Nelly Confirms He and Ashanti Are Back Together: 'It Surprised Both of Us'

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The rapper shared the news in an interview with Rasheeda and Kirk Frost of 'Love and Hip Hop'

<p> Paras Griffin/Getty Images</p> Ashanti and Nelly in Atlanta in June 2023

The rumors are true: Nelly and Ashanti are officially an item again!

In a recent interview with Love and Hip Hop’s Rasheeda and Kirk Frost on her Boss Moves with Rasheeda podcast, the “Ride Wit Me” rapper, 48, confirmed that he and the “Foolish” singer, 42, have renewed their romantic relationship.

"We cool again," a happy-looking Nelly told Rasheeda and Kirk in the interview, which was posted by The Shade Room via Instagram Tuesday.

"I think it surprised both of us,” he added. “It wasn't anything that was planned."

The two artists have been linked on and off since 2003 and have kept the details of their relationship under wraps.

"We both were pretty much doing what we do,” he said in the new interview. “But sometimes being separate, you understand one another more. You could be like, 'Well yo, let me exactly see maybe what they see.' We all can be defensive sometimes in our own relationships. We know we wrong but we going to stand on it, you know what I mean? But we all a victim to that." 

When asked by Rasheeda if his renewed relationship with Ashanti feels good now, Nelly replied in the affirmative. "I mean, because it's no pressure,” he explained, “Before I felt like both of us are doing what we’re doing before career-wise, And when you got so many people in the middle of it, it can be tough."

In the comments section of The Shade Room’s Instagram post featuring Nelly’s interview, Ashanti remarked: “Heyyyyyy bighead 😍❤️🤣 @nelly.”

Reps for Ashanti and Nelly did not immediately return PEOPLE's request for comment.

For her part, Ashanti — who was carrying a clutch with the rapper's face on it at Tuesday's MTV VMAs — told PEOPLE on the carpet, "We're in a great space, everything is positive, we're having a lot of fun."

<p>Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty</p> Ashanti at the MTV VMAs in Newark, New Jersey on Sept. 12, 2023

Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty

Ashanti at the MTV VMAs in Newark, New Jersey on Sept. 12, 2023

Related: Ashanti Plays a Bride Clashing with an Unwanted Guest in 'The Plus One' Trailer (Exclusive)

Both Nelly and Ashanti have been spotted together in the last several months, sparking rumors of a reconciliation. In June of this year, the two appeared at the 3rd Annual Birthday Ball for Quality Control CEO Pierre "P" Thomas at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.

In May, Ashanti brought Nelly out on stage during her Las Vegas show at the Palms Casino Resort where the two performed their 2008 song “Body on Me."  The month prior, the two were seen at the Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia boxing match at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Following the fight, video footage captured them holding hands.

A source close to the musicians told PEOPLE at the time that they "have been touring and performing together and just hanging."

<p>Johnny Nunez/WireImage</p> Nelly and Ashanti in Atlanta in 2007

Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Nelly and Ashanti in Atlanta in 2007

Related: Nelly Looks Back on His Iconic Hits – 'Ride Wit Me,' 'Hot in Herre','' and More!

Before that, in December 2022, Ashanti joined Nelly on stage at Power 98.3 and 96.1's Under the Mistletoe show in Arizona where they also performed “Body on Me.”

During her appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen that same month, Ashanti said she was surprised by the amount of fans who reacted to that “Body on Me” performance and urged the two to get back together.

"My reaction was wow,” the singer said at the time. “It was a lot of comments and a lot of people wanting that. What I will say is we're in a better place. You know, cause before, it was like [mimics fighting]. But we're cool now. Yeah, we have some conversations, you know. So it's cool."

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