Saturday, August 16, at Memorial Hall.

Nelly 

Saturday, August 16, at Memorial Hall.

Quit hatin': You know you love Nelly just as much as the rest of us. With his radio-friendly hip-pop confections, Body by Jake abs and rags-to-bitches back story, Nelly is the personification of the new American Dream. The man who put St. Louis on the rap map continues to offer inspiration to Midwestern MCs everywhere -- spitters from Topeka to Toledo are pining to be the next heartland rapper embraced by the world. On wax, Nelly is milky-smooth, rhyming and crooning his way into the listener's synapses like a creeping cat burglar. In concert, he is king, lording over the stage with a charisma and presence that will not be denied. A playful thug, Nelly's concerts are kid-safe affairs for the whole family; R. Kelly might need a hug, but Nelly's more likely to get one. Expect a mixture of wanna-be gangstas, original wankstas, mallrats and grandmas when St. Louis' most famous hip-hop denizen brings his ever-expanding trunkload of hits to Memorial Hall.

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