NEW YORK — Albeit her mug isn’t all that delectable, one girl’s booty is enough to attract him. He finds another young lady alluring because she’s soaking wet with sweat, and there’s the female that he laughs and cries with through the stormiest weather. The loves and lusts of Nelly were all on display Monday night at Webster Hall as he performed in celebration of the release of his two new albums, Sweat and Suit.
Nells’ set began with a new number from his Sweat LP, “Heart of a Champion.” Rapping over a sample of a track originated by John Tesh, of all people (sports fans will definitely recognize the incorporation of “Roundball”), the captain of the St. Lunatics showed his competitive nature by immediately taking command of the stage, walking to the front and slapping fives with the crowd. The Tics weren’t too far behind, consuming the spotlight along with Nelly for the always-spirited “Air Force Ones.”
“Give me two perre,” the crowd chanted as the show’s star held up two fingers in the air.
A little later, Nelly informed Murphy Lee that he was handing over the reigns.
“I brought you a little help,” he said to his young accomplice, signaling the beat for Murph’s “What Da Hook Gon Be” to come on. The track’s producer, Jermaine Dupri, came out and joined Lee, bouncing and doing a two-step to the music.
Nelly wanted to do his own special number, but since his “Dilemma” guest star, Kelly Rowland, wasn’t present, he got some help from the crowd. If you’ve ever been to a Nelly concert, then you probably could guess that the women in attendance had no problem chiming in with “I … love you. And I … need you.” The ladies sang throughout the song, ending with Nells letting them rock a cappella. “You can always count on my love, foreveeeeer more.”
After the record, the headliner took control again, saying, “I think we need to get to the new joints.” Two women dressed in Apple Bottom jeans and white tank tops came out and danced during “Flap Your Wings.” Yes, they did plunge down to a squatted position for their jig as the king of St. Louis stayed in the parameters of the record, rapping, “Drop down and get your eagle on, girl.”
“It’s a barn burner,” he added of his two albums when the song ended. One of the more glowing recommendations of Sweat and Suit during the night didn’t even come from the St. Lunatics camp, however. During “Shake Your Tailfeather,” P. Diddy strolled onto the stage, prompting two men in the audience to high five each other, while another two smashed their plastic cups together in a celebratory toast. “Sweat and Suit in stores now,” Puffy yelled, but not before he and Nelly did the A-Town stomp at the end of the performance of their smash record. The Tics then took it from the dance floor to the stripper pole with the “E.I.” Tip Drill remix.
“It must be your ass ’cause it ain’t your face,” the crew yelled. “I said it must be your ass ’cause it ain’t your face.”
It wasn’t a girl’s face nor her behind that had Nelly beaming on “My Place”; it was her heart (awww). The rapper sang about trying to win his love’s love back again, with some assistance from Jaheim.
“Won’t you sit ya self down and take a seat/ And let me ease ya mind, girl,” sang Ja, who looked like he just got up from the hairdresser’s chair with his tightly braided ’do. “We gon’ do it our way.”
“We never had a problem with getting’ it done,” Mr. “Derrty E.N.T.” chipped in. “Disagreed upon a lot ma, but the sex wasn’t one.”
There was no opposition to the song that would carry everyone home on Monday night: “Hot in Herre.” The selection was so hot that Nelly had to finally discard his St. Louis Cardinals cap and doo-rag that he wore all night. He flung it into the crowd before mixing a little bit of “ah, ah” with a little bit of, well, “ah, ah.”
For more sights and stories from concerts around the country, check out MTV News Tour Reports .