Sunday, December 2, 2012

Nelly -- "Hot in Herre" (2002)

It's getting hot in here
So take off all your clothes

Nelly (who was born Cornell Iral Haynes, Jr.) doesn't beat around the bush.  Like Alice of Alice in Wonderland fame, Nelly says what he means and means what he says:

“Then you should say what you mean,” the March Hare went on.
“I do,” Alice hastily replied; “at least -- at least I mean what I say -- that’s the same thing, you know.”
“Not the same thing a bit!” said the Hatter. “Why, you might just as well say that ‘I see what I eat’ is the same thing as ‘I eat what I see’!”

The March Hare, Alice, and Mad Hatter at tea
“You might just as well say,” added the March Hare, “that ‘I like what I get’ is the same thing as ‘I get what I like’!”
“You might just as well say,” added the Dormouse, which seemed to be talking in his sleep, “that ‘I breathe when I sleep’ is the same thing as ‘I sleep when I breathe’!”
(FYI, that's from chapter VII of Alice in Wonderland, which is titled "A Mad Tea-party.")

As you know from the last couple of "Hiphop 101" lectures, most of the prominent rappers who don't come from New York or California hail from the South-- OutKast, Ludacris, Gucci Mane, and T.I. are from Atlanta, Rick Ross and Pitbull are from Miami, Lil Wayne is from New Orleans, and so on.  There are some prominent rappers from the Midwest, but not nearly as many as there are from the South.

Nelly on stage
Although he was born in Austin, Texas, Nelly grew up in St. Louis -- actually, he grew up in University City, an older, close-in St. Louis suburb.  

John F. Kennedy once described Washington, DC, as a city of Northern charm and Southern efficiency.  The same description has been applied to St. Louis, which most people consider to be a midwestern city, but which has considerable southern DNA.  After all, Missouri was a slave state, and St. Louis was located smack on the Mississippi River -- like Memphis, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans.  

Nelly's first album was released in 2000.  His follow-up album, Nellyville, was released in 2002 and debuted at #1 on the Billboard album chart.

"Hot in Herre" (no, I don't know why Nelly threw in an extra "R") was a huge hit and won the Grammy for best male rap solo performance.  The other nominees that year included Eminem, Jay-Z, and Ludacris, so Nelly beat out some very tough competition.

"Hot in Herre" was all over the radio ten years ago -- it was parodied by "Weird Al" Yankovic, so you know it was popular.

What you see is what you get with "Hot in Herre."  There's nothing very complicated about it -- it tells the same old story, a fight for love and glory, a case of pulling out all the stops to get a woman's clothes off.

At one point, Nelly tries to get his girl nekkid by asking her to pretend that she is just dancing in the privacy of her own bedroom, checking her own body out in the mirror, perhaps comparing notes with her girlfriend:

So take it off like you're home alone
You know, dance in front your mirror while you're on the phone
Checking your reflection and telling your best friend
"Girl, I think my butt gettin' big!"

Nelly, you say that like it's a bad thing:

By the way, Kim, there's a new big-ass ass in town -- you'd better watch out:

Here's "Hot in Herre":

Click here to buy the song from Amazon:

1 comment:

  1. There's a location in Nevada called Beowawe. It started out as a station on the Central Pacific RR back in the 1860s or 70s; not sure what's there now. According to old Wild West lore, the word is from the Paiute language and means "large posterior". Supposedly it was inspired by natives seeing an unusually rotund railroad official. I tell my wife that if we ever go through there (it's on State Route 306 off I-80), she should be wearing pants "that make her butt look big" for a photo opportunity. I am also reminded of the fellow who asked his buddy, "Have you seen Susie today? She's wearing jeans that are really tight." "Calvin Kleins?" "More like Sherwin-Willams."