- 04:13 PM, Sep 21
Rapper Nelly was born Cornell Haynes, Jr. in Austin, Texas, on November 2, 1974, to Cornell Haynes, Sr. and Rhonda Mack. Shortly after he was born, he followed his parents moved to Spain until he was three, because his father was in the U.S. Air Force. He moved back to states and got his education in St. Louis, Missouri. There he found himself moving in with relative to relative since his parents split, which happened when he was 8 years old, because of financial problems. Grew up in a broken-home family, young Nelly admitted to get used into a lot of fights and troubles, because of which in 1993 he left his gritty St. Louis neighborhood and settled in the suburban area of University City. There, by the time he started high school, Nelly shifted his attention to playing baseball, storytelling, and writing rhymes that helped keep him out of trouble.
Up to that point, this would-be famous rapper showed great promise as a professional baseball player, but as a child he listened to artists such as Rahiem, LL Cool J, Run DMC, OutKast, and Goodie Mob and he too wished he could become a rap star. During his senior high he kept continuing to work on his baseball skills as he formed a group with 5 of his friends, Murphy Lee, Kyjuan, Ali, City Spud, and Slo'Down, called the St. Lunatics. Two years later Nelly and St. Lunatics released a 12-inch self-produced single called "Gimme What Ya Got," which sold almost 10,000 copies and scored a regional hit in 1996. Continued with the Lunatics while playing shortstop in the St. Louis Amateur Baseball Association, it looked as though Nelly would be a professional baseball player. After sometimes, the group managed to put out another song called "Who's The Boss," which became a local hit, helped their reputation locally, sadly didn't grab the interest of record companies.
In response to the failure, the frustrated St. Lunatics decided to try their luck in Atlanta and teamed up with Kula who at that time was managing Mase. By and by, all the group members realized that Nelly would have a better chance to get a record deal on his own, based on which they sent him alone, thinking he might be success and indeed they were right. This became a decisive moment following Nelly and Kula sign to Universal Records executive Kevin