Helpless
by Ashanti (featuring Ja Rule)

Album: The Hamilton Mixtape (2016)

Songfacts®:

  • This song was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda for the hip-hop musical Hamilton. It details the blossoming romance between American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton and his wife Eliza. Miranda told iHeartRadio that he penned the tune in the style of a classic R&B/hip-hop song.

    "When I was writing 'Helpless,' I was thinking about Ashanti and Ja Rule, I was thinking about Mary J Blige and Method Man, I was thinking of Beyonce and Jay Z. I was thinking of those great R&B/hip-hop songs, where there's sort of this romance going on. That, to me, is one of the great forms in hip-hop/R&B. You think of those great Ashanti tunes where it's verse, chorus, verse, chorus, Ja Rule, and then back to Ashanti, and then we're out! It's just like pop heaven, it's just like a perfect little moment.

    When I was writing 'Helpless' for the show, I was imagining Ashanti and Ja Rule. You can even hear, if you listen to 'Helpless' on the cast recording, I'm doing Ja Rule in the last line. That's my homage to Ja Rule, within the show itself."
  • Ashanti sang the hook on many of Ja Rule's classic hip hop tunes. Including "Always On Time" "Mesmerize," and "Wonderful." When Miranda was brainstorming songs and names for his Hamilton Mixtape album, he decided to see if he could get Ashanti and Ja Rule to reunite for this song. He invited the pair to the show, pitched the idea and the next week they were in the studio recording their version. Miranda recalled on a Rap Radar podcast.

    "They've never lost touch. They're still very tight. They went to see the show together. They came into the studio and I think it was Ashanti's mom's birthday. So they came in like, 'Whoooooo!'"

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