Ashanti: She's Back

Hello, haters, critics and general detractors. She’s still here. After a solid year, Ashanti, the princess of the Murder Inc crew, returns with her second coming – Chapter II. The lovely songstress takes a few moments to answer some brief questions about the turbulence on her flight to fame. Alternatives: What’s up with your new album and what differences are you going to have this time around?

Ashanti: The new album is called Chapter II it’s coming out July 1st and we kept the first formula as the first album. I think what we did was take everything up a level vocally, musically and lyrically. I’m 100% satisfied, I’m loving all the records we had a little more time with this one and I’m really feeling it so I’m kind of excited.

AHHA: Any special features or appearances on the album?

Ashanti: Nah not really, I have a verse of [Murder Inc producer] Chink Santana.

AHHA: He’s rapping now?

Ashanti: He’s going to be coming in a minute.

AHH: Can you tell me what has changed for you since last year as far as your outlook on things?

Ashanti: I guess I can say I just learned a lot.

AHHA: In what ways?

Ashanti: Everything, definitely about the game, the rules, the pros and cons, life in general, dealing with people and politics, everything.

AHHA: Does the politics get on your nerves?

Ashanti: I think it’s kind of unnecessary but it’s politics everywhere.

AHHA: Are you worried about the sophomore slump?

Ashanti: Nah not really I honestly think this album is a little better than the first album. I’m so content with everything that happened last year I don’t think anything is going to have me too upset.

AHHA: I felt that the hate was excessive for no reason, how did you deal with that?

Ashanti: I enquired like, “Ohh, what are they saying that for?” It didn’t bother me like that ‘cause it was too many positive things going on for me to get caught up in all of that.

AHHA: What was your most favorite thing that you did outside of the music?

Ashanti: I definitely enjoyed the whole Buffy experienced and the little T.V shows that I did, just meeting people and knowing how that works on another scale. I really think it’s the whole book thing because I know that when I wrote the book it was all out of inspiration to inspire other people to do things that they want to do in life and I know that everything that I wrote in there was 100% real and 100% true. When I was doing book signings people would be like “I didn’t know you did that” and it just felt like it brought me closer to the people.

AHHA: On Buffy you were a vampire right?

Ashanti: Yeah

C: How was that?

Ashanti: That was a lot of fun and I liked it ‘cause your not looking at it to see Ashanti being Ashanti or Ashanti the singer on a show, it was something totally different and that was really me fighting. I broke 2 nails that day.

AHHA: Last year it was a little controversy with BET and the boycott, were you mad at BET and if so are you still mad at BET?

Ashanti: There was a boycott? What kind of a boycott?

AHHA: The whole online thing.

Ashanti: The Lady of Soul thing?

AHHA: Yeah.

Ashanti: That wasn’t BET that was Lady of Soul (Soul Train boycott) stuff. It was crazy because it was kind of like I was prepared for it only because I knew everything wasn’t going 1000% perfect. I know along with the good comes the bad so about a month before that happened I was mentally preparing myself like alright “I know something is going to give any minute now”. It was crazy because the way that it started was real small and it turned into this off-the-chain petition joint. It was cool because I know I didn’t ask for the award, it was given to me, it’s not like I went up there and was like “ya’ll need to give this award to me”. It came from them and it was a lot of people that began to slowly understand that. There wasn’t a lot of argument because like I said, I didn’t ask for it. There was a bunch of other artist out and this is Don. It was cool because when I showed up I had all my guys with me and they had the army gear on, everybody was ready but it was nothing. I walked in and everything was well received so I was cool.

AHHA: Are you worried about how things are holding up on your end as far as the Murder Inc/federal probe situation?

Ashanti: Nah, I’m not. I’m all for the peace. We need peace over there with Bin Laden and them and we need peace over here too.

AHHA: Getting in the game starting out doing hooks, was that a good way or do you think you could of just came in with an album?

Ashanti: I think that was a great way to be introduced to the industry ‘cause what better way than to be paired up with to megastars like Ja and Fat Joe and of course Big Pun? They’re going to be like we know who this person is but who is this other chick so it definitely propelled my career.