Wait, What’s J.Lo Really Saying In “I’m Real”?

Nostalgia is a wonderful thing. But there's also a danger involved in revisiting the things you loved in your youth — especially if your youth was during the early 2000s — because everything was so well-documented that we can fact-check it in 2.5 seconds. For instance, say you find yourself singing along to "I'm Real," that smooth, rhythmic 2001 collaboration between Jennifer Lopez and Ja Rule. Say you sing J.Lo's opening line as a question: "Are you Ellie?" Or perhaps, it's a not-quite-articulate, "Are you ready?" Jezebel writer Jia Tolentino is here to smash the illusion that you absolutely knew what Jenny from the block was saying. In fact, your realness was every bit as attractive as hers and you were ready (or Ellie) to share it with the world and the dance floor, because what she is actually doing in that part is answering Ja Rule's odd question, "What's my motherfucking name?" "R-U-L-E." We hope your world isn't too shattered. Please excuse us as we step out to review J.Lo's entire catalogue to see what else we've had wrong all this time. Those are clocks that she's got, right?

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