A shot of nostalgia never gets old.
Nelly performed “Hot In Herre,” and a string of other throwbacks to headline the Lime-A-RIta Cinco this Saturday in Atlanta over the weekend. The concert featured Snoop Dogg as the DJ, alongside special guest, T.I., and Blu Cantrell.
The songstress, whose ubiquitous 2001 single “Hit ‘Em Up Style,” is featured in a Lime-A-Rita ad, was on hand to introduce DJ Snoopadelic. Despite running about an hour late, Uncle Snoop didn’t waste time getting into deejay mode before Nelly took the stage.
Flanked by fellow St. Lunatic, Ali, and his brother City Spud, Nelly Mo powered through an energized lap of heaters with “Country Grammar,” and “Air Force Ones“ among them. Jermaine Dupri added an assist with a quick medley of So So Def bangers, while Goodie Mobb’s Big Gipp came out for “Grillz.”
Tip, the night’s final surprise guest, rocked the stage to “Bring E’m Out” and ended with a duet of “About the Money.”
“Surprises are always special,” he told VIBE, before the show and explained why performing in his hometown is unique. “Atlanta is so special now because most of the people that you meet aren’t from here,” said Tip. ”So the people who kinda’ like grew up in Atlanta, they still recognize and appreciate me as well as I recognize and appreciate them.”
Nelly meanwhile, has a long relationship with ATL, and Lime-A-Rita’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch. He linked with the beer brand over a decade ago, and in February Bud Light used “Hot In Herre” to lead the first of a handful of new Lime-A-Rita commercials to drop this year.
“I think that’s probably been the beauty of working with them. They get us,” said Nelly. “We’ve done so many shows with them that obviously we’re doing something right!”
Atlanta also happens to be where he penned “Hot in Herre” with Pharrell. “[We] kinda stumbled onto it,” he recalled. “When we were first doing it nobody really understood.”
Based on the reception he got this weekend, the 14-year-old single that earned Nelly his first Hot 100 chart-topper, gets a crowd hyped like it’s 2002 all over again.
Even with a new generation of rap stars battling for the limelight, a veteran like Nelly hasn’t lost his luster for music. “I’m actually recording right now,” he revealed. “I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to do several different things. I’m probably the only rapper you know that’s had a No. 1 on damn near every format. When you have that many different varieties of where you can go. You just do a lot of different music. That’s the task for me, figuring out which area to run with.”
Although he dropped “The Fix” featuring Jeremih last year, and recently covered country signer Thomas Rhett’s “Die A Happy Man,” Nelly’s not quite ready to release a full album.
He also doesn’t feel pressure to top anyone, or even his reclaim the spot held earlier in his career. “Everybody’s not gonna’ like what you do and everybody’s not gonna feel what you were doing. As artists we create and we worry about everything else later.”
“Every generation says they’re generation of hip-hop was the best [or] they’re generation of music was the best,” he added. “That’s why when people say how do you feel about the stage of hip-hop, I don’t argue. I support the hip-hop that I like, and that’s all you should do, it’s enough out there for everybody.”