Fans of early 2000s hip-hop will all be mesmerized by Ja Rule and Ashanti reuniting to perform their wonderful duet from the recently released The Hamilton Mixtape.
In an exclusive clip from Fox’s reimagining of Showtime at the Apollo, the longtime collaborators return to the stage to sing “Helpless,” penned by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The former Murder Inc. labelmates had a string of chart-topping songs together over a decade ago, including No. 1 hit “Always on Time” along with “Mesmerize,” which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The epic reunion is courtesy of Miranda, who told EW that he always had Ashanti and Ja Rule in mind when he was writing “Helpless” for Hamilton. Fast-forward to years later, and Miranda’s collaborator Questlove — who produced the mixtape — says he knew they had to get the duo involved.
“When it came down to figuring out these songs [on Mixtape], I was just like, ‘Dude, this is the white elephant in the room: Are you guys really not gonna go after Ja Rule and Ashanti?’” he recalls. “’You wrote it for them. You might as well just have them do it.’”
Along with Ja Rule and Ashanti, other big names set to appear on Fox’s Steve Harvey-hosted special at the famed New York theater are John Legend, Flo Rida, Busta Rhymes, and Tracy Morgan.
Showtime at the Apollo airs Monday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. Watch the clip above.