Leave Miley alone! So says her Bangerz collaborator, multiplatinum hip hop heavyweight Nelly. Naked antics aside (see here, here and here) Miley has been getting flack for the risqué promotion of her equally tongue-in-cheek titled album. But for every detractor, Miley’s had an army of industry A-listers defending her legitimacy as a singer and genius hot mess marketing strategy. Among them is Nelly who lays down a verse on “4×4” on the new record. So why has Nelly joined The Movement and cosigned Miley as “dope”? And did he just call her Madonna?
Nelly’s allegiance can be summed up in one word: Pharrell. Yup, when we asked Nelly how he got hooked up with the tongue wagging star for a record he revealed he happened to be in the studio when hitmaker, who produced multiple tracks for Nelly’s own M.O., happened to be there with Miley. “P. was like, ’Yo I got the track. I need you to do this,” Nelly said. Peep his adorable impression of the sought after producer in the video above.
But beyond Miley being in good company of his mutual friends and respected peers, Nelly thinks she’s acting the way she should at that age. He doesn’t endorse every move she makes but Miley’s “Hot In Herre” homie is on board with her zero f’s given attitude. Well, as long as she’s not hurting anyone. “She’s not bullying people. She’s not talking about other people. She’s doing her,” Nelly said. “We’ve had artists that have done that, and they’ve [wound] up turning into some of the biggest stars we’ve ever heard of before…Does Madonna ring a bell?”
Before you get up in arms, Nelly isn’t the first one to throw around her Madgesty’s name around when trying to find a comparable shock artist with equal parts cultural force. Justin Timberlake gave the same assessment when commenting on Miley’s infamous VMA performance. Well, Miley girl, you may be in trouble (a lot), but it looks like you’ve built up an army to defend you. Nelly’s right, you know, “You just gotta let artists be artists sometimes.”