Fat Joe and Ja Rule were fitting contestants at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater where they squared off for the latest Verzuz. The energy was extremely high from the start, but the two went toe-to-toe and offered up their biggest hits which might’ve felt like a time machine.
What was most entertaining from the very beginning of the Verzuz was the banter that happened between tracks. The duo leaned into being opponents even though their real-life friends. Ja Rule teased throughout the event that his success during a specific time period was larger than Fat Joe’s lasting impact. But, the latter disagreed and shared numerous times throughout the night that he put on numerous artists who were still thriving like DJ Khaled and Remy Ma.
To be clear both Ja Rule and Fat Joe succeeded in presenting themselves as two of the biggest rap acts to come out of their respectful eras. Fat Joe postered himself as a lyricist and also a figure that presented opportunities for other talented artists. On the other hand, Ja Rule served up tracks like “Mesmerized,” “I’m Real” and “What’s Love.” To be honest, his tracks came across as hit after hit. Appearances from Lil Mo, Ashanti, Remy Ma and Vita provided moments for these talented women to share a bit of the limelight alongside Fat Joe and Ja Rule.
Outside of the shit-talking, the event also presented Fat Joe and Ja Rule as fans of one another’s music. Ja shared, “That’s one of my favorite records!” he exclaimed when Joe played a few tracks.
Below we’re sharing all of our favorite moments from the evening.
Both of these deep cuts were ideal to begin the battle. Ja Rule’s “It’s Murda” was a bit more enjoyable, it was really the energy he brought when he shared a few bars off of it.
Ja Rule’s “Between Me & You” is a timeless track, he shared this right after Remy Ma came out for the first time, it was a moment. But, Fat Joe’s “All The Way Up” provided a moment for the Bronx-bred rapper to poke at Ja for not creating hits in the past few years. That was a jab if we’d ever heard one.
At this point, Ja Rule decided to take more digs at Fat Joe, it’s also evident that his single “Livin It Up” won this round as this is truly a hit that aged well. Fat Joe’s “John Blaze” rang off but not as hard as “Livin It Up.”
This was a moment, everyone knows Big Pun’s “Still Not a Player” is one of those cuts that is timeless, Fat Joe was sneaky with this one. It definitely won this round over Ja’s “Down A** B**ch” even though this is a really big hit too.
“That shit was crickets I didn’t hear nobody singing that,” Ja declared after Joe played “Ha Ha.” This was hilarious. But, then Ja did something we didn’t see coming, he brought out Lil Mo and Vita for his legendary single “Put It On Me.” The energy was so high during this moment.
The crowd went wild when Ashanti popped out for “Mesmerize,” it added to the legendary feeling of the evening since she’s one of the supreme vocalists of the ‘00s. Ja Rule knew what he was doing when he added this track to his Verzuz lineup. Joe followed this with “What’s Luv” which was fitting. We call a tie.
It felt good witnessing the crowd singing along to Ashanti and Ja Rule’s “Always On Time.” This is one of them ones. Joe switched things up a bit when he immediately followed this moment with “Make It Rain,” also an undeniable single that shook things up when it dropped.
The moments leading up to “I’m Real” ringing off Ja Rule got in his bag and hyped himself up, we weren’t mad at it. This was a stellar, memorable moment for the legend. “Lean Back” is arguably Fat Joe’s biggest single, so it came as no surprise that he saved it for the end of the battle. Before the single was played, Joe gifted Hermes Birkin bags to Remy Ma and Ashanti. Can we just say it was lovely seeing Remy get her verse off? It was.
“I want my brother to get the props he deserves, I f****** love Ja Rule with all my heart,” said Fat Joe before the battle closed. In response Ja shared, “I love him like my brother.” That was a warm moment. Joe also shared that he wanted to specifically share a Verzuz with Ja Rule because other artists were afraid to stand up against the rapper’s biggest songs.
The final moment which featured Ja Rule’s “New York” which features Fat Joe and Jadakiss (he came out) presented the idea that there are no losers this time, instead, both rappers are winners due to the resilience that’s gotten them this far over the years. “Hip-hop wins again,” which Fat Joe shared is exactly right.
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