Music Video Relapse: "Hot In Herre" (2002) by Nelly

Posted by Adam Fairholm on March 18, 2014 in Music Video Relapse

Staff Post

People whose jobs revolve around throwaway "viral" stories hit pay dirt last week when someone noticed that a radio station in LA was playing Nelly's 2002 hit "Hot In Herre" over and over again. This is apparently relatively standard procedure for radio stations undergoing a format change (it has since stopped playing Nelly and has indeed gone through a format change), but for a brief moment it united us all over a song that came out nearly 12 years ago.

So, as we do here on Music Video Relapse, we're taking a look at one of the two music videos made for this song, directed by Director X (then known as Little X).

Despite being more than a decade old, "Hot In Herre" has stood up surprisingly well over the years, and I think this music video does as well. At its core it's a club video - Nelly and his crew are in a cool looking club, Nelly is performing the song, and ladies are dancing around them.

I think one of the reasons this song is fondly remembered is its sense of humor. The "so take off all your clothes" line is funny and tongue in cheek, and there are a few lines in the song that serve as comic relief, like when Nelly floats the idea that it might be sexy if his girl was tied up in his basement (I think, I actually don't understand what he's getting at all) then takes it all back when she seems weirded out. It's pretty brilliant pop hip hop that was rewarded with a lot of crossover success.

The video mostly stays away from acting out any of the comic relief, but it does decide to add a little plot device in the form of the actual club everyone is in catching on fire. We're shown shots of flames lapping the ceiling, and then the DJ (played by Cedric the Entertainer) stops and tells everyone that the roof is on fire. Everyone thinks he's referencing the 1984 song "The Roof Is On Fire" by Rock Master Scott & the Dynamic Three, unaware that there is an actual fire above them.

The best part of the video is when Cedric the Entertainer just goes back to DJing in a burning building because of the insurmountable issue of people not understanding what he is saying. The fire naturally makes things even more hot, which turns on the sprinklers and douses everyone in a sexy, non-emergency way.

Although the video never quite rises to the mix of fun novelty that the track does, the video for "Hot In Herre" manages to stand on its own with some funny (albeit pretty bizarre) jokes of its own.

Adam Fairholm is the co-founder and lead developer of IMVDb. You can find him on twitter at @adamfairholm.

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