Ashanti has joined the growing list of artists who’ve chosen to re-record their albums.
The 41-year-old singer opened up about the move during an interview on The Breakfast Club this week, months after she announced her decision to re-record her 2002 self-titled debut album.
“So as an artist, when you are in the game for a certain amount of time, you pay your dues and things are supposed to come back to you,” she told the hosts when pressed about her motives. “You have a legal team that does what they’re supposed to do so that you can function and own (your work). So with my album being 20 years old in April (2022), obviously it makes sense for me to go in and re-record so that I can collect my coins.”
Ashanti went on to reassure fans that the overall vibe her debut album would remain the same; however, she intends to make a few changes fans will likely enjoy.
“It’s not necessarily changing the vibe, but kinda just injecting something new, sonically, into it,” she continued. “And maybe I might put some (new) features in there.”
Shortly after Ashanti announced her re-recoding plans, Irv Gotti—the co-founder of her former label, Murder Inc.—accused the artist of trying to screw him out of money. He made the claim via Instagram, saying he not only produced Ashanti’s albums, he also owned the masters.
“What she is trying to do is re-record all those great records, and put them out on her label,” Gotti wrote. “She can do this under the COVER laws. But she is basically trying to f— me out of my masters. And make people decide which album to listen too or stream. Hoping her loyal fans will choose her version. But hey. I stand on the Magic that was created. And I wanna see her duplicate that Magic. It’s f—- up really. But such is life.”
During Ashanti’s Breakfast Club interview, host DJ Envy asked if Gotti was the true owner of her masters. Ashanti initially said, “No,” but immediately walked back her answer: “What I can say is, that’s a conversation for Universal. Let me take that back and not just jump out the window and say, ‘no.’ Me and Ja (Rule) had a very long conversation, me and Ja know what time it is, and let Universal answer that, I guess.”
Ashanti was recently awarded the Soul Train Lady of Soul award at the Apollo Theater. During a medley of her hits, she performed some of her more popular features including her collaborations with Ja Rule and Fat Joe. With both rappers having close relationships with the singer and the producer, they’ve been vocal about wanting to stay out of the controversy.
You can check out the full Breakfast Club interview up top. Ashanti also discusses her relationship with her former Murder Inc. family, her love life, her new children’s book deal, and her upcoming documentary.