Nelly celebrated the 20th anniversary of his debut album Country Grammar at the 2020 American Music Awards.
On Sunday, the rap star performed a medley of his early hits “Country Grammar,” “E.I.,” and “Ride Wit Me” in honor of his diamond-certified studio debut album being released 20 years ago.
Cedric the Entertainer introduced the performance with a phone call to Nelly before the rapper kicked off the medley with “Country Grammar,” backed up by fellow rapper City Spud as a full band wearing masks played behind them.
Clad in a black t-shirt and black leather pants with red details and white tennis shoes, Nelly gave multiple shout-outs to St. Louis before continuing with “E.I.” and concluding with “Ride Wit Me.” The entire performance had perfect old school vibes as Nelly and City Spud were relaxed and dancing around the stage, making the old hits feel new again. And as the performance ended, Cedric the Entertainer chased them offstage asking them about an afterparty.
Earlier this week, it was announced that Nelly has been cast in the Buddy Holly biopic Clear Lake. The music star will travel back in time to the late 1950s to portray fellow St. Louis native, Chuck Berry, known as the “Father of Rock and Roll” for his role as a pioneer of the genre. He joins previously announced Ruairi O’Connor, who will play Holly, the singer who died in Clear Lake, Iowa, on Feb. 3, 1959, after a private jet he chartered to get to his next gig crashed shortly after takeoff. The day of the crash is famously known as The Day the Music Died.
It was a nice reminder that Nelly really did have the rap game on lock 20 years ago — and he still looks great. Beyond great.