Ja Rule appeared on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” Sunday night when a viewer called in to get to the bottom of a 20-year rumor: Is it really Ashanti that we hear on the remix of Jennifer Lopez’s mega-hit “I’m Real (Remix)”?
Ja Rule neither denied or confirmed the mystery.
“So here’s what happened,” he starts, “I wrote ‘I’m Real’ for Jennifer Lopez, and I sung the original version of it as a reference, but I sound terrible, so Ashanti then sung the reference for Jennifer Lopez,” he explained. “And when they mixed the record, Irv [Gotti] left some of the vocals underneath.”
He then added, “She’s got some vocals underneath… I believe! That is the rumor. I don’t even know if it’s really true.”
Cohen responds with, “It sounds like you would know,” to which Rule backpedals, saying “I don’t f***ing mix it.”
The hip-hop star seemed to add even more confusion to the topic by adding, “No, that is what happened. That is what I believe to have happened, and that’s how the story came about. Are those vocals still underneath or were they left underneath? I don’t know. But that is the story, and that is how the whole thing came about. But is J. Lo singing on the record? Of course.”
Scroll up and watch the moment via the clip above.
The song “I’m Real” received mostly positive reviews from music critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic picked the song as one of his “track picks”, noting that it has “hook, but it needs a couple of spins before its catch holds”. While noting that song “sound like it’s straight out of 1986”, Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine called it “a retro pop track reminiscent of Janet Jackson’s Control era”. Tom Sinclair of Entertainment Weekly called it “a chirpy little synth pop number” – per Wiki.