This year’s BET Hip Hop Awards is about to get a refresher course in “Country Grammar”. On October 5th, 2021, don’t be surprised if a few people start “getting so hot that they’re going to take their clothes off,” or perhaps rocking a fresh pair of “Air Force Ones” to help celebrate the many successes of rapper Nelly.
In 2000, the St. Louis rapper took the world by storm with his debut single and album, “Country Grammar.” The album would eventually be certified Diamond by the RIAA with sales exceeding 10 million copies. Nelly is only one of 6 other Hip-Hop acts to achieve a Diamond certification. Over the years, Nelly would continue to release a slew of hit singles and albums, as well as appearing in hit films like The Longest Yard.
Nelly’s two-decades-long career is filled with many high-charting singles, including many number ones on Billboard’s Hot 100. The rapper has also achieved a number of awards including 4 American Music Awards, 9 Billboard Awards, 3 Grammys, and more. Nelly is also one of the first rappers to have a successful bout in Country Music as well.
Oddly enough, being the recipient of this year’s “I Am Hip-Hop” Award at the ceremony will make this Nelly’s first BET Hip-Hop Award. He has been nominated in the past for 3 awards, but never the winner. However, at the BET Awards, Nelly took home the Best New Artist award in 2001. The St. Louis rapper joins the ranks of some of Hip-Hop’s heavy hitters who have received the award since its inaugural ceremony in 2006. The first artist to receive that honor was legendary rapper Grandmaster Flash.
Iconic Hip-Hop act Salt-N-Pepa were the 2010 recipients, as they trailblazed the way for many women in Hip-Hop today. “It felt good to be honored by my peers as a pioneer and to receive a standing ovation from a younger generation,” said Cheryl “Salt” James to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Everybody’s favorite “Uncle” Snoop Dogg was blessed with the honor in 2016. Fellow Los Angeles rapper Kendrick Lamar was on hand to present Snoop as that year’s honoree as he was praised for his many accomplishments and contributions to the genre.
The next year would find the controversial rapper Uncle Luke as the honoree. Luke was responsible for bringing to the forefront the “Miami Bass” sound, propelled with raunchy lyrics and visuals. The day would be special for Luke, indeed, as it was the first honor received in his over 30-year career.
Other well-deserved recipients for the “I Am Hip-Hop” Award have included LL Cool J, Lil’ Kim, MC Lyte, Master P, Lil Wayne, Russell Simmons, among others. Now that Nelly will be among the elite winners, he shared in a statement that he was “honored” to be in such great company.
“I have been blessed to work with some incredible people in my career, making 22 years go by in the blink of an eye,” shared Nelly. “This award isn’t just about Nelly; it is about my fans, BET, and the people that continue to support me and allow me to do what I love to do.”
Congratulations to Nelly!