Nelly Mad at News for Coverage of Cousin’s Murder
A 36-year-old man who has been identified as the cousin of St. Louis rapper Nelly was murdered in his hometown on Wednesday night, April 28. Michael Johnson was reportedly shot multiple times near a home in North St. Louis County.
Johnson was originally identified by local news channels as Nelly's bodyguard, but the rapper took to Twitter to clear up the facts. "Contrary to some reports Michael Johnson wasn't my bodyguard! He was my cuzzen and my friend!" he wrote.
St. Louis' KTVI Channel 2 and KPLR 11 -- sister stations operated by the same owner -- were the first to break news of the fatal incident, but the stations managed to seriously piss off Nelly in the process. Reporters approached the St. Lunatics frontman during an appearance at Lindenwood University, where he awarded two teenagers with full scholarships to the school. Although Nelly declined to talk about the shooting incident while at the school, reporters proceeded to include footage of him giving away scholarships along with the murder report. An enraged Nelly unleashed a tirade of words against the news stations for their insensitive coverage of both stories.
"Why would you Channel 2 mix me giving away scholarships 2 students with the murder of my cuzzen after I told you I didn't want 2 talk about it," he wrote. "After watching Channel 2's broadcast it's clear to me about motives! My cuzzen deserved his own segment as well as the 2 deserving students!!"
After the tasteless coverage of both the murder and the scholarship awards, Nelly concluded that his personal and working relationship with KTVI Channel 2 was terminated indefinitely. "Channel 2 STL don't ever have 2worry about another interview from me or a StLunatic ever again!! They're not invited 2 any of my functions!!" he wrote. "I'm never watching Channel 2 news in STL ever again!!! St. Louis spread the word!!!"
Police have not made any arrests in connection to the murder of Michael Johnson as yet.