Freshly presented with the BET’s I Am Hip Hop Award, Nelly reflects on the difficulties he had to go through in his career and stresses that he had no support from big names.

This is how his interview with Vibe opens, with the answer about his most memorable career moments. His answer is elaborated and, to some, might sound a little bitter:

My favorite career moment is just me getting in. Because you had to understand, again, I’m from St. Louis. You know, from the Midwest, from Missouri. Nobody co-signed me. If you look at the majority, a lot of these people who’ve been successful on some level, they got co-signs. I love Eminem, but I didn’t have Dr. Dre. I love 50 Cent, but I didn’t have Eminem and Dr. Dre. I love Snoop, but I didn’t have Dr. Dre. I love Biggie but I didn’t have a Puff [Daddy]. You see what I’m saying? I love 2Pac, [but I] didn’t have a Digital Underground. Didn’t nobody put me on stage. Kanye. Didn’t nobody put no Roc-A-Fella chain around my neck [while I’m] standing on stage. I’m saying all these blood, sweat, and tears were built. You talk about getting it out of the mud. All of what I was able to achieve was built with these hands, my crew, and my city.

To be fair, Eminem was not born with Dr. Dre’s blessing over his head, Em fought tooth and nail to get to the point where big hip hop players would notice him. But one way or another, both Em and Nelly made the rap culture this rich and diverse landscape that we love.

Read the full interview on the Vibe website.