Hip-hop star Nelly is teaming up with NBA guard Larry Hughes to open a multimillion dollar athletic complex in his hometown of St. Louis. The rapper, who single-handedly put Missouri on the hip-hop map, and his company Nelly Inc., are in the early stages of planning, but have already purchased 60 acres of land in northwest St. Louis for the proposed project.

While Nelly works towards developing the athletic center, fans of the multiplatinum artist eagerly await the release of his upcoming album, 'Brass Knuckles,' which has been pushed back ... again.

In the meantime, the rapper is calling out Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry's role in 'Monster's Ball,' and Essence, an American lifestyle, fashion and entertainment magazine directed towards African-American women in a recent interview with SOHH.com.

"You look at Essence magazine, and they wouldn't put a rapper on the cover," he told SOHH. "They wouldn't put Nelly on the cover of Essence." He adds, "But yet still, you put Halle Berry on the cover. She's had a 15-minute sex scene with some white guy in front of a couch ... I mean you can't tell me that 'Tip Drill' was worse than watching that sex scene between [Billy Bob Thornton] and Halle Berry ... that was longer than four or five minutes."

Nelly's criticism may seem harsh, but the rapper insists that he's being unfairly overlooked, considering his attempts at altruism.

I do numerous charity events," Nelly said. "I've got people signed up on the bone marrow, stem cell [transplant list]. I've got over 5,000 people registered through our not-for-profit and things that we've been able to do. We found 7 donors for people that needed transplants. We've helped saved 7 lives. Period. Have you done that?"