When Fat Joe and Ja Rule did their Verzuz battle in September, it was a beautiful celebration of their span of hits. Many moments occurred in the battle that remains the topic of discussion, from the appearances to some of the nostalgic songs that were played. Perhaps one of the most talked-about moments, however, was when former lovers Nelly and Ashanti looked to reconcile on stage. Questions began to arise from hopeful fans as to whether the pair would possibly reconnect. Speaking more on the “awkward” moment now is Ashanti, who did not know that Nelly would be there, to begin with!
Ashanti and Nelly had a relationship that spanned over the course of 11 years, on and off. In 2014, it was announced that the couple was no longer. But the couple had reunited by happenstance at the Verzuz battle, which was held in New York City. Ashanti was in the building to perform alongside both Fa Joe and Ja Rule, as she has songs with both artists. Nelly was also invited by Fat Joe, unbeknownst to Ashanti, to perform their song “Get It Poppin'”. He also stuck around to perform his smash single “Hot In Herrre”.
But perhaps caught up in the moment of seeing his ex-girlfriend after so long, and looking quite stunning, Nelly was seen walking across the stage in an almost “gravitational pull-like” manner to embrace Ashanti. Speaking with Big Tigger on his radio show, Nelly shared that it was simply an innocent moment as he “said what up to everybody” and didn’t want to exclude Ashanti.
NELLY REALLY WALK OVER TO GIVE ASHANTI A HUG 😭😭😭😂#VERZUZ pic.twitter.com/VZAqyCOwQU— 𝒦𝒾𝓁𝓁𝒶𝒶 (@DaKiddNassy) September 15, 2021
For Ashanti, the exchange was admittedly awkward as she had no idea what to expect, but it was a pleasant one. After the show, Ashanti hopped on to Instagram Live with Fat Joe and Ja Rule, and was joined by Remy Ma, as she reflected on Nelly’s eyes “get big.” In a recent conversation with Angie Martinez, Ashanti was asked more about the moment. Along with the hug, it appeared that Nelly whispered something privately to Ashanti, which Martinez asks for the “Foolish” singer to reveal. While some fans speculated on what he said, including Angie Martinez who asked if he apologized, Ashanti shared that nothing was said. She then recalls being blindsided as she had absolutely no idea that Nelly would be present.
Ashanti then talks about her conversation with Fat Joe following the show as she asked him why he never alerted her to Nelly’s attendance. “He was like, ‘I know sis, it’s terrible,'” Ashanti said as she does her best to imitate Fat Joe. She then said that the “Lean Back” rapper confessed that he was afraid she would not agree to come if she knew that her ex would also be in the building. But Ashanti insists that she still would have agreed to come had she known.
The singer expressed that members of her entourage were on somewhat of a high alert as they watched Nelly approaching her. They proceeded to ask her how she would like for them to handle the situation, hoping that it was not beef. “You know, it was very unexpected,” Ashanti added. “I hadn’t seen him in like six years or more. Spoken or seen, so it was a little awkward.”
Ashanti also gave a tidbit for those who might happen to be in a situation where they would run into an ex. The beauty is in the outfit choice. “Have a little thigh out,” the Long Island native shared with a laugh. But just in case anyone had the hopes of a reconciliation between the ex-lovers, Ashanti is shutting that down again. “Oh, nooooo,” she expressed before sharing a hearty laugh with Angie Martinez.
While Nelly may now be single after ending his relationship with Shantel Jackson, Ashanti has made it clear that she’s not! The singer first admitted to it on Instagram Live after Ja Rule mentioned Nelly’s current relationship status. Speaking with Angie Martinez, Ashanti insinuated that her new beau is someone that could be well known by many, but she is choosing to keep it “low and private.” Too little, too late for Nelly, and for anyone who is hoping they will reconcile because Ashanti has assured everyone that she is happy, and she’s had the smile to prove it.
Hear Ashanti speak about the moment below.