For every major city in the US, there seems to be a rapper designated as the "official" spokesperson of that particular city. Atlanta has TI, Brooklyn has Jay-Z, Chicago has Kanye West, Orlando has......Flo Rida? Scratch that last example, but you get what I mean. I wish there was an option to vote for what rapper can rep their city, because whenever I reveal to an out-of-towner that my hometown is St. Louis, I can't help but roll my eyes when they exclaim, "Aww, you from Nellyville, huh?!"
Why does the mention of Nelly's name make me cringe, you ask? Let me count the ways.
1. The Band-Aid
I'm not sure if anyone else remembers, but Nelly wore a white Band-Aid on his cheek for a long period of time. I suppose he first started wearing it due to a basketball injury, but eventually Nelly revealed that it also had a "symbolic" meaning and was intended as a shout-out to St. Lunatics member City Spud, who was in jail for a robbery conviction. All I wanted to know back then--and still want to know--is.....why a Band-Aid, Nelly? You couldn't just say, "Free City!" like all of the other rappers after every performance? Or maybe wear a "Free City" t-shirt? Was it not good enough that a whole St. Lunatics album was dedicated to City Spud? Thankfully, the unintended fashion accessory never caught on in St. Louis (or any other city, to the best of my knowledge), and a higher power must have told Nelly the Band-Aid wasn't a good look, because he eventually ceased from sporting the adhesive out in public.
2. Tip Drill
There are a few events I believe have set black people back several hundred years: the Flavor of Love reality series, the invention of Twitter, and Nelly's "Tip Drill" video. Nelly ignited some major controversy back in 2004 when he released an uncut video that included colorful lyrics such as "it must be yo' ass, 'cuz it ain't yo' face" and lots of ass shaking. One of the most "memorable" scenes is when Nelly slides a credit card between one woman's ass cheeks. I'm embarrassed just by writing that. The controversy came to a head (no pun intended), when several Spelman students joined together with plans to confront Nelly at a charity event scheduled to take place at the Spelman campus. Nelly canceled his scheduled appearance at the last minute. Surprise. Which brings me to my next point.
3. Kat Stacks
Nelly was just one of many rappers caught in the tangled, STD-infested web of scandals weaved by the infamous Kat Stacks. He is one of the first men she outed when she first came on the scene months ago, as she blogged detailed accounts of arguments she and Nelly had outside of his studio when she was drunk. And of course, Nelly chose to take things to the next level when he called in during a Shade 45 radio interview with Kat Stacks, and proceeded to "hide" his identity by anonymously interrogating her about the accuracy of her stories. Being the mentally deficient human being that she is, Kat Stacks had no idea who she was talking to at first, and Nelly insisted that she was lying because she could not remember the name of any hotel they had met at. Now, I really don't give a damn whether Nelly slept with Kat Stacks or not. My issue is this: You have soooo much to say in attempts to "clear your name" over allegations made by some groupie hoe
4. Nursery Rhymes
I don't think there is too much that needs to go here. We are talking about a man whose claim to fame was a single that included the lyrics "shimmy shimmy cocoa puff." 'Nuff said.
Anyone who knows me knows that I have a deep hatred for all things hoodrat related. Hoodrat labels, in particular, make me itch. Therefore, I could not complete this blog post without speaking on Nelly and the role he has played in contributing to the hoodrat epidemic. The Apple Bottoms brand launched in 2003, and was targeted towards African-American women who had a hard time fitting into jeans that were intended to conform to the body types of their Caucasian counterparts. I get the concept, and it's actually not a horrible idea. But just like 99.9% of "urban" fashion brands, the clothes are always adorned with garish rhinestones and shit, whether it's a t-shirt, jean pockets, or a hoodie. I don't know who is in charge of the Apple Bottoms design team, but someone needs to tell them that just because I'm black, doesn't mean I want some damn bedazzled apples splashed all over my freakum dress.