Date: Thursday 8th May 2014
Location: The Forum, Kentish Town
Has been a while since i been to The Forum and in true THROWBACK THURSDAY style i went to see an artist who i have been wanting to see live for around 10 years!! The ‘Hot in Here’ man himself Nelly performed a one-off show and yes i was in there losing my voice with everyone else.
We had to wait a while for Nelly to come on but we were well entertained with DJ Swerve keeping the groove in the house. The venue was full by showtime came around and as the location boasts, the crowd was full of an eclectic mix of people.
Bursting onto the scene in 2000, Texas born, Missouri raised Nelly put his hometown of St Louis on the rap – map which had been dominated by the West, East and South coasts. With his unique rhyming slang, vocabulary and his boys firmly at his side, Cornell Hayes Jnr (aka Nelly) was ready to take on the world. After forming a HipHop ‘St Lunatics’ crew in high school, Nelly had a taster of the rapper lifestyle and after a slight setback (no record deal) he decided to go solo.
Over the past decade Nelly has gone from strength to strength, had an on/off relationship with R&B Ashanti, started a clothing line and starred in various advertising campaigns. He also set up an organisation to educate society about bore marrow diseases and the lack of donors, inspired by his sister’s plight with leukaemia, sadly she passed away in 2005. Not letting anything take away from his dream, he made sure that he gives back to the community in more ways than one.
The infamous plaster, Nelly wore on his cheek in the early part of his career was an ode to his younger brother and fellow St Lunatics Member ‘City Spud’ who was serving a lengthy jail sentence at the time.
In true Nelly style, he compacted years of material into an amazing set that definitely made up for his absence on our shores. Kicking things off with ‘Party People’, we were taken into a hype as he ran through hits such as ‘E.I’, ‘Country Grammar’, ‘Shake Ya Tailfeather’. I had an amazing sing along with some people I met to ‘Hey Porscha’, didn’t realise I was still so hardcore!! (doing my 15yr old self proud!) He included some other material which included ‘I’m so Faded’ and ‘Move that Body’ which kept the crowd in the zone with a fresh vibe.
As the show went on Nelly thanked us for sticking by him all this time and that we should to continue to support new music and gave advice to new artists to keep trying to reach their dreams. A highlight of the show was the crowd integration, Nelly pulled 3 ladies onto the stage and after various conversations, proceeded to serenade each one to his classics ‘Body On Me’, All In My Head’ and ‘Dilemma’. The looks on their faces were priceless as Nelly twirled and grinded with them….. (not jealous at all!!) Either way he was a good artist for doing that, some artists just expect you dance for/on them but he actually took the time out to do something different and unique.
The closing hits were somewhat sentimental as he wanted to show his gratitude as well as get the party started. The infamous ‘Hot in Here’ tore the house down and as Nelly took off his top SADLY many others felt the need to follow suit. I’m all for liberation but please, keep it civilised!! That song had us all jumping and singing along like it came out yesterday, timeless!!! On a more sombre note he spoke about his fight to get where he is now and closed the show with ‘Just A Dream’.
I know I’m biased as I am already a fan but this was an excellent show of MidWest’s finest, he made sure he came in top form to deliver the goods and as the saying goes: BETTER LATE THAN NEVER!!!! ❤