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Nelly, NAS storm Naija for Star Mega Jam

By Ogbonna Amadi
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Double Grammy award winner, Cornell Haynes, popularly known as Nelly and self-appointed “King of New York,” Nasir Jones, popularly known as Nas, are the two international artistes to perform at the 2008 edition of the popular Star Mega Jam, the international music concert sponsored by Star Lager Beer.

Both headliners were overwhelmingly chosen by Nigerian music lovers for the 9th edition of the event which is slated to hold on Friday, December 12, in Lagos and Saturday, December 13 in Abuja with remote broadcast in Akure and Lokoja.

Nelly and Nas are very excited to be part of the eight-year-old biggest music concert in Africa which has so far thrilled Nigerian music lovers with Shaggy Bombastic, Awilo Longomba, Usher Raymond, Koffi Olomide, 50 Cent, Jay Rule, Kelvin Little, LL Cool J, Akon, Kanye West and T-Pain.

They would be joined by the best of the best of Nigerian music superstars. The parade includes P-Square, D Banj, 9ice, Timaya, Face and Olu Maintain amongst others.

According to Ageni Yusuf, Corporate Affairs Adviser, Nigerian Breweries Plc, having consistently entertained Nigerian music fans for the past eight years, Star is taking the concert a step higher by introducing simultaneous broadcast to ensure that consumers in other regions also feel the excitement.

Nelly, an unknown rapper from a sleepy Midwestern metropolis stunned the recording industry in 2000, selling over a quarter of a million copies of his debut album, Country Grammar during its first week of release.

The spirited rapper from St. Louis, Missouri quickly proved his star potential with follow up singles, E.I and Ride Wit Me, on an album that would go on to sell 9 million copies.

Out of the gate, the staying power of this breakout artist from the Midwest was underestimated by coastal critics, a naïve assumption that Nelly would easily overcome.

Two years later, his sophomore album, Nellyville, established his widespread appeal, selling six million albums and earning him two Grammy for the Singles, Hot in Herre and Dilemma.

Nas, the son of Jazz musician, Olu Dara, beginning with his classic debut, IIImatic in 1994, stood tall for years as one of New York City's leading rap voices, outspokenly expressing a righteous, self-empowered swagger that endeared him to critics and hip hop purists.

Whether proclaiming himself “Nasty Nas” or “Nas Escobar” or “Nastradamus” or “God's Son,” the self-appointed King of New York battled numerous adversaries for his position atop the epicenter of East Coast rap, none more challenging than Jay Z, who vied with Nas for the vacated throne left in the wake of the Notorious B.I.G's 1997 assassination.