Anheuser-Busch has teamed up with St. Louis native rapper Nelly to create limited edition Budweiser tall-boy cans featuring the star's picture and lyrics from his debut album, "Country Grammar". The cans will be available in Missouri starting tomorrow, October 20.
The collaboration sparked from this year being the 20th anniversary of the album. Nelly says the cans represent the love he has for his hometown. Being in the entertainment business, he says, does not mean forgetting his roots.
"I spend a lot of time on the road and just getting a chance to come home and just embody what helped me become who I become," Nelly tells the Riverfront Times.
"It's almost like recharging your batteries before you go out."
The brand new Budweiser cans showcase Nelly's pride for St. Louis, with the lyrics "I'm from the Lou and I'm Proud" inked on both sides of Nelly's portrait. The rap star says he chose those lyrics and a few others that are instantly recognizable to local fans.
The 25 oz. tall-boy design came as no coincidence. Nelly recalled the nostalgic feeling of drinking out of a tall-boy can, what he says he drank when he was younger.
Shooting the promo for the cans captured how much this project means to Nelly, he says.
"I didn't really grasp it until I saw back some of the pictures of me taking a sip," Nelly says. "You're kind of like 'Damn, bro, I'm actually drinking an Anheuser-Busch with my picture on it.'"
The cans also contain a St. Louis Cardinals logo in the upper left corner. Nelly recalled being a huge Ozzie Smith fan growing up. He even learned how to do a backflip after watching "The Wizard" do them during Cardinals games in the '80s and '90s.
The release of the cans comes as Nelly stars in "Dancing With the Stars" on ABC. Although he said he would not be in St. Louis for the release, he thanked Anheuser-Busch and fans for the support throughout his career.
"Allowing me to fulfill a dream and to represent this city as a whole and to continue to represent this city," Nelly says, "just like our icon Anheuser-Busch."