Nelly Insists He's Still Hip-Hop

The St. Louis MC says he's still "urban" despite crossover success.

Posted: 10/15/2011 06:10 PM EDT

Nelly has become a huge pop icon since he kicked down the door in 2000 with "Country Grammar." He even rocked with country star Tim McGraw on "Over and Over." He's been more quiet of late, but he still hit No. 1 on Billboard with last year's catchy "Just a Dream." However, despite all of crossover success, Nelly says he's still hip-hop to the core as he gears up for his untitled seventh studio album.

"At the end of the day, I am urban, so you can't run from that fact," Nelly told MTV News recently. "At the end of the day, it's another successful brother, stepping and breaking ground for the next brother to come along and do it."

But don't expect any wholesale sonic changes from Nelly. He's proud of his impact on the pop charts. "You do what works for you," he said. "I think you'd be an idiot to not do what works for you. They don't want me to be smart about it? They wanna see another dumb brother not succeeding because he tried to do something that wasn't smart? That's what they say about us: We don't think first. Well, this brother thinking first. I plan on being here."

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