Once upon a time in America, a party wasn’t really a party unless “Hot in Herre” blasted through the speakers at least three times. No matter what song preceded the infectious rap hit, Nelly always took the dance floor’s energy to the next level of gyrating good times.
In 2002, the year the world was blessed with one of the greatest hip-hop songs of all time, I was a middle school student in Miami, Fla. There was no escaping the song. It played at your neighborhood gas station as you filled up your SUV. It played at every frat party on every college campus in America. It was also the kind of song that crossed generational boundaries — my mom loved “Hot in Herre.”
Almost 15 years later, the song still holds up as a classic.
Unfortunately, things haven’t been going too well for the man who penned my mom’s favorite hip-hop song. It was recently revealed that Nelly is facing a massive $2.4 million tax lien from the IRS — a result of unpaid taxes from 2013. If the rapper is unable to pony up that massive sum of money, he could face asset and property seizure. According to TMZ, sources close to Nelly report that he is working with authorities to resolve this quickly.
On the morning of Sept. 13, fans decided that they needed to take action!
Nelly fans rallied on Twitter with the hashtag #HotInHerreStreamingParty to help the rapper raise the cash he needs to pay back the IRS. The tweets have been nothing short of perfection.
The urgency of Nelly’s precarious financial situation coupled with the burning sting of nostalgia galvanized the Twittersphere into action. It was, in a word, inspiring. Though I love the enthusiasm of the #HotInHerreStreamingParty, it’s important to note that it would take at least 287,176,547 streams to get Nelly the total sum he needs to solve his issue. That’s … a lot.
The good news? According to the United States Census Bureau, there are approximately 318,900,000 people living in the United States. Which means if every American streams the song just once, we got this.
So fire up that Spotify account, America! Together we can #SaveNelly.
Editor’s Note: When I checked Spotify’s United States Top 50 chart at 3:38 p.m. on Sept. 13, “Hot in Herre” still had yet to appear. But I have hope in the American people.