‘Someone Owe Someone Money’: Ja Rule Says He Doesn’t Know If Frequent Collaborator Ashanti Got Paid for Vocals on J.Lo’s Song


Ja Rule landed on the couch of “The Wendy Williams Show” on Thursday and talked about the 2001 song he wrote for Jennifer Lopez called “I’m Real.”

During the chat, Rule explained that while he wrote the cut, he had Ashanti demo it, meaning she sung his words so Lopez could use her voice as a reference, then officially record the song herself.

Ja Rule said he isn’t sure if Ashanti got paid for her vocals on Jennifer Lopez’s song “I’m Real.” (Photo: Scott Dudelson / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images)

It’s a common practice in the music industry and often demo singers don’t get paid.

But Williams seems to think that Ashanti should’ve been compensated for her participation. Especially since her vocals were left underneath Lopez’s during the final mix.

The talk show host brought all this up, because Rule talked about it during a recent visit to “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.” And just like he did for Cohen, the rapper explained everything to Williams.

“Here’s the thing, I am the writer, I referenced the record,” he told her. “My voice is not a great reference voice for the singer to actually reference off of. So we had Shani reference the record … We needed to reference the record so she (Lopez) can hear the riffs that are supposed to be hit.”

Williams then asked about Ashanti’s vocals being left in during the mix and asked Rule if she was paid for it or not.

“I don’t know,” said the Murder Inc. rapper.

“Why wouldn’t you know?” Williams asked him.

“‘Cause I’m not the one that do the paying to her,” the rapper shot back.

Once the interview was seen on television and it made the Internet rounds, a lot of people agreed with Williams that Ashanti should’ve been paid for “I’m Real.”

“Someone owe someone money,” one person wrote on Instagram.

“We ALL know Ashanti really sang that song and NOT Jlo…. 💁🏾‍♀️,” another person commented.

Plus, there were many who said they always associated “I’m Real” with Ashanti instead of Lopez.

“Growing up I always heard Ashanti’s voice I thought it was her honestly and maybe jlo did a remix or something,” one person wrote.

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