The "I'm Real" rapper gets to the root of long-running rumors that Ashanti actually laid the vocals for Jennifer Lopez on that collaboration and makes it clear as mud.
Ja Rule swung by the "Watch What Happens" clubhouse on Sunday night where he talked about why he thought Fyre Festival 2 is still a great idea, even after everything that went so very wrong with the first aborted one, and he actually had Andy Cohen going for a bit when they started talking his equally infamous 50 Cent Feud.
Plus, he got the opportunity to clear up a long-standing rumor about Jennifer Lopez's collaboration with him and he absolutely did not clear it up at all.
Not one to let a good (or bad) pun just lie, Andy told Ja he had so many "Burning Questions" about the failed Fyre Festival, and Ja proved more than willing to get into it with him, though Andy's not so keen on his idea for a sequel.
As to the original, Ja admitted he'd not watched either of the recent documentaries on it, nor had he talked to his imprisoned business partner, Billy McFarland, since it all went down (in flames ... see Andy, we can do it, too!)
One hilarious and awkward exchange came when Andy asked him if he was surprised with premiere event planner Andy King's revelation that McFarland had asked King, who he had dubbed "our wonderful gay leader," to offer oral sex in exchange for trucks full of bottled water, rather than pay the $175,000 customs charge.
When Ja started laughing rather than answering, "Late Night" writer and fellow guest Amber Ruffin prodded him, "The only right answer is yes."
The best Ja could muster, though, was "You know, this is the craziest shit." Amber interpreted that for him to mean "he was surprised," at which point Ja finally agreed that he was "absolutely surprised."
He also backed away from his earlier claim that the issue with the festival was more one of false advertising than outright fraud. "I believe now," he said with nervous laughter. "After everything unraveled, it was a little bit of both."
And yet, Ja is determined not to give up on the notion of reviving Fyre Festival for a second shot. First, when Andy argued that no one would trust him, he countered that the disastrous event wasn't his fault. Second, "I have the biggest festival in the world, even though it never happened."
He's talking the power of brand recognition, and he is right. Everyone knows the name Fyre Festival, but the image it creates is that of people trapped on an island suffering. Andy wasn't buying it, either, saying, "I mean, it's like calling a ship the Titanic."
At one point, Ja actually had Andy convinced that he was going to preside over one of the biggest developments in pop culture history. "We've been having this ongoing feud now for like, I don't know, it seems like 15 years, something like that," Ja said of his ongoing beef with 50 Cent.
"I think it's time that we've grown past it," he said to an astonished Andy. "So I'm going to take the day on. Andy, and 'Watch What Happens Live,' this is what's happening live. I am removing myself from the circus, okay."
Andy was excited about this, but Ja wasn't finished with his thought. "What I've realized is when you entertain clowns, you become a part of the circus."
"Okay, you just--" Andy started to point out, before Ja interrupted him with, "But it's the truth." Yeah, even trying to step away, Ja couldn't resist throwing one more jab. And then when Andy challenged him to say three nice things about 50, well things went downhill even worse.
"He's a bad father," Ja kicked off, before going on to insult his head and even his breath.
"I actually thought this was going to be something positive," Andy said, to which Ja reiterated that they were "sworn enemies forever!"
Then, out of nowhere, he said he was joking and again said he was removing himself from the whole feud now. But this now meant after slinging all that mud on national television, so something tells us Ja was just stoking the flames of this feud to keep it burning until the next Fyre Festival.
Finally, a caller gave Ja Rule the opportunity to lay to rest one of the longest standing rumors in music and he did ... well, almost.
Okay, but at least he helped us understand where the story came from. The scuttlebutt is that Ashanti was the actual vocalist for Jennifer Lopez at the beginning of her career, and particularly with her Ja Rule collaboration "I'm Real," which he wrote for her.
Right up front, Ja said as plain as day, "No, that's not true." Then he promised to clear the story up and did no such thing.
"I sung the original version of it as a reference, but I sounded terrible of course on the reference, so Ashanti then sung the reference for Jennifer Lopez," Ja said, explaining that when the record was mixed down, some of Ashanti's vocals were "underneath" J.Lo's.. But is that true?
"I don't even know if it's really true," he conceded. "I don't f--king mix it!"
So instead, he said that what he does know is that this story is the initial rumor that became the rumor that J.Lo didn't sing on the track at all. So while "it's J.Lo on the record," that doesn't mean there might not be some Ashanti lingering underneath her vocals.
Clear as mud? Amber certainly thought so. "So J.Lo is nothing but Ashanti in a wig," she said directly into the camera. "You heard it here first."
"No, don't do that!" Ja shouted.
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