Nelly not being fully welcomed into ultraconservative regions comes as no surprise, as recent news of his upcoming appearance in Saudi Arabia is not being received well. The rapper is scheduled to perform December 14, alongside of Algerian singer Cheb Khaled in Jeddah, but with a host of restrictions.
After a recent rape allegation (later dropped) and prior drug occurrences, Nelly is facing a bit of backlash from citizens in the country. Some Saudis on social media are pointing to the American rapper’s 2015 guilty plea for possession of marijuana. Smuggling drugs is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia and possession of drugs is also a crime.
Saudi Arabia isn’t even close to being nearly as marijuana-friendly as other countries. With these two situations occurring so closely together some may understand why some people might end up being upset with the rapper headlining such a show.
To make matters worse, according to the Washington Post the concert will be only attending by men and he has been restricted to perform certain songs. Though the issue has yet to become a social media wildfire, there have been some angry complaints from female fans in the country about the event being male-only.
Apparently, Nelly’s event is supposed to be a step forward into normalizing music concert in the region. It has been said the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is spearheading reform efforts to expand leisure & entertainment activities. Nelly will be the second major American star to appear in Saudi Arabia, so hopefully it all works out for him and his female fans.