The “Hot in Herre” rapper, 38, knows a little something about being on fire. He’s featured on the Florida Georgia Line song “Cruise,” a summer hit in the grand girls-and-cars tradition, and he’s got an album of his own on the way (dropping Sept. 30). Here, Nelly talks to TIME.
TIME: Do you have a favorite kind of car to cruise around in?
NELLY: One with air conditioning.
Even though “Cruise” is about having the windows down.
It’s so hot outside. But not really a favorite car. It’s more the action than the vehicle.
Do you do a lot of driving these days, or mostly you get driven?
I drive a lot when I’m at home. I don’t do too much of it when I’m on either coast. If I’m on the east coast or the west coast, I don’t drive, but if I’m at home down South I will.
Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket, like you do in the video?
Oh, yeah. Plenty of them.
So you’re a fast driver?
I like to get there.
What are your thoughts on the other kind of cruise—on a boat?
I’ve been on a boat before, but not like a cruise liner. Nothing like that, no. It kinda sounds… old?
You also have the single “Hey Porsche.” Women and cars is a theme.
When summertime approaches and things like that, it’s one of those situations where it’s a nice thing that you do, it’s the summertime, it’s real cool.
What makes a great summer song for you?
The energy of it. The vibe. If it puts you in that mood when you hear it. If it mentally puts you in that place where you want to be, summertime-wise.
What kind of place is that for you?
For me, it’s just having a good time. Wherever it is, it doesn’t matter. I’m usually working anyway.
No summer vacation for you?
Hell, no. I wish.
Your next album called MO – what’s the thinking behind the title? Like, that’s your M.O.?
It’s just Missouri. That’s where I’m from, Missouri, and a lot of friends and family call me Mo, so it’s similar as far as me still being where I am and being who I be.
Speaking of St. Louis, they’re doing Nelly Night at Busch Stadium the first week of August and you’re a bobblehead. You must be a big fan.
You can’t grow up in St. Louis without ‘em.
They’re doing pretty well this season.
They do pretty well every season. Well, I shouldn’t say ever season, but pretty much for the past eight or nine years we’ve been pretty consistent.
What’s it like to be a bobblehead?
I don’t know – I’m not a bobblehead! But, I mean, it’s a cool thing. It’s pretty straight.
Are you throwing the first pitch?
I think they might ask me.
Would that make you nervous?
Nah, I’ve thrown out plenty of first pitches before. They’re all right. You just throw it. They bring you out and you just try to make it reach. You try not to throw it into the stands or throw it into the dirt. You try to get as close to a strike as possible.