Ashanti and Nelly have spoken out about their hug seen around the world during the Fat Joe and Ja Rule “Verzuz” battle on Sept. 14. The former couple, which dated for nine years, ended their relationship in 2012.
The singer opened up about the infamous exchange the following day during a “Verzuz” recap held on Fat Joe’s Instagram live alongside guests Remy Ma and Ja Rule.
Ashanti said while describing the encounter between her and Nelly after not speaking to him for six years following their breakup, “I wasn’t expecting it. That’s the crazy thing, wasn’t nothing said. I seen his eyes get big and I didn’t know what was going to happen. I didn’t know what to expect, so. But it was positive.”
Things began to take a slight turn when Ja Rule brought up that the rapper was single after splitting with his girlfriend of seven years Shantel Jackson in July. The 40-year-old quipped, “Yeah, but I ain’t.” Following her admission, both Fat Joe and Ja Rule broke into laughter and questioned why she didn’t inform her “brothers” of her relationship status. Ashanti claimed it was because they couldn’t “keep no tea.” When Fat Joe took a stab at getting more information about the “Foolish” vocalist’s mystery suitor, the conversation was quickly reverted back to the “Verzuz.”
The 51-year-old shared that immediately after the flyer for his competition with Ja Rule went up on the streaming competition official Instagram page, Nelly contacted him. He said, while counting down, “The man called me right. The flyer went up Fat Joe, Ja Rule. 10, 9, 8 yo what’s up you need me? And so he’s always been a real one with me, but I’m thinking, damn hes trying to get next to that thang over there.” Ja Rule jumped in and said ” that old thang back. He want that old thang back.”
When Fat Joe asked if a reunion will ever happen between the exes, Ashanti says, “Listen I’m a very positive person. I’m very private and I wish him the best. All that good stuff. It’s a lot of stuff that happened. It was a lot of stuff, there was a lot of stuff unresolved. A lot of gray area.” Following that explanation, the father of three cut her off and said that they didn’t have to dwell on the topic any longer and that it was just brought up as a joke.
Ashanti wrapped up her statement by saying people in general hate to hear the truth when a relationship fails. She said, while laughing,” They hate to hear that. They hate to hear that part right. They wanna hear ‘Oh what’s that old thing.’ They don’t wanna hear the old stuff that happened in between.”
On Sept. 16 following Ashanti’s remarks, Nelly shared his take on the entire encounter during a morning interview with Big Tigger on his “Big Tigger Morning Show.” He said, “It wasn’t just like that. I said what up to everybody bro. I said what up to everybody… I didn’t want no uncomfortable feeling, nothing like that, everybody was celebrating. I just said what up, it was all good I just said what up to everybody…But they didn’t catch that. They zoomed right in. But it was cool.”
Nelly and Ashanti began dating in 2003 and ended things in 2012 after the rapper allegedly cheated on her with multiple women.