The year was 2002 and Ashanti had added another global chart-topper to her name when Fat Joe collaboration ‘What’s Luv?’ took over the music landscape.
However, the rapper – who, in recent years, has become renowned for his candid storytelling – revealed to her on Instagram Live that the song was on the cusp of sounding very different. Primarily because plans were in place for not to feature.
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With a stunned Ashanti watching on, Joe informed her that Ja Rule and Irv Gotti (her Murder INC comrades at the time) brought the track to him with her voice on it.
Yet, it was presented to him as a possible Jennifer Lopez collab, with a view of pushing what he recounted as a “Latino vibe.”
He went on to suggest that it was at his insistence that she was kept on the track because she sounded so good.
Watch the moment:
Yesterday, Fat Joe told Ashanti that Irv and Ja wanted to take her off “What’s Luv” and replace her with JLo instead to make it “for the Latinos.”
Ashanti never knew! pic.twitter.com/uTyNrmGOL6
— Ivie Ani (@ivieani) May 16, 2020
Those who recall that time will remember how much of a machine the Murder INC entity was. Not just as a stable of artists, but by merit of how much they were writing for acts outside of their immediate camp. Case in point, Ashanti’s much-discussed involvement in J.Lo’s ‘I’m Real.’
Granted Joe’s comments are eyebrow-raising to say the least (as evidenced by Ashanti’s reaction throughout the clip), it’s only fair to highlight that convos such as the one he says he had with Ja and Irv are more common than not in the music industry. Harsh? Yes. Unfair? Arguably. The reality? Absolutely.
That aside, would you have been here for J.Lo on ‘What’s Luv?’