BET honored Nelly with the “I Am Hip Hop” award for his decades-spanning, chart-topping hits tonight at the Hip Hop Awards.

The 46-year-old rapper talked to ET on the red carpet about the award before the event. “BET has been holding Nelly down since day one and they’ve always been behind me to this day,” Nelly told ET. “You know we’re talking 23 years later, it’s kinda a full-circle moment. So I’m just honored, man, and I’m thankful. I feel a little old but it’s OK.”

After a break, Nelly returned to the stage and performed a medley of his hits with infectious energy, with special cameos from Paull Wall and Jermaine Dupri. Watch it below.

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