Fat Joe f/ Ja Rule & Ashanti “What’s Luv?” (2002)

Producer: Irv Gotti/Chinky

Album: Jealous Ones Still Envy (J.O.S.E.)

Label: Terror Squad/Atlantic/Warner

Fat Joe: “I met Irv Gotti for the first time. Irv Gotti was cool with some guys that didn’t get along with me and didn’t care for me too tough. So we never talked to each other and never met.

“So we go to the studio and we get introduced by—I don’t know how ironic this is—Chris Lighty, who later on became his arch-nemesis because that’s 50 Cent’s manager. But I was always cool with Chris Lighty.

 

Chris Lighty introduced me to Irv Gotti and we started talking from 11 at night to 7 in the morning. We were so much alike. He said, ‘I used to say I wanted to meet Fat Joe and everybody used to try and stop me. But I know why now, because we’re brothers. We just never knew we were brothers.’

 

“So Chris Lighty introduced me to Irv Gotti. And Irv Gotti and I started talking from 11 at night to 7 in the morning. We were so much alike. So we start joking, and going back and forth.

And he said, ‘No one wanted me to be cool with you. I used to say I wanted to meet Fat Joe and everybody used to try and stop me. But I know why now because we’re brothers. We just never knew we were brothers.’ And I’m like, ‘Irv, it’s all good.’

“Right after I met him, like a week later, Pun died. And I’ll never forget this. I was crying in the chair at the funeral, and I looked up, and it was Chris [Lighty], Gotti, and Ja Rule. And this is when Ja Rule was the biggest nigga on earth. And they were like, ‘Yo, sorry about your man.’ It was an ill moment in my life. And I was like, ‘Thanks for coming.’ There was a lot of respect.

“A week later, I’m in my house, and my phone rings at like four in the morning, and it’s Irv Gotti. And he was like, ‘Yo, yo, come now!’ And I’m like, ‘Who the fuck is this?!’ And he’s like, ‘It’s Irv. I’m at The Hit Factory, come now.’

 

Ja Rule wrote and sung the hook. And they were like, ‘Yo, get J. Lo on the hook.’ And I was like, ‘Aiight. Have a girl reference it.’ Ashanti did it, and I was like, ‘You know what Irv? She sounds amazing on it. We don’t even need J. Lo.’ He was like, ‘You sure? You’re cool with J. Lo. She just sold six million records.’ I was like, ‘We don’t need her for this. Let’s [keep] Ashanti.’

 

“So when I get there, he plays me, [sings] ‘Always there when you call, always on time.’ He played me that, and I was like, ‘Oh shit, that’s a hit!’ And he was like, that’s Ja Rule’s record. But guess what? Me and Ja made a record for you. And he plays ‘What’s Luv.’ And I was like, ‘Oh shit!!!!!!’ That was it.

“The hook was there. Ja Rule wrote hook and sung the hook. And they were like, ‘Yo, get J. Lo on the hook.’ And I was like, ‘Aiight. Have a girl reference it.’ And Ashanti did it, and I was like, ‘You know what Irv? She sounds amazing on it. We don’t even need J. Lo.’ He was like, ‘You sure? You’re cool with J. Lo. She just sold six million records.’ I was like, ‘We don’t need her for this. Let’s [keep] Ashanti.’ It was her and Ja, and it was a movie.

“That went number one in America for like seventeen weeks. Number one in Europe, everywhere. That shit was outta here. It was the number-one record spun in Atlantic Records history. I don’t know if it still owns that title, but we beat U2 and like the biggest niggas on earth.”

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