Following his recent appearance on Verzuz against collaborator Fat Joe, Ja Rule admitted that he and Joe decided to avoid performing their R. Kelly collaborations.

Verzuz, the American webcast series started by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, has turned into one of Instagram’s most beloved content series. The show’s premise sees two artists or songwriters go tit-for-tat for 20 rounds in a friendly battle on Instagram Live, as audiences comment over a live chat.

Each musician, predominantly from the R&B and hip hop sphere, chooses to highlight 10 songs from their respective discographies.

During Ja Rule and Fat Joe’s recent Verzuz battle, the two both made the conscientious decision to leave out their collaborations with R. Kelly. Ja Rule previously collaborated with the disgraced singer on ‘Wonderful,’ whilst Fat Joe joined forces on ‘We Thuggin’.

During a recent conversation with Drink Champs, Ja Rule illuminated their decision to exclude all R. Kelly collaborations from their Verzuz battle.

Ja Rule delved into the concept of separating the art from the artists, admitting that it was “tough to do.”

“That’s why we didn’t play no R. Kelly records that night,” he explained. Ja went on to reveal that he and Fat Joe had a conversation about excluding their R. Kelly collaborations before the Verzuz Event.

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“R. Kelly’s a flawed man, he’s going through his problems,” he continued. “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]. But the art, do we throw it away?” he opined.

“It’s such a touchy subject, and for me, it’s a touchier subject,” said Ja Rule, noting that he wrote R. Kelly’s verses on his collaborations with him. You can watch the interview in full below, the conversation about R. Kelly kicks off at the 24-minute mark.

R. Kelly was found guilty on all counts of racketeering, sexual exploitation of a child, and kidnapping by a jury on Monday, June 27th at his federal trial held in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. The singer faces a mandatory minimum and up to life in prison.