Ja raps the verse originally taken on by Lin-Manuel Miranda, but tweaks the song a little bit to give Ashanti a shout out, trading her name where "Eliza" used to be. Ashanti also modernizes the track by taking out all references to other Hamilton characters, giving the whole thing a more modern feel.
The song is the first collaboration from the pair in over 10 years. Back in the 2000s, Ashanti and Ja Rule teamed up on hits like "Always on Time,""Mesmerize," and "Happy." They kind of reigned the decade of smooth, flirtatious jams, which perfectly sets the mood of "Helpless," which is set at the moment in the musical when the title character and Eliza Schuyler lock up their relationship.
"I do have to say when Ashanti and Ja Rule sing 'Helpless,' it will give you all the feels as the children of the internet say. When I was writing that song, I was picturing it as Ashanti and Ja Rule," Manuel previously confessed on Conan. "I was like, 'Eliza's Ashanti. Hamilton's Ja Rule. Two verses, two choruses. A little Ja Rule. And then they're married.'" He also said that Ja and Ashanti actually came to see the show together and that he channeled his Ja voice the entire time he performed "Helpless" that night.
"Helpless" is the latest we've heard from the forthcoming Hamilton Mixtape. The The 23-track, spin-off project of the Broadway musical also features covers of the songs from Chance the Rapper, Nas, Usher, Sia, Miguel, Queen Latifah, Busta Rhymes, Nas, The Roots, and many more.
Definitely thankful for this one today. Listen to "Helpless" below courtesy of HipHop-N-More and look for the the Hamilton Mixtape to drop Dec. 2.