Between her classic records and chart-topping features, Ashanti was an R&B staple on the airwaves from the early to mid 2000s.
It’s hard to imagine anyone else singing her memorable hooks on chart-toppers like “Foolish,” “Always on Time,” and “Rock Wit U.”
The R&B songstress was recently catching up with Fat Joe over Instagram Live and reminiscing over their time at their music label, Murder Inc., run by CEO and co-founder, Irv Gotti.
During the conversation, ‘Shanti and Joey Crack shared some of their favorite memories behind their biggest records when the Terror Squad frontman shared a huge revelation about their classic 2002 collaboration, “What’s Luv?” which also featured Ja Rule. The record, which appeared on Fat Joe’s fourth studio album, Jealous Ones Still Envy (J.O.S.E.), was a big smash at the time so it was a bit surprising when he revealed that Gotti originally wanted Jennifer Lopez on the track and not Ashanti.
“I don’t know if you know [but] Irv and Ja had called me, and they woke me up [at] like 3 in the morning, and they say, ‘Yo, come down, we made a song for you.’ It was right after Pun passed,” he recollected around the 40-minute mark into their conversation.
“So, when I go to the studio, it was like four in the morning. They played ‘What's Luv?’ and you on it,” he continued. “They [were] telling me, ‘Yo, this is for you and J. Lo. We want the Latinos on this.’”
This blew Ashanti’s mind, who let out a shocked “What?!” before she shared that she had never known that.
“It’s a fact,” Joe confirmed. “They wanted J. Lo to do it. I was like, ‘J. Lo?’ [Ashanti] sounds amazing on here.’ They was like ‘Yeah, but we want the Latinos’ and I was like, 'Nah, we're leaving her there.’ That’s how that went down.”
“Oh my god. Yo, he stays or stay trying to pull records from me,” Ashanti vented, possibly referring to Gotti, before Joe quickly steered the conversation to when Ashanti tied The Beatles’ Billboard Hot 100 record. The R&B singer noted that J. Lo’s 2001 hit “Ain’t It Funny (Murder Remix),” which she co-wrote, also peaked at No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100.
Even though she wasn’t officially credited as a vocalist, in a 2014 interview, Ashanti confirmed that her voice was left on the track as background vocals
“I demoed the record for her. That was before I was signed to Murder Inc. and they kept my hook, some of the backgrounds and ad libs and stuff like that,” she told Blogxilla on No Judgement Zone in 2014 about her role in J.Lo’s hit son.. “It was bittersweet because I was really excited 'cause it was J.Lo. But I was so mad at Irv. I was like, ‘You know I wanted that record!’…I was so mad, but I was happy at the same time because it was J.Lo.”
Check out the rest of the conversation below to see Ashanti’s reaction.
(Photo: Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for REVOLT)