Hip-hop music star Nelly spent the last couple of days in Atlanta, not for anything related to music but to promote a new fragrance from his fashion line Apple Bottoms and put in some time for one of his two philanthropic causes. Nelly spent Friday visiting the bone marrow transplant unit at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. About 25 kids got play games with him and received early Christmas presents from Macy’s.
On Saturday, a special bone marrow transplant recipient named Jerry Jones got to shadow Nelly as his made the rounds at Macy’s at Lenox Square courtesy of Macy’s who granted Jerry a special wish. We talked with the Grammy winning artist before his appearance with fans in the store. Here’s what he had to say:
On his Friday visit to the bone marrow transplant unit at Children’s Healthcare: “This is something I like to do just to make people aware [of the need for bone marrow donors]. .. Jes Us 4 Jackie is in honor of my sister who died in June 05 from leukemia. We didn’t find a donor for my sister, but were able to find donors for seven other needy people. It’s about keeping the memory alive. We need a lot more people to step up. And more African Americans would be beautiful.”
On the new Apple Bottom fragrance released this fall: “It’s not overpowering. It’s real light – for every day wear.”
On launching a new upcoming line of bed linens: “Now women can have Apple Bottoms during the day and can go to sleep with Apple Bottoms at night. We’re getting our Martha Stewart on.”
On his new album set for release next spring: “It’s not yet titled, but I’m working with some different people – pushing some new boundaries” to reach some households not necessarily into hip hop.
On hanging out with 17-year-old Jerry: “I’m feeling myself right now. Somebody made me a wish!
On hanging out at the clubs: “You have to, to be in the game. You can’t want to be into music but don’t want to be in the inspiration that makes it happen. I learn that from JD [Jermaine Durpi] He goes to the club, observing, taking it all in. You need to be there to see [what people like to dance to].
On his favorite place to eat when he’s in Atlanta: “I love Gladys Knight’s [and Ron Winan’s] Chicken & Waffles. I’m probably the only one who can get takeout on Sunday’s. And I like to go to Justin’s. I try to support the people I feel like I know. I don’t know Gladys Knight, but I feel like I could have been on of the Pips.”