“What’s Luv” without Ashanti?!

Picture this, earth, 2001. The radio is turned all the way up because the disc jock just announced that the coming up next is “What’s Luv” by Fat Joe featuring J.Lo. The beat starts and…wait, what? J.Lo?

A still of Fat Joe and Ashanti from the “What’s Luv” video.

That’s right, apparently the song that defines the teen years of many of us was initially meant for Jenny from the Block, not Ashanti. The millennials are shaking!

In an Instagram Live discussion with Ashanti on Friday, Fat Joe revealed that the song that helped launch the RnB singer’s career almost two decades ago almost didn’t happen.

It not only came as a surprise to fans, but also to Ashanti herself who mouthed “What?” when the rapper shared the news.

Fat Joe said Irv Gotti, co-founder of Murder Inc record label, and rapper Ja Rule called him at around 3 a.m. one morning and asked him to come into studio. When he got there an hour later, they played the song, with Ashanti on the demo version, and told hil “Yo, this is for you and J.Lo. We want the Latinos on this.”

Ashanti, like everyone watching, was clearly shook, saying “Yo, I never knew that.”

Fat Joe said he told the Gotti and Ja Rule that Ashanti sounded amazing on the record and that she should be left on it.

The song, which helped make Ashanti a household name, would go on to take the number two spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. However, something tells us she would have been a success regardless. The song that kept “What’s Luv” from the top spot was ‘Always On Time” by Ja Rule, a track which also featured the Grammy Award winner, Ashanti!