Nelly Preps New Single, Ponders Fame

You know the drill by now: A regional hip-hop success brings his sound and his clique to a national stage, with multi-platinum results.

Master P did it, Juvenile did it, and now Nelly's doing it.

The St. Louis rapper has scored a major hit with "Country Grammar," and he hopes to keep the ball rolling with his next single, "E.I."

So far, Nelly's "Country Grammar" album has managed to sell more than 1.3 million copies in just six weeks, prompting many to call Nelly and his St. Louis cronies an overnight sensation, but Nelly is quick to point out that the scene's time in the spotlight was long overdue.

"It's like we're crying out for our time to shine right now," Nelly recently explained to MTV News."We've been doing it for a while. It ain't like, 'Well, they finally got something

hot.' It's always

been hot acts in St. Louis. It's just that people [are] going down there, taking the time to recognize and take a look and see what's really going on. We've just been building up and building up to this point to where now we're screaming with our heads cut off. We're really feeling ourselves down there in St. Louis, and I ain't talking about me. I'm talking about the whole St. Lou' right now. It's all love down there. It's 'Country Grammar'-ed out down there, and I love 'em, man. I love 'em. For sure."

While things continue to blow up for Nelly, the rapper claims he is still every bit as approachable as ever. "You can talk to me, because people seem to walk by and I'll be like, 'Say hi. Say it.'" Nelly said. "I'll encourage them to say it, say it, just say it. For sure, because I'm from St. Louis, man, ain't no egos. I got a lot of people staring, then you look, and I'll be ready to talk to them, but then they turn their head, like I wasn't looking at him, I'll be, 'OK...

he ain't ready yet.'"

If you're ready for Nelly, you can keep sinking your teeth into "Country Grammar" until "E.I." hits the airwaves.

For more from our interview with Nelly, check out the MTV News Online feature "Nelly: Country By Storm" debuting Friday here at MTV.com.