Fat Joe believes that he played a pivotal role in orchestrating the reunion between Nelly and Ashanti, which ultimately led the couple to rekindle their romance. The “What’s Luv” rapper dished on how he views his 2021 Verzuz with Ja Rule as the catalyst that set things in motion for the duo.

“They look so happily ever after,” he said during a recent live chat with fans. Joe proceeded to recall a FaceTime he had with the couple amid speculation that they had coyly announced a pregnancy last December. According to the Bronx-bred artist, the widely shared clip of Nelly playfully rubbing on the singer’s belly was not an announcement, and the chatter of a baby was all a rumor. But that did not stop him from trolling his friends.

“I immediately tell them I need 10 percent 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. That’s when he said I gotta have her. He was over there contemplating; he really wanted to go over there,” said Joe. He claims that a member of his crew ultimately gave the “Body On Me” rapper the push he needed to approach Ashanti, who appeared at the battle royale in support of Ja, for a hug. “He goes over there, and that starts the conversation. You know somebody gotta crack the ice — I don’t know why they fell out,” added the Terror Squad honcho.

Their romance was confirmed in September 2023, first by Nelly, who said that their reconnection was a surprise to both of them, and then by the singer-songwriter when she appeared on the red carpet for the MTV VMAs with a clutch that had a photo of them from 20 years ago when they first met at the awards show.

Ja Rule also recently spoke about the relationship when he appeared on the “Tamron Hall Show” last week. He said, “You can tell, sometimes, when women… They know they want that old thing back. I don’t want to blow sis up, but the chemistry was there. The chemistry was there. And I think, for both of them, it came back quick. So, I think they missed each other. It had to be that way because the way they just clicked and came back so fast.”

Despite being photographed together with smiles plastered across their faces, the lovebirds have remained low-key when discussing their second chance at love.