Rapper Nelly Offers Advice On Making The “Big Time”

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- Rap artist Nelly headed back to school Wednesday to turn his life experiences into lessons for students aspiring to join the music entertainment industry.

Some two hundred students attend the Vatterott College Ex'Treme Institute by Nelly in downtown St. Louis.  The technical program prepares students for jobs in music and video production, recording studios and entertainment management.  Lessons are also available in music, dance and voice.

Nelly helped to conceive the program along with Vatterott CEO  Pam Bell.  He surprised students at the Laclede's Landing institute Wednesday when he arrived to teach a master class.   He talked about how he got his break in the music business and what it takes to succeed.

He described the Institute as a dream come true.  "To be able to build something that can actually breathe fresh air into an artistic creation is like that old commercial:  ten thousand, twenty thousand, priceless."

The school offers state of the art studios along with classes in public speaking, business management, song writing, recording engineering and finance.

Nelly urged students to take advantage of their opportunities. "A lot of us put ourselves in positions to win, but we want somebody to throw us the touchdown instead of us taking the handoff and running it in," he said.  "In music you have to be a running back; receivers don't last long in music, only running backs last in this game."

The school plans to add 100 more students later in the year and launch a St. Louis talent show contest this fall with celebrity judges.

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