Saturday, August 17, 2002

Nelly knocks himself from #1 with “Dilemma”


Nelly with Kelly Rowland

Writer(s): Cornell Haynes Jr., Antoine Macon, Kenneth Gamble, Bunny Sigler, Kelly Rowland (see lyrics here)

Released: June 25, 2002

First Charted: July 5, 2002

Peak: 110 US, 15 RR, 19 RB, 12 UK, 3 CN, 14 AU (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 1.8 UK, 7.6 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.5 radio, 581.17 video, 704.91 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“While Nelly’s ‘Hot in Herre’ got parties started throughout 2002, his pairing with Destiny’s Child’s Kelly Rowland on this sentimental rap track proved just as popular.” BB He met Rowland on tour in 2001 and wanted to use her on the song. WK She became the first member of Destiny’s Child to chart as a solo artist. SF The Guardian’s Caroline Sullivan wrote of her vocals that she “is no longer a mere backing vocalist for Beyoncé Knowles,” WK her co-member in Destiny’s Child.

“Dilemma” was a last-minute addition to Nelly’s sophomore albumNellyville. Producer Antoine “Bam” Macon gave him a basic track which sampled Patti LaBelle’s 1983 “Love Need and Want You” and Nelly crafted lyrics for it. WK The song is about a “girl who thinks about another guy even when she’s with her boyfriend.” SF Nelly and Kelly sing to each other by name in the song and act this out in the video. SF

Not only was the song not planned for the album, but it wasn’t planned as a single. While “Hot in Herre” was still climbing the charts, U.S. radio latched onto “Dilemma” and it powered its way into the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 based on airplay alone. WK Nelly wisely released it as the album’s second single and it ended up knocking “Hot in Herre” from #1 and becoming the biggest song of Nelly’s career. WK He became the fifth artist in chart history to succeed himself at the top, following The Beatles, Boyz II Men, Puff Daddy, and Ja Rule. SF

The song was nominated for a Grammy for Record of the Year. It didn’t win that, but did take home the prize for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. A video to support the song featured Patti LaBelle as Rowland’s mother. BB


Last updated 6/18/2023.

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