Ashanti played a significant part in some of Jennifer Lopez’s biggest hits, but she was never acknowledged. the singer contributed to Lopez’s songs such as “I’m Real” and “Ain’t It Funny,” but she was not properly credited. The songs featured Ja Rule, who was Ashanti’s Murder Inc label mate.
For years, Ashanti’s involvement in the hits remained shrouded in mystery. There were even rumors she had a disagreement with Lopez. What came out was that it was Ashanti who actually wrote the remix for “Ain’t it Funny.”
The remix was released in 2002. However, she didn’t sing in the final version.
Furthermore, she recorded the demo for “I’m Real” as a reference for Lopez (52) to sing along. Lopez released “I’m Real” in 2001.
The old controversy around the two songs resurfaced in January of 2021 when Ashanti (41) addressed the issue during her Verzuz with Keyshia Cole.
Many people there got to learn about it for the first time, even though she was officially credited when the songs were initially released.
The “Foolish” singer explained what it feels like to be appropriately credited finally, now that her involvement in the songs is a piece of public knowledge.
“You should always care about credit for what you do regardless of what industry you’re in; it’s really important to give credit,” the R&B star stated in an interview with Metro.co.uk. “Especially nowadays because things are so smoke and mirrors. It’s not that it’s frustrating… the word has been getting out there over the past couple of years and I’m grateful so a lot of people know and they were surprised but it’s more of a ‘yeah, grateful that you know’.”
She added that it is weird because obviously one gets frustrated for not getting credit or not being properly labeled but then that turns into something one gets admired for.
Although Murder Inc is no more, Ashanti and Ja Rule, 46, have maintained their friendship and continue to perform together on many occasions. The duo dominated the charts in the early ‘90s with hits such as “What’s Luv?” “Always On Time,” “Wonderful,” and “Mesmerize.”