Nelly – ‘Dilemma’ Feat. Kelly Rowland: Throwback Video of the Day
In the summer of 2002, Nelly released an infectious hip-hop love song that has become a classic in the St. Louis native’s long list of hits. Produced by the Nimrods, the song boasts a memorable sample of Patti LaBelle's "Love, Need and Want You,” which Rowland sings on the hook.
“I came up with that record at the last minute, recalled Nelly in a 2017 Billboard interview. I was really, really infatuated with the beat, that one of my producers at that time had made and I was like, 'Yo, this is hard, this needs to come up with something.' And then I came up with something real quick, we were able to get Kelly [Rowland] on it, and yeah, it was history.”
Initially, Nelly wanted Destiny’s Child to sing the hook, but Rowland was the only member who had time to record with Nelly.
“When the song came out, obviously, it was pretty huge,” said Nelly. “[With] the whole group, it wasn’t going to happen. I wasn’t in that room when that discussion was brought up. [Laughs] Things happen for a reason.”
Rowland tells a different story of how their collaboration came about.
Actually, what happened was Nelly called my manager and the label, and he asked me to be on the song," she told the Houston Press in 2002. "And next thing you know, I was in the studio recording the song."
Watch Nelly's "Dilemma" Video Feat. Kelly Rowland
The music video was directed by Benny Boom (All Eyez on Me) and filmed on Colonial Street, which is a fictional neighborhood on Universal Studios' lot. It’s the same set used for ABC’s now-defunct hit dramedy series, Desperate Housewives.
In the clip, Nelly plays a roving bachelor pining for his gorgeous new neighbor played by Ms. Rowland, but she has a boyfriend portrayed by former NBA player Larry Hughes. No problem, the St. Lunatic rhymer played in his position and waited for his time to shine.
In multiple scenes, we see Ms. Rowland growing frustrated over her boyfriend's shenanigans. After her boyfriend doesn’t respond to her text on a weird Microsoft Excel spreadsheet from her Nokia phone, she runs to the arms of Nelly. How convenient.
At the end of the video, we see Rowland and Nelly embrace each other and show affection for each other. Soul icon Patti LaBelle make a cameo in the video playing play Rowland’s mother. She appears at the end ordering Rowland to come into the house. Although, Ms. Patti appears to not like Nelly in the video, in reality, she is a big fan of Nelly and rap music.
“I'm just one of those girls, I love rap,” she told MTV News in 2002. “I don't love all the time what [some rappers say]. A lot of it is downright nasty and wrong. I just don't like the fact that kids pick up everything.”
"When I went in the hospital last week, the doctor said, 'Ms. LaBelle, what hurts you?' " she continued. "I said, 'My neck, my back, my crack and my knee.' I love that song. It's nasty, but I like it."
"Dilemma" was a smash hit for Nelly. The song spent 10 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and earned him a Grammy trophy for Best Rap/Sung Performance at the 2003 Grammy Awards.