Nelly Breaks Down His Greatest Hits Song By Song x Gallery

“Hot in Herre”

By the summer of 2002, Nelly had another hit on his hands with this unbearably hot Neptunes-assisted single. Topping virtually all the Billboard singles charts and helping his sophomore effort, Nellyville, sell more than six million copies. “Hot in Herre” also won Nelly a Grammy in 2003 for Best Male Rap Solo Performance.

“I did that in L.A… I remember ‘cause Busta was in the same studio and he came through and he heard the beat and you know how Busta is, you know he’s over the top. He’s life, ‘Yo, god! What is that sound?!!?!? [Laughs] What is that sound coming from here, god? Oh my, god! Pharrell, where was that beat at? Where was that? You were hiding that from me!’ It was a little unorthodox for the time definitely coming out from ‘Country Grammar’ …to a Pharrell [beat], that ‘Hot in Herre’ sound. But, it worked and it helped me too ‘cause it helped me show versatility, not just having to do one angle on some shit.”

“Dilemma” feat. Kelly Rowland

After coming off the inaugural TRL tour with Destiny’s Child, Nelly knew that Kelly Rowland would be the perfect person for a “rap duet” he was brewing up for Nellyville. Mix-in an Aretha Franklin sample and it seemed Nelly had struck gold, pardon, multi-platinum, yet again.

“I did the Nellyville album in Miami, recorded the songs and all that [short pause] and we kind of felt like we needed a couple more songs on there. So, the last two songs that we put on Nellyville were ‘Hot In Herre’ and ‘Dilemma.’ At this time we had been on tour with the girls from Destiny’s Child so we had become, fairly close to the girls and all that and I was like, ‘What do you think about Kelly?’ but at this time she was dating someone very close to me, I should say that, and we was like, ‘Yo, fam, this would hot.’ So you know we got her in the studio and shit was magic.”

Recommended for You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

  • Adam

    where is ride wit me best nelly song ever

  • Rockcity

    Nelly got an album coming out. . . wow

  • cramzy

    NO.1 was my shit when it dropped! But yeah, they shoulda had the original EI and Ride Wit Me on here. Those are probably his best songs. I hope that’s why none of the above is winning right now lol

  • TD

    You realize he’s got the #1 song on the charts right now right?!

    ANd its double platinum?

  • Sandra

    AAWW why did ppl hatin him for his unconventional flow or this #1 soundtrack never hear it in germany??

    But Nelly 5.0 is a HOOT album too watch JUst a dream is played soo early in german TV, Radio as other song ever been played.Normaly it need 3 Month till a song is out and Hthis song never get 1 ont out peraps 5-6 days it been here out-

    And all his other songs ft KElly rowland will get too In the TOP 10 Nelly is back with an espaccially album and PPl love jUsta dream and the ft song with Kelly rowland and other fts.

  • OldSoulNewEra

    Just so you know, the “Dilemma” sample is from Patti LaBelle’s track “Love, Need, and Want You.” I mean, she was in the video and all. Y’all might want to double check those types of facts.

  • Q461

    Nelly used to be a sales juggernaut like Em, 50, Hov. Dude is the master of pop-rap. Did records with Timberlake before it was fashionable. Who else you know can make a song with Tim Mcgraw in hip-hop and have it be hot? Dude def has some joints. I fuck with Ride with Me too. They also forgot Shake ya Tailfeather with Diddy that was the joint.

    Yall should look up the track 1000 stacks… its on the new album… that shit is fire yall.

  • dui law

    This is a really excellent read for me. Must agree that you are one of the coolest bloggers I ever saw. Thanks for posting this useful article.