Nelly’s Grammy-nominated debut studio album, Country Grammar, turned 20 in June and he has something special in mind to commemorate the milestone.
On Saturday (July 25), the St. Louis rapper will be holding a special live performance of the album in its entirety. The anniversary show will be broadcast live in 360 degree format from a studio in Los Angeles, thanks to a partnership with virtual reality company, MelodyVR. Nelly gave fans a sneak of what’s come in a video announcement for the digital concert posted on his Instagram page.
“‘Why do it now,’ some people may ask. Anytime you get a chance to celebrate 20 years, you want to do something that you’ve never done before and that’s hard to do,” he stated over footage of him rehearsing. “We are not playing around. We gon’ rock the album from top to bottom.”
Most recently, Nelly spoke to Complex about the upcoming concert and the legacy of his debut project.
“I think it allowed people from not just New York, L.A. or Atlanta — places that were already established — to believe that they could be a major player in this game if they worked their a** off, and if they came up with something that was appreciated by everybody,” he expressed of diamond-certified the project’s impact on hip-hop.
“We were able to come out when we came out and expand those boundaries of hip-hop as far as bringing in more listeners,” Nelly continued. “We had kids whose parents might not have ever let them buy hip-hop records in their life, who were able to buy a Nelly record. That broke the ice and led them into a new direction.”
He added that Country Grammar helped raise the bar in terms of hip-hop albums being given the same recognition as other music genres.
“We may hear pop radio and rhythmic, of course, but now we’re talking top 40 and country, and some of these other formats that we may not have gotten the chance to be heard on.”
This comes as good news to fans as Nelly was originally slated to perform Country Grammar in its entirety at the 2020 Bonnaroo Festival before it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. In May, hip-hop lovers were hit with a wave of nostalgia during Nelly’s Verzuz face-off against Ludacris as the rappers took viewers on a retro hip-hop trip to the early 2000s.