Nelly is no stranger to singing about pot ("Must Be the Money"), and he had the biggest party summer hit of 2002 with "Hot in Herre," but he went a surprisingly tame route with "Just a Dream," the lead single off his upcoming release, 5.0. The song, rumored to be about his ex-flame Ashanti, is a track about heartbreak and regret--which is refreshingly mature compared to a lot of the stuff we're used to from him.
"Now you ain't around, baby I can't think," Nelly sing-raps, "I should have put it down, should have got that ring." His former girlfriend is gone, and Nelly is having a hard time handling the sadness.
Nelly reflects on how he lost his ex and what he could have done differently if he had the chance. "Didn't give her all my love, I guess now I got my payback, now I'm in the club thinking all about my baby." Wow--Nelly is a guy who, after a break-up, doesn't just go to the club to hook up with the first person he sees. Instead, he actually is respectful to the woman he lost and simply reflects on his relationship with her.
He also says he's "thinking 'bout me," hopefully thinking about how he can make it work with the next girl he dates and not simply repeat past mistakes. "I'm going through it every time that I'm alone, now I'm wishing she would pick up the phone." He is embracing his emotions, not ignoring them.
It is also great Nelly chose to channel everything into a sweet song, rather than write a diss or club track. It is a step in a great direction for Nelly, and it is nice he has found another hit, this time about something meaningful.