Producer: Irv Gotti, 7 Aurelius
At a point in the early '00s, Murda Inc. had become one of hip-hop's most bankable imprints, and it did it by building upon the same formula Puffy had pioneered at Uptown Records: transforming Ron G's blend tape philosophy into saleable records that mashed together hip-hop and R&B. Jennifer Lopez was hardly the world's most powerful vocal presence, but she had personality, an around-the-way girl made good. The original version of "Ain't It Funny" was written by Lopez and its producer, Cory Rooney. The remix, produced by Irv Gotti and 7 Aurelius, came about when "I'm Real" became such a smash, forcing Lopez in a hip-hop direction.
"I'm Real" was hip-hop, but she had no other records in that vein. A liberal reclamation of the beat for Craig Mack's "Flava in Ya Ear," which had been released seven years prior, "Ain't It Funny (Remix)" featured a guest verse from Ja Rule and Cadillac Tah. JLo's part on the remix was actually written by Ashanti, who transmitted one verse she wrote at the last minute, via phone and two-way, according to an interview with Billboard Magazine. The song hit number one on the charts, which also made Ja Rule a presence on two consecutive tracks to hit number one. —David Drake
Inspiration: Craig Mack "Flava in Ya Ear" (1994)
Producer: Easy Mo Bee