Nelly recreated one of Tupac’s most well-known looks for the performance.
Monday night marked Icons Night for ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, and Nelly went above and beyond for his performance. The St. Louis MC recreated Tupac Shakur‘s outfit from a Death Row photoshoot for the cover of the New York Times magazine–a leather corset and white bandana–and performed a jazz dance routine with his partner Daniella Karagach. Watch the full performance below.
The duo earned a score of 24 out of 30 points for their performance, which featured Nelly doing backflips and hoisting Karagach over his shoulders at one point. Nelly’s fully bought in to the show, and it’s paying off: his team is one of just seven left on the show. Ever since the premiere, he’s shown off his special edition dance shoes on a weekly basis.
“[Tupac] was multi-talented,” Nelly said in a video before the performance. “We all come with luggage, the good and the bad, but the passion behind his songwriting and ability to touch other people has inspired me.”
T.I. infamously wore the same outfit at Pac’s introduction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.
Nelly even hinted at recording a remix to “California Love,” even inviting DWTS cameras into the studio. “I’m actually re-doing my version of the song,” he said. “The fact that I had a chance to re-do such a great song by such a great person, and the fact that I got the chance to display that on national TV was dope to me.”
The 46-year-old MC is in the process of releasing a country music-inspired EP called The Heartland. He recently released a single, “Lil Bit,” with the country duo Florida-Georgia Line. He hopes to recapture the success of his 2004 track “Over and Over” featuring country music star Tim McGraw.