Nelly put St. Louis on the hip-hop map in 2000 with the release of his diamond-selling debut album Country Grammar and the lineup of hits that followed like “Hot In Herre,” “Dilemma,” “Tip Drill” and “Air Forces Ones.” BET will honor his stellar career with the I Am Hip Hop Award during their 2021 Hip Hop Awards show next month which will premiere Tuesday, Oct. 5, on the network. Previous I Am Hip Hop Award recipients include legends such as Rakim, LL Cool J, Lil Kim, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, and last year’s honoree, Master P.
While it may seem hard to fathom, Nelly has never won a BET award for hip-hop throughout his career although his impressive list of accolades includes three Grammys, four American Music Awards, nine Billboard Music Awards, one MTV Video Music Award, three Soul Train Music Awards and four Teen Choice Awards. However, he took home a BET Award in 2001 for Best New Artist so he wasn’t actually overlooked by the network as the BET Hip Hop Awards didn’t actually launch until 2006.
“I am honored to receive this award and humbled to be in such great company of past artists who have received this award. I have been blessed to work with some incredible people in my career, making 22 years go by in the blink of an eye. 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,” Nelly told Billboard about the upcoming honor.
Despite the life time achievement award from BET, the St. Lunatic has no plans of slowing down and just released his eighth album Heartland last month. Nelly revisited his country swag for his latest project, which includes the hit singles “Lil Bit” with Georgia Florida Line and “High Horse” with Black country and western act Blanco Brown and Breland.
“I was patient with it. I’ve been trying to make sure that I get it right. I feel fortunate that my fans have allowed me to come to a moment like this by supporting all of my music up to this point and allowing me to be, you know, very, very diverse with all of my stuff. Hopefully we got it right,” Nelly told People.
Heartland was recorded in Nashville and debuted at No. 7 on the Top Country Albums chart when it debuted in August.