Rapper/actor Nelly breaks his silence on Michael Brown killing and Hip Hip artists team-up with the NBA's biggest stars for an all-star album.  Get the scoop with Tha Wire.

(Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

Since the police killing of 18-year Michael Brown, the town of Ferguson has been in constant turmoil over the shooting, with protests and demonstrations ongoing.  St. Louis rapper/actor Nelly has been getting some static for not speaking on the issue soon enough.

Five days after senseless shooting, the rapper spoke out and addressed his silence during an interview with a local radio station Hot 104.1.  Nelly explains that he wanted to speak with the teenagers family first, before speaking on the killing publicly.  Now that he’s done so, he’s ready talk about it openly.  The rapper/actor expressed his condolences, spoke on how upset he was and also heavily criticized the widespread looting.

In the meantime, Nelly participated in the Chris Brown and Quincy Combs’ celebrity flag football game and asked the crowd in attendance to stand up and put their hands in the air.  The “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” gesture is to symbolize how Michael Brown spent the last seconds of his life, before reportedly being shot to death by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

Nelly told the crowd, “If I could get everybody to rise and just raise their hands in support for everything that’s going on back home in my city right now at this minute,” The rapper continued, “If anybody can sympathize with what my city is going through, it’s this city of L.A. right now.  On so many levels.”

Finally, sports and Hip-Hop go hand-in-hand you can’t have one without the other.  However, out of all the sports from the very beginning basketball has had the closest cultural bond to Hip Hop.  Just listen to Kurtis Blows 1984 tribute to the sport, "Basketball", and it’s clear both worlds have made a lasting impression on one another.  Now, 30 years later former Bad Boy Records A&R Shannon "Slam" Ridley is creating a new chapter in the "Love & Basketball"  and Hip Hop connection with the compilation album Full Court Press Volume 1.

The all-star lead-off single, "I'm A Champion" features Shawn MarionT-PainDorrough and Young Cash. Other slam-dunk joints on the LP will feature Iman Shumpert and Ma$e on “Welcome to NY”, while Bun B and Stephen Jackson rep for their hometown Port Authur on “Go Hard”.

Slam explained the concept of his new project to BET.com saying,

"I felt like if I can get some NBA players, write some clean inspiring rhymes, get the world's greatest rappers on this album with all clean messages, I could put something together that's really unique.  I want it to be something that will not only penetrate hip hop culture, but that everyone from eight [years old] up to eighty could listen to and have a good fun time."

Slam explained, "Mario Winans produced a track for me. I have Cool & Dre, I have some new producers that were just amazing.  I think it's really gonna be a strong album. If it's distributed the right way, promoted the right way, I think we're gonna have a huge huge brand on our hands. Through this movement we'll be able to reach an entire generation of young people."

"I feel like there is a space where we can make hip hop fun again," said Slam. "Will Smith never cursed, demeaned women or encouraged you to do criminal activities on one record he ever made and he was able to become one of our biggest entertainers in my lifetime so I want to bring that back with Full Court Press Vol. 1."

In addition to the star-studded roster blessing the mic, Full Court Press Volume 1 also had some heavy-weight producers.  Listen to Tha Wire now for more details on that and find out when the album is scheduled to drop.  Plus, find out what celebs are celebrating birthdays today.