Fat Joe and Ja Rule Avoid R. Kelly Collabs During 'Verzuz' Battle: 'He's Flawed'

The 'All the Way Up' rapper and the 'Mesmerize' crooner purposely pass collaborations with the 'I Believe I Can Fly' hitmaker after he was hit with sex trafficking case.

AceShowbiz - Fat Joe and Ja Rule recently avoided playing R. Kelly collaborations during "Verzuz" event. In a new interview, Rule, born Jeffrey Bruce Atkins, revealed the reason why they decided to do that.

In a new episode of Revolt's "Drink Champs", the 45-year-old hip-hop artist confessed that it was "tough" to separate the art from the artist. He went on saying, "That's why we didn't play no R. Kelly records that night."

Explaining further, Rule revealed that he and Joe had a conversation about avoiding their respective Kelly collaborations before the "Verzuz" battle. "R. Kelly's a flawed man, he's going through his problems," he stated.

"He's flawed. Nobody's perfect… And, you know, what he's done is what he's done and he has to account [for it]," Rule added. The "Mesmerize" rapper went on elaborating, "But the art, do we throw it away? … It's such a touchy subject, and for me it's a touchier subject."

Rule added that he wrote Kelly's verses on his collaborations with him, which prompted N.O.R.E. to divulge that Joe did the same. During the conversation, Rule also joked that he thought when he first got a call from Swizz Beatz, he was going to be asked about doing a "Verzuz" with 50 Cent, with whom he has a long-running beef.

"I missed the calls. I got a call from Swizz, now Swizz don't normally call me. The real s**t is, I thought it was the other dude," Rule recalled. "That's the 'Verzuz' that everybody's been trying to make. So then, after that, I looked at my next missed call and it was Fat Joe. So then, I called Swizz and [he] was like, 'You want to do it?' We put this together in two weeks. I really didn't have prep time."

Rule and Joe's decision to avoid playing Kelly's collaboration came after Kelly was hit with sex trafficking case. On Monday, September 27, the "I Believe I Can Fly" hitmaker was found guilty of sexually abusing women, boys and girls.

Kelly was convicted on nine counts, including racketeering and violations of the Mann Act, which prohibits the transport of females across state lines for sex. As well as sentencing for the nine convictions, the 54-year-old artist is also facing more criminal charges in separate cases from state prosecutors in Minnesota and federal prosecutors in Illinois.

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