Grammy-winning rapper Nelly has finally laid rest the speculation that his “#1″ 2002 record was directed at hip-hop pioneer KRS-One.
According to Nelly, the track was a shot aimed at all of his haters, not KRS.
“Your music reflects a lot of how you feel on certain things. Having the type a success that I was having and all a that you still find that there’s people that basically still try to sh*t on you anyway you try to look at it so… and it just got to a point where you were just like, Man, regardless or whatever the f*ck y’all saying, I’m still No. 1 right now and that’s kinda like how we felt… I’m winning and n*ggas is pissin’ and sh*ttin’ on me and I’m feelin’ like, ‘C’mon, man, like my city, let us get our shine… Why can’t we have ours, everybody else get theirs, why we can’t have ours.’ You know, so at that time I didn’t give a f*ck whoever said something, I felt like I was pissed off about it but the whole thing with Kris [KRS-One], was nothing. Why would I pick him of all people to come out the blue at, at the time? …I took a lot sh*t personal that I found out you shouldn’t take personal ’cause that’s just the nature of the world, not even the business.” (XXL Mag)
Further interpretation suggest Nelly went at KRS on his “Roc The Mic” freestyle with Freeway.
Davey D reports KRS One has answered the volley that Nelly threw which his appearance on the Freeway remix of ‘Roc The Mic’. In the track, Nelly implies that KRS is “an old emcee trying to make a come back” and that he’s the “first old man to get a rapper’s pension.” In KRS’ recording ‘The Real Hip Hop Is Over Here’, he says that unlike Nelly, he’s not “universal” and adds that Nelly’s rap style sounds like an “*NSYNC commercial.” (Rap Dirt)
Around 2002, Nelly’s St. Lunatic partner Murphy Lee denied the beef.
“Nelly is humble as hell, it would be something to just tick my man off,” said St. Lunatics member Murphy Lee, who also rhymes on the “Roc the Mic” remix. “It was like KRS-One said something first. It was never Nelly come out and just [dis him]. The man is just tired. He had to defend himself. He’s like, ‘My career probably wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for KRS-One,’ that’s what Nelly is on. My man got tired of critics and made a song ‘#1.’ He wasn’t specifically talking about nobody, but if the shoe fits, wear it.” (MTV)
However, following the song’s release, KRS released records going at Nelly.
KRS-One’s latest battle was in 2002, when he launched several diss tracks (“Ova Here,” “The Real Hip-Hop,” and “You Don’t Really Want It”) at Nelly over a perceived slight on the St. Louis rapper’s “Number 1″ song. (All Hip Hop)
Check out Nelly’s “#1″ below: