During the show’s ‘Icons Night on Monday, the rapper and his pro partner, Daniella Karagach, paid tribute to Tupac Shakur by performing a jazz routine to the late legend’s hit, “California Love.” For the dance, Nelly donned a leather top, black pants, and white bandana, in true ‘Pac fashion, while Daniella complemented his look in a two-piece outfit and a beige jacket.
“He was multi-talented,” Nelly said about the rapper in a video that played before his 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.”
“I’m actually re-doing my version of the song,” he continued, as cameras showed him in the studio working on the track. “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.”
Nelly posted about the performance on Instagram, explaining how exciting it was for him to pay tribute to an icon like Tupac.
“Wanna thank errbody who voted for ya boy tonight..!!!” he wrote. “It was A honor getting a chance to pay homage to my favorite icon #2pac ..!!! Thank you for da LUV”
Nelly and Karagach ended up receiving 8 points from each judge on the panel, which has secured them a spot in next week’s competition.
The pair also went up against Skai Jackson and her partner Alan Bersten for a chance at extra points during their icon tribute dance with a traditional salsa routine to Ricky Martin’s “The Cup of Life.”
Check out Nelly’s Jazz to the tune of “California Love” down below: