“I wouldn’t even call it a diss because I mean, I have been away as far as with my music. So, I mean, you know, you’re on SNL — I think you [are] getting mentioned at any cost,” the “Just a Dream” rapper, 45, told Us Weekly and other reporters on Monday, October 26, after performing on Dancing With the Stars’ Halloween week. “I mean, it was cool. I don’t take it seriously like that.”
Nelly continued, “It was funny. It was funny as hell, to me. So, I got it. I got the joke, and they weren’t lying. I mean, I have been missing musically for a second!”
During the sketch show’s Weekend Update segment on Saturday, October 24, coanchor Michael Che spoke about Nelly’s new deal with Budweiser to appear on limited-edition versions of its beer cans. A faux mark-up of the item hit the screen and showed the “Hot in Here” artist’s face beneath the word “missing,” a tactic that’s usually reserved for M.I.A. children on milk cartons.
“Rapper Nelly will be appearing on a new line of Budweiser cans right under the word ‘missing,’” the 37-year-old comedian said.
Nelly, whose real name is Cornell Iral Haynes Jr., is no stranger to SNL. The “Grillz” hitmaker has performed on the show in 2002 and again in 2004. Despite Che’s recent dig, the Missouri native wouldn’t be opposed to returning to the NBC series in the future.
“I love doing SNL. I mean, the thing about SNL is nobody’s off limits. It’s not anything that you take personal,” he explained. “They made fun of Barack Obama. So, if they could make fun of the first Black president, Nelly is definitely in the realm. It’s not a problem.”
Nelly continued, “You actually take it as a badge of honor. Like, they’re historic.”
Nelly hasn’t released an album since 2013’s M.O. However, earlier this year, the Grammy winner appeared on songs by Jimmie Allen and Kane Brown. He also dropped a new song with Florida Georgia Line called “Lil Bit” just one day before the NBC sketch series dissed him.
The Longest Yard actor is currently competing on Dancing With the Stars’ 29th season alongside pro Daniella Karagach. For Halloween week on Monday, the pair performed an Argentine tango to The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face.”
Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Emily Longeretta