Nelly talks sports superstitions, going country, laughing at himself on 'Real Husbands of Hollywood'

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Ever wonder what it’s like to watch a football game with Nelly? Probably not what you think. The rapper talked with EW as he hosted the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Pre Game party in West Hollywood about his game day traditions, collaborating with Florida Georgia Line, and the joys of being one of the Real Husbands of Hollywood.

“I’m very intense when it comes to sports,” the rapper/actor told EW. “I’m probably not the Nelly that’s on television.” Claiming to be superstitious, understitious, overstitious, and anything else in between, Nelly makes sure he has all the essentials, like snacks and drinks, ready before a game even begins.”You got to make sure everything is going right before the game so you put that good omen out.” Nelly says he usually watches football with his 14-year-old son like any other country boy — shorts on, socks off.

The rapper recently collaborated with country duo Florida Georgia Line on a remix for their song “Cruise”, performing at the American Music Awards and winning Single of the Year. “They had a version of the song a year before and it was brought to me by my guy Monte Lipman, who is the president of Republic Records and he’s a real good friend of mine, and he brought it up to me and asked me, would this be something I was interested in.” The original version of the song topped out at No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100; Nelly’s version jumped to No. 4. “I respect Monte, because he’s been with me from the beginning of my career. I said, ‘Let me listen to it, let me try something out.’ I said, ‘If I can come out with something that’s worth trying, then I will.’ So I listened to it and found out what I could do to take the song to a whole new audience. And I played it for everybody and everybody loved it. Who knew?”

Besides his music career (his seventh studio album, M.O., was released in September), Nelly is currently on the second season of BET’s Real Husbands of Hollywood, playing an exaggerated version of himself. “That show is fun. We are the fakest reality show on television.” Nelly is currently filming the third season in Hollywood with co-stars Kevin Hart and Nick Cannon. “The thing about it is that we take the time to laugh at ourselves. You know, I think that’s what the whole show is. We’re playing ourselves, but we’re doing stuff that we wouldn’t do really. So it’s like, ‘If I was to do that’ — which I wouldn’t — ‘I would do it this way.’ Sometimes you got to laugh at yourself. Sometimes you do something and you’re the one people are pointing at.”

For his next project, Nelly is staying close to his personal interests. He stars alongside Sylvester Stallone, Kelsey Grammar, and Kyra Sedgewick in the film Reach Me, a drama centered on a group of people who all have a connection to a self-help book authored by a reclusive former football coach.

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