For the record:
12:56 p.m. Sept. 13, 2023: For the record: A previous version of this stary said that “Boss Moves” is a podcast. It is a Philo TV show.
Where they at? Where they at?! "Ride Wit Me" rapper Nelly has confirmed that he and Ashanti are indeed back together.
After sparking romance rumors for months, the Grammy-winning emcee directly addressed speculation about their rekindled relationship in a Tuesday interview with "Love and Hip Hop's" Rasheeda on her "Boss Moves" TV show.
Rasheeda put Nelly in the hot seat and directly posed the are-you-or-aren't-you back together question. She apparently caught him off-guard and elicited a hearty laugh and a huge smile from the rapper, as well as a forthright answer.
"Yeah, we cool again," he said in a clip, which was re-posted by the Shade Room. "I think it surprised both of us, though. It wasn't anything that ...[was] planned. I think we're both pretty much doing what we do."
Nelly, 48, added that time and distance appeared to help him and the "What’s Luv?” singer get to a better place.
"Sometimes being separate you understand one another more," he said. "You could be like, 'Yo, let me see exactly what they see.' You know, because we all can be defensive sometimes in our own relationships. And we know we wrong but we going to stand on it. But we all a victim to that."
When Rasheeda asked him if the relationship with Ashanti felt "good now," he agreed.
"Yeah," he said. "I mean, because it's no pressure. Before I felt like both of us are doing what we're doing career-wise and when you got so many people in the middle of it, it could be tough."
A representative for Ashanti declined to comment on the interview Tuesday when reached by The Times.
However, hours later, Ashanti acknowledged the romance on Instagram stories as she geared up for the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards, showing off a clutch that was emblazoned with a photo of her and the hip-hop star.
"So... in this pic, we exchanged numbers at the VMAs in 2003... 20 years ago lol ..." she wrote, sharing a close-up of their faces on the purse. The "Always on Time" singer readily posed with the bag on the pink carpet when she arrived at the New Jersey-set awards show.
The musical collaborators dated on and off for about 11 years before breaking up in 2013 — and breaking the hearts of many fans who backed them during that time.
Nelly and Ashanti, 42, have stepped out together repeatedly over the last year without addressing their relationship status. The two reunited onstage in December to perform their 2008 hit "Body On Me," and the chemistry between them was palpable. Dating rumors were further fueled in February when they were spotted wearing matching chains, according to XXL. In April, he brought out Ashanti for a steamy duet at the Tao Beach Club in Las Vegas, and later that night, they sat together at the boxing match between Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia and left the venue holding hands.
Since then, they have gotten close while singing Usher's "Nice and Slow" during the singer's residency in Las Vegas and made a joint red-carpet appearance in Atlanta in June for a birthday celebration for Pierre "P" Thomas," the chief executive of Quality Control Music.
ET reported in May that the musicians had been enjoying their time together and that both were "very happy."
Ashanti's romantic life was back in the news last summer after Murder Inc. Records co-founder Irv Gotti blasted her past romance with Nelly during a "Drink Champs" podcast appearance. The viral interview compelled Ashanti to shut down claims Gotti made about their alleged relationship and speak about the real reason she left the hip-hop label.
“He never tells the full story, he never says why,” the “Rock Wit U (Awww Baby)” singer said on the “Angie Martinez IRL” podcast in October. "OK, yeah, me and Nelly were dating. Irv was salty. Irv would not let me come to the studio to record. Irv was telling everyone not to record with me. Why do I want to stay in that situation? How can I stay in that situation?”
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.