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Friday, July 5 @ Miller Lite Oasis, 10 p.m.

Jun. 12, 2013
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What better anthem for Summerfest than Nelly’s “Hot in Herre,” from the rapper’s 2002 breakthrough album Nellyville? Throughout his 20-year career, Nelly has perfected the art of the party anthem, crafting odes to the joys of such feel-good standbys as tricked out cars (“Ride Wit Me,” from 2000’s Country Grammar) and tricked out teeth (“Grillz,” from 2005’s Sweatsuit). And while no one will be taking off all their clothes during Nelly’s set, there is little doubt that the St. Louis-based rapper will bring the party to Milwaukee.

In the wake of the massive recent successes of such rappers as Lil Wayne, T.I. and Young Jeezy, it is easy to overlook Nelly’s role in cementing the commercial viability of Southern hip-hop. Artists from the South definitely existed before Country Grammar dropped at the turn-of-the-century, but Nelly’s debut album made it clear that Southern rappers could reach more than a niche audience. Nelly has continued to put out records over the past decade, with a new record, M.O., set to hit the shelves in the near future.




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