Fat Joe and Ja Rule went head-to-head at their highly anticipated "Verzuz," but the women they brought on stage might have come out on top of what turned out to be more of a love-in than a battle.
The 2 rappers squared off for 20 rounds at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night, playing almost all of their major hits, but at one point Joe stopped the show to present gifts to a couple of their special guests -- Ashanti and Remy Ma.
The ladies guested on both of the guys' tracks, and are credited with elevating the show beyond the back-and-forth barbs and posturing ... and Joe rewarded them with Hermes handbags.
Other big names who joined in on the "Verzuz" fun included Nelly, Lil Mo, Vita, and Dre from Cool & Dre ... but, there was also one notable absence -- 50 Cent.
As you know ... Ja and Fiddy have had beef for decades, so fans were hoping for a surprise showdown, but it didn't happen -- much like Ja Rule suggested it wouldn't.
As for Fat Joe and him ... despite all the shots they traded Tuesday night in the Garden, they also expressed a ton of love and respect for each other, and the crowd ate it up.