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Yes, Kelly Rowland Knows She “Looks Nuts” Trying to Text Nelly on Microsoft Excel in the 2002 Music Video for “Dilemma”

 Nelly and Kelly Rowland.
Nelly and Kelly Rowland.

It’s a mystery that continues to take up rent space in our head, over two decades later—why, exactly, was Kelly Rowland text messaging Nelly using Microsoft Excel in their 2002 video for “Dilemma”? (I mean, look, we know texting wasn’t what it is today back in the early aughts, but even then, it didn’t make sense.)

Nelly and Kelly Rowland
Nelly and Kelly Rowland

In the video for the hit collaboration between the two, Rowland attempts to send the rapper a message—“WHERE YOU AT? HOLLA WHEN YOU GET THIS.”—on her cell phone “through the spreadsheet editor software and appears annoyed when he doesn’t answer,” People reports. (Rowland even crosses her arms in distress over the lack of reply.) The clip has prompted tons of viral social media memes, including poking fun at Rowland for, you know, texting on Excel, and still wondering why Nelly isn’t responding.

Still from the
Still from the

“Do you know how much flack I get from that?” Rowland said with a laugh on the most recent episode of Mystical Kitchen’s “Last Meal” series after host Josh Scherer joked about the scene. “I’m so used to it now.”

Scherer asked the question that has been on many a millennial’s heart for 22 years: did anyone on the set of the music video question why Rowland was using Excel for text messaging? “No, and I’m actually mad at them that they didn’t, because they made me look nuts,” Rowland said.

Nelly and Kelly Rowland
Nelly and Kelly Rowland

Addressing her frustrated reaction in the video, Rowland speaks to her past self of 22 years ago and said “What did you expect? Because it’s just a draft, my dear,” she joked.

Interestingly, People reports that, around the song’s twentieth anniversary in 2022, a TikTok user “made a video explaining that messaging is actually possible via Excel using advanced features—but that’s not necessarily common knowledge.”  (Yes, people care that much about this.)

Kelly Rowland
Kelly Rowland

Rowland has addressed the viral music video moment before during a 2019 interview on The Real, when host Jeannie Mai asked her about it. “Guys, so, here’s the sitch, okay?” Rowland said. “I don’t know what that is. I don’t know what Microsoft Excel is. I don’t have a clue, so when I saw all these memes, I was like, ‘I don’t care.’ What is it? I don’t know.” Rowland noted that the team behind the music video “thought that was a brilliant idea” at the time.

For his part, Nelly has also addressed the scene, he in a 2016 interview on The Project. “That was the thing at the time,” he said. (It was?) “That was the new technology at the time. It looks a little dated now. I can see that.”

Nelly and Kelly Rowland
Nelly and Kelly Rowland

“Dilemma,” in addition to the bazillions of memes, hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and even won a Grammy Award in 2003; its music video has over a billion views on YouTube, a few million surely from people trying to decode the Microsoft Excel myth.

Kelly Rowland
Kelly Rowland