Now that Billboard has listed Ashanti as the official winner of the ‘Verzuz’ battle between she and Keyshia Cole, Ashanti is doing press rounds for her new single and revealing some tidbits about some of her past work along the way.
Fabolous’ 2003 track “So Into You” returned to the headlines last year, after the rapper tried to explain why Ashanti and Tamia appeared on two different versions. Although Fab and Tamia seem to disagree on what really happened, Ashanti has finally shared her side of the story—and it’s a pretty simple explanation.
The singer addressed the matter during a recent appearance on Hot 97′ Ebro in the Morning. Ashanti acknowledged her lines in the track were originally Tamia’s, but agreed to record Tamia’s parts at the request of Fab and his team. But why was she ultimately replaced in a subsequent version and the song’s official video? Ashanti said she believes it was simply a business move.
“Fab and them wanted me to shoot the video, and I think Irv [Gotti] … he didn’t want me to shoot the video,” Ashanti explained (13:12). “I guess he felt like I was being oversaturated. So for them, business-wise, it’s like, ‘Why would we have the single out with her and then not be able to shoot the video?’ And then, I think that’s when they got Tamia to shoot the video and then do the song. I really believe that is what happened. ‘Cause there’s a bunch of different stories, but I feel like that’s what I was told.”
“I obviously thought she was gonna be there a little bit sooner,” Ashanti began (1:23). “I just felt like as women camaraderie, if someone is late, you know, you hold on a little bit … I didn’t even realize so much time was going by … There was something with her screen I think, or the sound, or something. I didn’t even know what was going on … I was like, OK, I have to go out because there’s just people sittin’ there. This thing has been already up and down—the cancelations, the postponements, now it’s late. So, I said, ‘I’mma wait a bit longer, and then I’ll go out.’ So I did.”
She went on to say there was no bad blood between her and Cole, as some audience members suspected. Immediately after the battle began, viewers took to Twitter to accuse Cole of having “bad attitude” and being a little bit shady; however, Ashanti doesn’t hold that against her.
“Everyone has their days, you know what I mean?” she said, before mentioning Cole’s aforementioned technical difficulties. “… There was probably a lot of stuff going on. It’s a lot of pressure. When you think of that many people with eyes on you … If her stuff wasn’t together, of course you’re going to be frustrated … So on top of being nervous and then having to deal with all of that, of course you’re going to be a little flustered. So I would just assume that played a part into it.”
Ashanti also discussed writing the “I’m Real (Remix),” and “Ain’t It Funny (Remix)” for Jennifer Lopez, and how she penned the records specifically for J. Lo. Though some fans believe Ashanti has not been sufficiently credited for her contributions to the hits, Ashanti made it very clear she received financial compensation.
“That was a really nice thing to be a part of,” she said (6:10), before giving some advice to up-and-coming artists. “… Please write as much as you can, get as much percent of the record as you can. Because when you have a classic, timeless hit record, it is the gift that continues to give forever.”
You can watch Ashanti’s full interview below.