Nelly will be holding a concert along side Cheb Khaled next month in Jeddah (source: Instagram – @derrtymo)
Written by Zaid Bawab
Nelly, the American rapper will be holding a concert along side Raï singer Cheb Khaled next month in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The event is to take place on December the fourteenth and is considered to be a “big deal” since music concerts were mostly not allowed in the country.
But with an allocated budget of two point seven billion dollars, thirty two years old Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s aims to bring life again to such activities and reform the country’s entertainment sector.
Since the announcement of the event on social media, it has been received positively. Yet, the concert could also alarm the downside of the kingdom’s entertainment sector. The tickets are relatively high in price -one hundred and twenty dollars each- and can only be acquired my males.
The Controversy did not stop here as some female followers of the artist condemned the male only concert policy calling it “stupid” at times. Other commentators were concerned about the “Hot in Here” rapper’s accusations of sexual assault and possession of marijuana.
It is not the first time that a major American act performs in Saudi Arabia. A few months ago, Troby Keith performed alongside the local superstar Rabeh Saqer at Riyadh. The male only policy was no different then and strange enough the event took place in the same week that Donald Trump was in the Saudi Kingdom.
The country singer was not allowed to sing about Alcohol, sex or drugs, which could have been a tough task for him with a repertoire that revolves around those themes and he ended up with a set-list that barely has known songs.
The “Dilemma” singer could be facing an actual dilemma choosing songs for his concert in the Arab country where women are mostly fully covered, alcohol is not allowed and smuggling drugs is a death crime since many of his major hits do take sex, alcohol or drugs as their main topic. Take for example the lyrics of “Hot in Here”
“It’s gettin hot in herre (so hot), so take off all your clothes
I am – gettin so hot, I wanna take my clothes off”
This could be the first time that the rapper performs in a “limiting” Middle East venue other than one charity concert her performed in two years ago in Erbil, Iraq and neither him nor his team commented on his planned Saudi Arabia concert.