Nelly gives us The ‘Real’ Reality TV Experience

Nelly gives us The ‘Real’ Reality TV Experience


Who else is ashamed to say that when they have some free time, they find themselves watching a cheeky bit of Love and Hip-hop or Real Housewives of Atlanta? Neither of these two reality shows can be given the label of being good or take credit as amazing pieces of cultural entertainment. If I am being completely honest, most of the popular American reality shows almost always represent black people in such a negative, derogatory way but I somehow I still find myself slightly addicted.

Yes I can agree with the next person, that the storylines are becoming rather repetitive and predictable; Boyfriend cheating on girlfriend, lavish parties, fights, catty behaviour and draining arguments. And I mean how many rapper’s have we seen feature their families on TV? T.I., Jim Jones, Snoop Dogg, and the Game have all gone down this route. Originality is missing and it is looking as though this way of reality TV is here to stay.

When I saw Nelly’s face flash up on my screen advertising his new family show, I thought yawn, here we go another reality show that I will get bored of after a while. But I must say after watching the first episode, I absolutely love the show and it seems promising! It is a breath of fresh air, although after watching both the Game and T.I’s show I grew a little more respect for them, there is just something more genuine about this. Nothing is sugar coated and nothing is played down and unlike most of these family shows it focuses much more on the children than anything else.

In contrast to most celebs, Nelly keeps his life very private, even through his songs we do not get a clear message of the type of character he is. So upon watching I was really surprised that the “Hot in herre” rapper was a father to four, daughter Chanelle, son Cornell, nephew Shawn and niece Sydney. Nelly’s sister Jacqueline passed away in 2005 so he has been looking after Shawn and Sydney ever since.

The whole feel of the show is just warm and fuzzy and in all sense of it’s meaning it is a reality. His family is not perfect or the most ideal but they don’t appear to want to come across that way either. Instead of putting them in a glasshouse and just watching their characters bounce off one another we are shown how they are affected by things going on in their community and those close to them. We see Chanelle dealing with the death of her boyfriend, whilst living a normal college life. Shawn and Sydney breaking down and coming to terms with their mum’s death. Even within the first episode Nelly addresses a wider issue, although happening in America Mike Brown’s death has affected the whole world, he addresses Ferguson and sends out encouragement and support.

Instead of adding to the tarnished image of a rap artists and black male’s Nelly positively revitalises it, through his efforts of being a good father and an active community member.

If you have Sky, Catch ‘Nellyville’ on 9.30pm Tuesdays on BET!

-Rhea Agard


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