Nelly – Hot in Herre

First Hit #1: July 29, 2002

Eleven years on, this song is still kind of ubiquitous. It’s surprising in the fashion-led world of dance music, but it’s got a timeless message that drunk and high people can relate to – let’s party and get naked. It’s a timeless sentiment, something that appeals to anyone who has imbibed aggressively. And Nelly has a lot of fun with the idea, going off on amusing tangents connected to the main theme – I did get a genuine chuckle when it went from dancing in front of a mirror to a line about butt sizes, as well as the stripper pole joke followed by immediate backpedaling – and generally not taking it remotely seriously. Nelly realizes that he’s making a song about naked parties, and so he makes a song that would be fun to play at naked parties, and fills it with odd jokes and asides, to makes it was much fun as possible. It is might be possible to get sick of it, but it’s still good fun.

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One Response to Nelly – Hot in Herre

  1. RBerman says:

    The song itself is fine musically, and a heap of libidinous silliness lyrically, lampooning a time-honored male seduction tactic. A few of weird extra-sonic things about this song:

    First, despite her prominent vocal, Dani Stevenson got no explicit credit. Why not? We’ve seen less get a “featuring…” tagline. Obviously these things are contractual, but it still goes against the trend of acknowledging everyone and their cat who even breathed on the recording process.

    Second, despite Stevenson’s prominent presence, this song won the first “Best Male Rap Solo Performance” Grammy award rather than being entered in the “rap/sung collaboration” category, which Nelly also won for “Dilemma” with Kelly Rowland that year. Yet “Hot in Herre,” like “Dilemma,” is one of the least rappy vocals we’ve seen from an alleged rapper; it’s more sing-song, alternating between two or three notes at a stretch.

    Third, the lyrics are loaded with in-jokes, some of which I don’t understand. The cheek bandage he wears in the video was originally to cover a wound but then became a fashion statement. Vokál is Nelly’s own clothing line that he’s namedropping/advertising. The “to Neptune” reference is obviously Pharrell Williams’ production duo The Neptunes. “Kidding like Jason” is apparently a bad pun referencing NBA star Jason Kidd. But what’s “the Luna”?

    Fourth, was adding extra consonants to words a widespread fad that year? Deliberate misspellings, like Kriss Kross’ deliberately “wrong” ways to wear clothing, are intended as implicit rejection of majority conventions and norms, which is either solidarity with or pandering to the disenfranchised, depending on how generous you want to be in your appraisal.

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