Rapper Nelly to bring country-infused hip-hop to Summit City

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Nelly is scheduled to bring his unique, often country-inflected hip-hop to Headwaters Park in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The show is slated for May 13, 2022. The rapper is set to perform with fellow rappers Twista, and Do or Die.

Nelly and Midwestern Rap

Nelly came to prominence in 2000, with the release of his “Country Grammar” album. The title track was a hit, as were other singles from the album such as “Ride Wit Me,” and “E.I.” The accompanying videos, and the often humorous wordplay displayed on the album made Nelly a household name seemingly overnight. However, his work with friend and collaborator, Murphy Lee, told the story of how success was not quickly attained.

Hits by Nelly continued to roll out from his second album, “Nellyville.” Songs that found a place at parties, in car stereos, and FM-radio playlists. “Hot in Herre,” “Pimp Juice,” “Air Force Ones,” and “Dilemma,” displayed various versions of Nelly’s take on life and love. With “Belleville,” the rapper proved he was as comfortable with slow jams as he was with dance songs.

In an era when rap from the so-called “Dirty South,” and the West Coast were competing for listeners, Nelly made a name for himself and Midwestern rap by proudly proclaiming his hometown and its region. He and Murphy Lee also represented the Midwest as the St. Lunatics on the multi-artist “Welcome to Atlanta remix” featuring Jermaine Dupri, Snoop Dogg, and P. Diddy, among others.

Recently, Nelly has had collaborations with country performers such as Florida-Georgia Line and Toby Keith have marked the rapper as an innovator. As of 2022, hip-hop and country collaborations have been become more common. In 2021, Nelly released “Heartland” that more fully explores the hip-hop and country connection.

Tickets for the May 13 concert are quickly selling out. The event sounds like a perfect way to kick off the summer. For more information, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nelly-with-twista-do-or-die-and-lil-flip-tickets-198308284417

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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