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Irv Gotti has been getting flak when it comes to discussing his rumored relationship with former Murder Inc. signee Ashanti. But when Thembi Mawema, managing editor of The Shade Room, tracked down the music label exec outside the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards, Gotti told her why he speaks so frequently about the R&B songstress.

“’Cause that’s why, you askin’ me,” he said, as seen in the clip below. “Did I bring Ashanti up? You did it. Here’s what I’m going to say: I wish Ashanti nothing but the best. I’m not hooked on her, like, ‘I can’t get over her.’ It’s none of that sh-t.”

Gotti then noted that Ashanti was such a key player in the history of Murder Inc. that there was no way he could not ever bring her up. “Stop it Shade Room. You the shadiest ones,” he told Mawema.

But one particular commenter doubled down why Gotti has ever fielded questions about her in the first place.

“Oh. Please believe. It’s gonna be NO COMMENT from here on end [sic]. But I felt like at least trying to make y’all understand. Moving forward. it will be limited interviews and about of [sic] no comments. I tell the truth cause I want the people to know the real. But honestly. Y’all don’t give a f-ck about the truth,” he responded. “So why keep giving y’all the real. It’s better to be like everyone else. Lie to y’all. Alter the truth. Or don’t say shit to y’all and keep you in the dark. Hahahha. I got slandered for telling y’all the absolute truth. Lol.”

Aside from the general public, though, Fat Joe and Ja Rule have also come down on Gotti for casting Ashanti in a poor light. On his now-infamous Drink Champs interview, Gotti said he was inspired to produce her 2002 hit “Happy” after a romp in the hay.

“We just finished sleeping together, or whatever. I’m taking a shower. I’m in the shower, you know, a n**a be creative after [sex],” Irv said. “I’m thinking of the whole track in the shower.”

Fat Joe called Gotti “a sucker” for making those types of statements. So the producer quickly retorted that he and Joey Crack were no longer on good terms.

“Irv Gotti said I’m no longer his friend. And he’s correct, because I’m his brother,” Joe said in an IG livestream soon afterwards. “And I love him, I love his entire family, I love his mother, I love his sisters, I love his brothers, I love his sons. I love them all. And so sometimes, brothers check each other. That’s the furthest I’mma go.”

But Joe also went after Ja Rule. The Clap Back rapper made a number of hits with Ashanti during the early 00s. Yet he kept quiet when Gotti spoke about the singer during their Drink Champs appearance. So Ja went on his IG as well to clear the air.

“Brotherly love… The last few days have been very turbulent for me, but it’s time to land the plane… I love my sis,” Ja wrote beneath a photo of him onstage with Ashanti. “I love my bro, but I DO NOT condone or agree with the behavior nor the way Gotti handled things on ‘Drink Champs.'”

“I hope y’alll understand how uncomfortable this is for me being in the middle of something I wish to not be… Going forward, all I ask is to be left out of this, please, and thank you!!!” he concluded his post. “Sincerely Switzerland Bennett.”

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