Three-time GRAMMY Award winner and multi-platinum selling artist Nelly made history as the first-ever rapper to be featured on the CMT Crossroads series. During the hour-long special, Nelly performed songs from his brand new LP Heartland as well as his big hits. Nelly’s latest country-influenced album has collaborations from a variety of country acts like Darius Rucker, George Birge, Jimmie Allen, and fellow St. Louis, Missouri native Chris Bandi. His CMT Crossroads special featured guest performers Kane Brown, Florida Georgia Line plus, up-and-comers BRELAND and Blanco Brown who are also on the album.
The brand new episode of Crossroads opened with Nelly chatting with his special guests about the history of country music and his background in the hip-hop genre. He gave advice to the country stars and discussed the power of genre-bending in music. Blanco Brown ended the segment by saying, “There’s no rules to being great, just create.”
The first performance was a Nelly song that has become known by the masses, “Hot In Herre,” with Breland performing alongside the rapper. Nelly and BRELAND had clear chemistry on stage. They had fun, their energy was infectious, and most importantly, their voices sounded great together. After the performance, Nelly revealed one of his security guards turned him onto Breland’s music after recommending his TikTok famous tune, “My Truck.”
Nelly and BRELAND returned to the stage but this time, Blanco Brown joined the two to perform “High Horse,” one of the tracks from Nelly’s latest album.
The next part of the episode focuses on Nelly’s relationship with Florida Georgia Line. They performed their hit, “Cruise,” which went on to become one of the biggest songs of 2012 when it was first released; it was the duo’s first taste of breakout success. Before they performed their second hit, “Lil Bit,” together, Brian Kelley from Florida Georgia Line said, “It’s just crazy what our worlds combined have done and continue to do.” “Lil Bit;” perfectly combines FGL’s country-pop sound with Nelly’s home genre of hip-hop. The performance was high-energy and entertaining as Nelly rapped the verses while the country duo harmonized during the choruses.
When Kane Brown accompanied Nelly on stage, they sang their 2020 single “Cool Again.” They followed it up with their newest collaboration “Grits & Glamour.” Through each performance, the guys had fun ad-libbing along to each other’s parts and smiles were beaming across their faces the whole time.
The groundbreaking Crossroads episode closed with a dynamic performance of Nelly, Blanco Brown, BRELAND, and Kane Brown doing “Country Grammar” and “Ride Wit Me” together, two of the widely known songs from Nelly’s album from 2000, Country Grammar. The four artists were jumping and grooving with electricity, and while the spotlight was on Nelly for the final numbers, each country artist on that stage displayed their ability to adapt to a different genre and do it with expertise.
To hear more of country music’s best new releases, head to our Playlists Page and follow The Nash New Releases playlist on Spotify. For the latest in country music news follow The Nash News on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok, and don’t miss our brand new newsletter!