Fat Joe should add matchmaker to his resume.

On Jan. 21, the “Lean Back” hitmaker claimed that he was responsible for Nelly and Ashanti’s rekindled romance during a lengthy Instagram Live session with fans. 

According to the Bronx, New York, native, Ashanti and the St. Louis rhymer are yoked up and have been living “happily ever after” ever since they reunited at his VERZUZ competition against Ja Rule in 2021. 

Joe, 53, spoke with the duo in December around the same time pregnancy rumors began to swirl online shortly after Nelly was filmed placing his hands on the R&B singer’s stomach while attending his annual Black and White Ball. The pair never confirmed the baby chatter, but the rapper joked that he wanted “10%” of the little one off top if and when the couple does decide to welcome a child together. Joe claimed that he helped to reunite Nelly with his former flame.

“I immediately tell them I need 10% of this kid because if it wasn’t for VERZUZ, that I brought Nelly out [during] me against Ja Rule, that’s when they saw each other and energy connected again,” the rapper told fans on Monday. “That’s when he said ‘I gotta have her.’ He was over there contemplating; he really wanted to go over there.” 

The former Terror Squad artist continued, “He goes over there, and that starts the conversation. You know somebody gotta crack the ice — I don’t know why they fell out.”

Ashanti, 43, and Nelly, 49, first dated from 2003 to 2013. The couple did not speak to each other for years until they reunited at Fat Joe and Ja Rule’s VERZUZ battle in 2021. Fans pondered if the two were friends again when Nelly walked across the crowded stage to hug Ashanti during the battle.

Romance rumors began to flood the internet in April 2023, shortly after Nelly and Ashanti were spotted holding hands during Gervonta Davis’ match against Ryan Garcia in Las Vegas. The two finally confirmed that they were dating again in September.


Fat Joe isn’t the only one happy to see Ashanti and Nelly back together.

Ja Rule praised the couple’s rekindled romance during an appearance on The Tamron Hall Show Jan. 18. The rap star said he wasn’t surprised when Ashanti and Nelly confirmed their relationship. 

“So [Ashanti] and my wife, they do their ha-ha ki-ki-ing, right? And so, you can tell sometimes when women want that old thing back,” Ja Rule said.

“I don’t want to blow sis up but the chemistry was there. And I think for both of them, it came back quick,” he added. “So I think they missed each other. It had to be that way because the way they clicked just came back so fast. It’s spin the block season.”

Check out the video below.



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