Today In Hip Hop History: Nelly’s ‘Dilemma’ Duets With Kelly Rowland Hit Single Peaked At No. #1 On Billboard Chart

Exactly 21 years ago today, Nelly and Kelly Rowland’s ‘Dilemma’ peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, spending 10 non-consecutive weeks at the top spot. The Grammy-winning track also gave us an iconic music video, which recently attained one billion views on YouTube, becoming only the third Hip Hop video to attain this landmark.

It was released on June 25, 2002, as the second single from the former’s second studio album, Nellyville (2002), and as the lead single from Rowland’s debut solo studio album, Simply Deep (2002).

A pop and R&B ballad, the music consists of a high-pitched intonation and call and response, and contains a sample of Patti LaBelle’s 1983 song “Love, Need and Want You”. The lyrics describe a man infatuated with a woman committed to an existing relationship.

“Dilemma” was composed by Nelly, Antoine “Bam” Macon and Ryan Bowser, alongside the “Love, Need and Want You” writers, Kenneth Gamble and Bunny Sigler.

“Dilemma” acquired generally favourable reviews from music analysts, who applauded the duet’s expressive equilibrium.

The song also topped the charts in the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, and Germany. “Dilemma” won an award for Best Rap/Sung Performance and was nominated for Record of the Year at the 45th Annual Grammy Awards.

An accompanying music video was directed by Benny Boom and released in September 2002. It was filmed on Colonial Street with appearances by Larry Hughes and Patti LaBelle and depicts Nelly attracted towards his new neighbour Rowland despite the latter being in a relationship.

Credit: Billboard

Story By Edem Latsu Nukafu

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