Ja Rule & Ashanti's Duet On The 'Hamilton Mixtape' Will Bring The Early 2000s Back
The only thing about Hamilton that I could possibly complain about is that it's so new in my life that it hasn't had a chance to collect any of that nostalgia yet. And that's fine, but would I jump at the chance to live in that overlap between nostalgia and Hamilton? I sure would, which is why I'm delighted that Ja Rule and Ashanti have a song on The Hamilton Mixtape . Bless you, early 2000s gods, for you have been kind to me on this day. The song they're retooling is "Helpless", which is sung in the original by Eliza Schuyler, and features Hamilton himself. It's a flirtatious story of the two falling in love and solidifying their relationship, which makes it literally perfect for Ashanti and Ja Rule.
After all, they were the reigning king and queen of the flirtatious duet there for a hot minute, and even had a little resurgence this past summer when they co-headlined a tour. That makes this the perfect time to take a little look back at all of their collaborations in the past. I mean, what else are we supposed to do while waiting for the full mixtape to drop? You think I'm just gonna twiddle my thumbs until Dec. 2 when The Hamilton Mixtape hits Spotify? This pairing is timeless, and rich with nostalgia, so let's walk down memory lane to get an idea of what we can expect from the new version of "Helpless" by the time it finally reaches our ears. Right this way.
1. "Always On Time"
I'm sure you're familiar with the Ashanti-sung hook in this 2001 classic, but there's a lot more to this song than just "I'm not always there when you call / but I'm always on time." The lyrics tell the R-rated story of an early, more physically-based relationship going through its first roadblock, and it has a lot of heart underneath all the sex. There's a real story to this track, and it gives me high hopes for what they'll do with "Helpless".
Once again, there's a really strong storyline in this 2002 hit, sung by Ja Rule and featuring Ashanti. It's a take on Grease, and it shows Ja Rule trying to be more preppy to appeal to Ashanti, and her going more "street" to meet him in the middle. Call me crazy for reading too much into this, but it's about jumping into a relationship with both feet and showing your partner you care, which is at the heart of "Helpless".
And finally, we close up with a number centered around Ashanti in the starring role, with Ja Rule as a background player, just like "Helpless" will be. It's all about Ashanti celebrating her relationship and being delighted to have found Ja Rule, with him just appearing in the video. I love to see our girl center stage like that, where she belongs. Thank you, more please.
Taken altogether, these three mega-hits are not only a delightful blast from the past, but proof that these two are the perfect choice for a "Helpless" collaboration. Whatever new lyrics they've added, I know they'll fit perfectly with the existing stuff from Lin-Manuel Miranda, and just make a delicious, well-balanced, Hamilton and nostalgia sandwich.