“Dilemma” by Nelly (ft. Kelly Rowland) 

The main vocalist of “Dilemma” finds himself in a situation where he’s strongly attracted to a female who “just moved right up the block”, and the feeling is mutual. However where the “dilemma” lies is that she’s a family woman, already having “a man and… son”. And it is that man whom Nelly is truly concerned about, as he knows “how ni–as start acting… about they girls”, as in getting angry when another dude is messing with their lady.

But apparently he and said female, who is portrayed by Kelly Rowland, proceed to strike up a romantic relationship anyway. This includes her even driving Nelly around in her baby daddy’s car, which is something that he really digs.

So in reality, there really doesn’t seem to be much of a “dilemma” going on here. That is to say that the vocalist appears to have already resolved that despite the apple of his eye already being in a committed romance, he’s still going to proceed to deal with her in a similar capacity. And as illustrated by Kelly, said lady is head over heels for him also, which is what is compelling her to likewise get involved with Nelly despite the risk.

Lyrics of Nelly's “Dilemma”

When did Nelly release “Dilemma”?

“Dilemma” is a hugely famous pop duet, performed by hip hop star Nelly alongside Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child fame. This track was officially released on July 30 of 2002. It was issued as the first of five singles from “Nellyville”, which is Nelly’s second studio project.

It also appeared as the first single on “Simply Deep”, the debut studio album of Rowland.

“Dilemma” meets with Success!!!

A commercial success, “Dilemma” sat atop the music charts in many countries around the world. For example, it hit number one on the Hot 100 and peaked at the same position in at least five other nations including Australia, the Netherlands and Germany. In addition, this pop single ranked within the top ten on the official charts in the regions below:

  • New Zealand
  • Austria
  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Denmark
  • Canada
  • Italy
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Greece

Grammy Nominations

This hit landed two nominations at the 2003 Grammys. It won one of the categories it was nominated for, which was the “Best Rap/Sung Performance” category. It lost the other category, “Record of the Year”, to “Don’t Know Why“, a song recorded and performed by US singer Norah Jones. Below are the other famous songs that competed for the said category:

This duet has been certified 2x Platinum in the UK and Norway. Furthermore, it received 3x Platinum certification in Australia. Apart from this, it is a Platinum-certified single in many other countries such as Belgium, Switzerland, and Denmark.

“Dilemma” Credits

“Dilemma” has multiple co-writers including its vocalists Nelly and Rowland. Its other co-writers are:

  • Kenneth Gamble
  • Bunny Sigler
  • Ryan Bowser
  • Antoine Macon

The latter two have been credited for producing it.


Several recording artists have performed cover versions of this song. One of such acts is Dominican rapper Papi Sanchez. He recorded a version of this single in 2005.


The “Nellyville” and “Simply Deep” Albums

As mentioned above, this single appeared on two hugely successful albums. Below is a brief look at these albums:


“Nellyville” is the first album “Dilemma” appeared on. It was released on June 25 of 2002.

This project’s first single, “Hot in Herre” was also a huge success. It dominated the charts of multiple regions and won Nelly many accolades including a Grammy in 2003.

Nellyville’s third single, “Air Force Ones”, was put out on November 7 of 2002. Its fourth and final singles, “Work It” and “Pimp Juice”, were both released in 2003. They were issued in the months of February and April, respectively.  

Like its first and second singles, “Nellyville” was equally a popular and successful project for Nelly. Reaching the summit of the Billboard 200 is one of the highlights of this album’s success. Aside from this, it also secured a number two spot in the UK and several other regions including Germany, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

This album has received multiple Platinum certifications from various accreditation bodies across the world, including the United States’ RIAA. For instance, in the US it received 7x Platinum certification for recording more than 7 million in sales units.

“Simply Deep”

Aside Destiny’s Child, Kelly Rowland has also enjoyed fame and success in her individual career. The American singer’s first solo project, “Simply Deep”, was issued on October 22 of 2002. And said project was put out through record label Columbia Records in conjunction with Music World. The album was promoted by “Dilemma” as its first single together with three other powerful singles.

“Stole”, which was officially released on September 21 2002, is the second single from this album. Its third single, “Can’t Nobody”, was released early in 2003, on February 4. The fourth and final single, “Train on a Track”, was issued on August 4 of 2003.

“Simply Deep” enjoyed chart success in multiple regions. One of its biggest highlights is topping the official album charts in the UK. This record landed on the Billboard 200 chart, peaking at number twelve. Here is a look at its remarkable performance in other nations:

“Simply Deep” went Platinum in the UK and Gold in the US and many other countries including Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

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