As the First Lady of Murder Inc. Records, Ashanti rose to stardom. In a recent interview about her career, she revealed how a decision by Brandy led to her having the hit that defined her among other highlights.
In an interview with the New York Post, Ashanti took an introspective look back at her career and impact on the R&B genre. She also revealed that her first appearance on the Ja Rule platinum-selling track “Always On Time” only happened due to a decision from R&B superstar Brandy. “To be honest with you, I think that song was supposed to be for Brandy, and she ended up not doing it,” she said to the paper. “And Ashanti came in and alley-ooped!”
The Long Island, NY native, who was discovered by Irv Gotti through his former babysitter, garnered major attention with her singing. It was reinforced in the “instant chemistry” she had with her label mate. The success of the single in 2001 led to her working hard on her first album as both singer and songwriter at the label’s recording headquarters, the Crack House studio in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. “The name wasn’t because of drugs,” she said. “We were producing crack in hit records.” Her hit single “Foolish”, along with her guesting on Fat Joe’s “What’s Luv”, made her the first female artist ever to simultaneously hold the top two spots on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Ashanti is definitely riding high as this year marks the 20th anniversary of her debut album. The “princess of Hip-Hop Soul” is also the subject of a new honor as she becomes the latest celebrity to join the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. For her, the distinction is important. “In my heart, I’ve always been a girl that loves hip-hop,” she said in the interview. “And for me, it’s always been the yin and the yang, the soft with the hard.”