Fat Joe and Ja Rule’s Verzus Battle Excluded Any Songs Written by R. Kelly

Many in the music industry are opting out of supporting R. Kelly’s music in any form amid his current criminal trials. Kelly was recently found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking after over 30 years of allegations of sexual abuse came to the forefront. With the charges against him, Kelly’s musical peers Ja Rule and Fat Joe did not include anything featuring Kelly in their Verzus battle.

Ja Rule wearing a white shirt and gold chain embraced by R. Kelly wearinga  white shirt with a white towel around his neck.
Ja Rule and R.Kelly | L. Cohen/WireImage

Ja Rule explains why he didn’t perform songs featuring R. Kelly at his Verzus battle

Joe and Rule’s battle trended on social media. The two performed a number of their hits and popular singles. Rule performed hits like “Put In On Me,” “I’m Real,” and “Always On Time” – while Joe excited fans with “All The Way Up” and “What’s Luv?” 

Notably missing from the rappers’ setlists were any songs in their catalog that either performed with or were written/produced by Kelly. Rule says the decision to keep Kelly out of the battle was mutual. 

Source: YouTube

“He’s a flawed man. Nobody’s perfect. What he’s done is what he’s done, and he has to account for [it]. But the art — Do we throw it away? Me and Fat Joe had a conversation about it. It’s such a touchy subject,” he explained in a recent interview, as reported by Madame Noire.

Kelly appeared on Ja Rule’s 2000 single “Wonderful,” which also featured Ashanti. A year later, Kelly collaborated with Fat Joe on “We Thuggin.”

R. Kelly was recently found guilty of 9 counts of racketeering and sex trafficking

Kelly’s Brooklyn criminal trial lasted roughly six weeks. During the trial, dozens of witnesses, including Kelly’s accusers and former employees, took the stand to testify about the abuse the disgraced R&B singer allegedly imposed on his victims.

Per CNN, a jury found Kelly guilty of racketeering, including acts of bribery and sexual exploitation of children, along with separate charges of sex trafficking. During testimony, witnesses revealed that Kelly engaged in sexual activity with girls as young as 12. 

Source: YouTube

Kelly was found guilty of all nine counts he faced.

“Today’s guilty verdict forever brands R. Kelly as a predator, who used his fame and fortune to prey on the young, the vulnerable and the voiceless for his own sexual gratification,” the current acting US attorney from the Eastern District of New York Jacquelyn Kasulis said in a statement.

She added that Kelly is “a predator who used his inner circle to ensnare underage girls and young men and women for decades, in a sordid web of sex abuse, exploitation, and humiliation.”

One notable face says R. Kelly can redeem himself

Not everyone is convinced that Kelly has completely fallen from grace. TMZ asked Illinois Congressman Rep. Danny Davis whether he feels Kelly will be welcomed with open arms in his hometown of Chicago. Davis says it’s a possibility.

“As an artist, one who is gifted, I think he’ll be welcomed back into Chicago as a person who can be redeemed,” he said. “I’m a big believer in what is called second chances and I actually have a bill that we got passed called The Second Chance Act, which gives individuals the opportunity to be redeemed and to redeem themselves. So, it really will all depend upon him.”

Kelly’s team plans to appeal the jury’s decision. The singer has at least three other criminal trials in other states to fight next. He maintains his innocence. 

How to get help: If you or someone you know has been sexually abused, text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 for free and confidential support.

RELATED: Prosecutors Present Audio of R. Kelly Threatening His Accusers at Trial