Ashanti Talks Sexual Harassment, Ill-Fated JAY-Z Collaboration, & New Music
Ashanti is saying more. In the wake of sexual harassment and assault accusations that have shaken the entertainment industry in recent months, the R&B songstress opened up about her own experiences in the music world during an interview with “The Breakfast Club.”
“I was in a situation where this producer, who’s super dope, super talented, has a gazillion No. 1s, he was trying to take me out,” she revealed. “[He said] ‘If we do this and we go out…I’ma give you all of this for free.’ I’m just like, ‘What? Son. That’s never gonna happen.’ So, then he’s like, ‘Alright. I need $45,000 for this one, $50[,000] for this one.’ What? He didn’t understand that I had a bunch of big brothers at the time. You know. Had to get handled. That’s moved on now but it happened.”
She went on to say that she’s “sure” the producer has offered the same proposition to others, as well. “It’s very unfortunate,” she said, refusing to name the man in question.
Ashanti, who’s promoting her new single “Say Less” with Ty Dolla $ign, also addressed another issue that she’s encountered in her career. “I wrote ‘Ain’t It Funny’ for J.Lo,” she said. “I didn’t get my credit but I wrote it.”
When asked if she was paid for the work, the former Murder Inc. star revealed that she was compensated, but that she’s looking for more in the future. “We’re working on other things,” she said, “to make things complete.”
But, the “Foolish” hitmaker also described other issues that she’s faced while trying to elevate her career. “I think a lot of things happened beyond my control,” she said. “Obviously being a part of a record label that was federally indicted and having associated with that and everything that came along with the extra-ness that I was a part of, it affected it beyond my control. Without having an amazing team, I think things would have went way under.”
Watch the interview and read highlights below.
On Murder Inc.: “You become guilty by association. I will never be able to not love and appreciate everything that I’ve done with Murder Inc. They’re always my family. We made history together and we will always be connected. But the negative energy that came with it, with the indictment and the beef and all of that, I don’t want to talk about it all the time but I have to, to remind people what happened.”
On Denouncing a Fan Who Threw Money on Her: “What happens if one of the dancers fell? Who’s paying for that? … People came backstage and were like, ‘Yo! We’re so happy you did that. He’s a big drug dealer and he has a strip club and he’s trying to get you guys to come down there.'”
On Ill-Fated JAY-Z Collab: “JAY was supposed to be on ‘Foolish.’ That’s crazy. This is what happened. Obviously I wrote the verses. Irv made the call to JAY…He played it for JAY, JAY loved the record. He was on his way to the studio. Then Irv said, ‘You know what? Nah. We’re gonna do something different because it’s the typical R&B move. You’re gonna carry the whole record on your own.”
On New Music: “I’m in a rush to put out a lot of music. Nowadays, you have to continue to put content out there.”
On Stuck: “Stuck has been stuck in production for a couple of years. It should be coming 2018. Super excited about it. I executive produced the film. It’s about seven different people from seven different cultures, and walks of life, being stuck in the subway in New York City in the summertime. You can imagine all of the stereotypical frustrations, name calling and all of the stuff that happens on the train. When we were shooting the movie, I felt like the message needed to be heard then. It was super relevant. Now, it’s just like, people really need to hear and see this. We’ve come a long way but we’ve got so far to go.”