Ashanti to re-record her 2002 debut album ‘Ashanti’ on independent label

"I first signed to a record label," Ashanti recalled in a recent "Tamron Hall Show" appearance, "when I was 14 years old."

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Grammy award-winning singer and songwriter Ashanti is preparing to re-record and independently re-release her 2002 eponymous debut album after regaining ownership of the masters. 

“I first signed to a record label when I was 14 years old,” she said in an appearance on The Tamron Hall Show. “Then see how things have changed so far. It is very important to have a conceptual understanding of what to sign.”

Ashanti hits the red carpet at the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards earlier this month at Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

“The fact that we can re-record the album and put it all together is a great blessing,” she continued. “I am grateful. We are still here, living through the pandemic and these blessings. The fact that is still going on makes me very humble. “

The 40-year-old singer is fresh off a stellar mid-month appearance at the Verzuz battle between Fat Joe and Ja Rule, with whom she has hit singles. She performed while they did, recalling their jams “What’s Luv?” and “Always On Time” while earning next-day headlines like “Ashanti Beat Fat Joe and Ja Rule at Their Own Verzuz.”

As previously reported, Njera Perkins of PopSugar wrote on Twitter on Sept. 14, “Tonight’s battle is a reminder that Ja Rule and Ashanti really reinvented the magic of Hip-Hop and R&B collaborations in the early 2000s. Add them to the blueprint of why these two genres will always go hand in hand.”

On Tamron Hall, the Long Island, New York native said she remembered falling in love with music. “I used to be downstairs in my section because I wanted to feel like I had my own apartment, muted Cartoon Network, and just wrote.” 

She added: “It allowed me to enter my zone.”

Her debut album, Ashanti, was released on April 2, 2002, and it debuted at number-one on the Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart with first-week sales of 503,000 units, the biggest first-week sales for a debut female artist up to that point.

It was powered by the hit single, “Foolish,” followed by “Happy” and “Baby.” 

The album went on to sell more than 6 million copies worldwide, and Ashanti quickly became hip-hop music’s go-to vocal collaboration queen of the early 2000s. 

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