Hip hop legend and rap royalty Nelly has had his fair share of hits over the years. From his rap anthem ‘Hot in Herre’ to his slow jam smash ‘Dilemma’ featuring Kelly Rowland, the St. Louis rapper has undoubtedly had his taste of success. However, wouldn’t it be interesting to know what kind of music the chart-topper listened to as a child? Well, in an interview with the magazine NME, he revealed the first song he ever remembers hearing.
Speaking about the music that he listened to growing up, he disclosed that the first album he ever owned was NWA’s Straight Outta Compton. Quite an explicit album admitted, “It didn’t make my mother too ecstatic when she found out that I actually had it.” However, he detailed how his mother didn’t confiscate or anything of the sort but allowed him to have it, although she personally did not approve of the genre’s general message. With this in mind, he continued, compared to other mums, “my mum was pretty cool about things like that – she didn’t condone it, but she would let me know that she wasn’t too pleased about me having it.”
Reminiscing on his childhood, Nelly spoke to NME about the first live show he ever saw as well, which was an Earth, Wind & Fire show in St. Louis. Vividly remembering the event, the rapper (real name Cornell Haynes) divulged, “My father took me, but I was a baby and the only reason I remember it is because I couldn’t see, and this was one of the first times he put me on his shoulders so I could see. They had these flames and shit that used to come up out of the side of the stage, and I thought: ‘Yo, that was incredible, these guys got fire!’ I thought they actually made the fire themselves.”
However, with all this information, there was still one important piece missing, so when finally asked, the rapper told the interviewer that the first song he ever remembers hearing was ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Reflecting on his parents’ divorce, Haynes revealed, “I don’t want to date myself, but my mum used to play this a lot when I was younger. It’s probably the first song that I knew the words to. All music brings back memories, but my mum and dad got divorced very early on [in my life]. So this song helps me remember a time when I actually had a mother and father at once.”
So the first song Nelly ever remembers hearing is ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’. Quite the surprise.