely. And then just going on like the business side of things. I feel like you're one of the few rappers that get like a bunch of like brand deals and things like that. Like you have Nike Reebok got milk for Ontario's Mike and ikes Budweiser. And then recently just now is burger game but to get a real meal. So how how did that come about actually through my manager I mean uh he called me like yo you know BK trying to do something just like yo let's do it. You know what I mean? So um but it was more like to keep it real well they didn't want nellie, They wanted Cornell. So I was like oh you know same bank account. Yeah sure so all 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 know nellie's uh nellie's more out there. He's gonna hang, he's gonna kick it Cornell is just going to sit in the house and watch sports, Watch kick his speed up and be on the couch for a minute, you know that's that's pretty different. Yeah for sure. You know what about just like going with like Nike and Reebok deals like that you're like I tell you like one of the first rappers besides like Run DMC like what did that mean to you to just have like a sneaker deal? Um I mean yeah it was it was great bro. I mean you know you again when you are growing up in that world and you know I'm somewhat of a head myself so to be able to have the connect is like you know especially at that time, you know what I mean? It's just like you know we had shoes stacked up to the freaking ceiling bro. That was always good. Yeah definitely. And then I know you invested into the bobcats charlotte hornets, are you are you still part of the horns? Yeah. How did that come about? And what's happened like you know before actually...

...when they were the bobcats bob johnson who had previously owned B. T. He got into it and you know you can call and was 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 would think of me and when we did it I was overwhelmed because you know you watch the NBA obviously I'm a fan of the NBA obviously I love basketball and things like that, but you never think that you would actually be part owner of a of a team and that was that was shocking man. And again I was very very thankful so but it's still here and then I have might come in, it's just like that man man is like God to me to have the relationship that I have with him as well as it is amazing because he's he's dope man and you know, he's been so cool with me and so you know what I'm saying, pick the phone up, call them talk 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 and you're friends with Denny Hamlin, he's sponsored by Jordan so that's like a full circle. So who knew uh Danny first, who knew Danny burger. Uh probably he did. I mean I don't know that's a good question. I don't know, you know because we're in charlotte were all there like you know Denny lives in charlotte down for the games and all that and obviously mj so you know he's always 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 what you 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 and things like that. I didn't have that. We had to visit me through talent shows and 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 why I think it's more impressive what you've done because because it's known on social media. Yeah, it's tough. Especially, you know, we used to try to be a little, I don't want to say secretive, but we were trying to keep our personal life personal boom boom. And now you have to let people into everything for sure. So definitely a while the world there last couple questions. These are the fun questions or you know from average Savage, are you ready? Okay, let's do it. I think I know the reason why, but how did you get the name nelly? Well obviously it's part of Cornell. You can see that, you can definitely see that. But my dad, they used to call my dad big nail and they used to call me Lionel. You know what I'm saying? It's just nelly, you know, 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. I love 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 lot of clouds with many artists. Who is your dream cloud that you haven't done on 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 out with bank one good time. So I want, I want to see you do a song with drake drake. Yeah, phenomenal artists. Who knows? You know what I'm saying? Maybe we can put it together. Yeah, I had, I actually had Anthony Hamilton on so I got to ask him how you guys linked up and he said there was always dope to collab with you guys. Yeah, well you know that's family man, that's family made the priest like my big brother. So that holds. So, so def thing is that's nothing but a phone call, its own breach, anything, anything I need vice versa. 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 who my favorite checkout shirt. Uh, so everyone always asks me who was my favorite rapper and they're always like surprised that I say nelly and I'm just like what like have like back accolades,...

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

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