Nelly is revealing his top two.
While promoting his upcoming project Heartland on Fox Soul’s “The Mix,” the St. Louis rapper was asked who he thought were the “two best rappers to ever do it.”
Nelly’s short list includes Tupac Shakur and LL Cool J. “Me personally, I definitely think Pac and LL, but you have to understand where I come from and how I see it,” he shared.
He said Pac needs no explanation, while celebrating LL Cool J for paving the way for rappers like him.
“I look at LL, when I was growing up, there wasn’t a lot of dudes that was rapping at L’s time. A lot of rappers that was coming up in the early ’80s and all that, they was just mean muggers or they was kinda grouchy looking and all of this,” said Nelly. “And here you got this fly dude, he was hard, but he was also getting the girls and that inspired me. And he would get on the mic, and he would match bar for bar with anybody.”
Thanks to LL, Nelly had the confidence to pursue a rap career. “From that perspective, that inspired me and I was just like, ‘Yo, he’s the best.'”
Following a stint on “Dancing With the Stars” last year, the Grammy-winning rapper is now readying his country-inspired EP Heartland for release in late spring/early summer. “I just try to be musically free. If it’s a hit, it’s a hit,” said Nelly of crossing genres. “I don’t care what chart it sits at, as long as it sits at No. 1.”