Fat Joe says Jennifer Lopez nearly replaced Ashanti on smash hit 'What's Luv?', fans glad it didn't happen
R&B singer Ashanti recently appeared on hip-hop star Fat Joe's Instagram Live chat to talk about some of their numerous collaborations during their interview. And one of the most surprising revelations that came to light during the course of their long chat involved their 2001 hit 'What's Luv?' featuring Fat Joe, Ashanti and rapper Ja Rule.
Unknown to Ashanti, Fat Joe revealed that the song, which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, nearly featured Jennifer Lopez instead of Ashanti on the final cut. Apparently producer Irv Gotti of Murder Inc fame and Ja Rule both wanted to rope in J Lo in order to appeal to the Latino community at the time.
While talking to Ashanti about their stellar job on 'What's Luv?', Fat Joe admitted: "Irv and Ja had called me, and they woke me up like 3 in the morning, and they say, 'Yo, come down, we made a song for you'." He continued, "I go to the studio, it was like 4 in the morning. They played 'What's Luv?' and you on it. And they was telling me, 'Yo, this is for you and JLo. We want the Latinos on this."
Understandably, Ashanti was surprised to hear this news, responding with a mouthed "What?" She then declared, "Yo, I never knew that." Fat Joe then revealed that he had fought for the talented Ashanti to stay on the track. "I was like, yo, J Lo? She [Ashanti] sound amazing on here," he stated and added, "I was like, 'Nah, we leaving her there'." Trying hard to contain her emotions, a shocked Ashanti said, "Damn... What the... You know I don't curse in front of my fans."
We're glad it worked out in the end, because the track is one of Ashanti's most iconic vocal performances from the noughties, beside her other hits like 'Always On Time' and 'Tip Drill' from that era. It's interesting to think about how it might have panned out differently if Fat Joe hadn't recognized that the song was already a banger thanks to Ashanti's stellar contributions. You can check out the entire chat by clicking here, with the 'What's Luv?' talk starting around the 40-minute mark.
Fans on social media were certainly glad Ashanti stayed on the track but were also quite bemused at the shocking revelation. One fan stated: "Irv and Ja wanted to replace Ashanti with J Lo and it was Fat Joe who had to check em... Black men loved throwing black women under the table for her [J Lo's] no singing ass. I'm not surprised..but wtf."
Another user commented: "Hearing that Ashanti is actually Dominican (her mom) and how she was treated in favor of JLo for the Latin crowd is just..." followed by a shocked gif. An admirer sought to console Ashanti on Twitter, saying "Don’t worry about it, sweetheart," while another supporter concluded, "Ashanti so f*****g fine I need her."
Even more interesting is the fact that the super-talented Ashanti had written a song for J Lo during this time. As a fan pointed out, "Ashanti had a quadruple chart reign on Billboard at that time: 'What’s Luv', 'Always on Time', 'Foolish', and 'Ain’t it Funny' (she wrote this for JLo). That made her the 2nd artiste after The Beatles to have their first 3 chart entries in the top 10 of the Hot 100 simultaneously." Another fan exclaimed, "At her peak, Ashanti was truly EVERYWHERE — either on the mic or on the pen." So we're glad all's well that ends well because Ashanti definitely deserved her rightful place in music history.