Ashanti Says Ja Rule’s “Always On Time” Was Meant For Brandy

Ashanti’s big break may have never happened if Brandy jumped on Ja Rule’s “Always On Time.”

BYAron A.
Ashanti Says Ja Rule’s “Always On Time” Was Meant For Brandy

Ashanti is a bonafide legend in the game with over two decades worth of gems to offer. She undoubtedly influenced generations of R&B artists that followed her but it was her collaboration with Ja Rule that set it up. Ja Rule's 2001 hit "Always On Time" turned Ashanti into a household name.

Ashanti Says Ja Rule's "Always On Time" Was Meant For Brandy
 Jemal Countess/WireImage/Getty Images

During a recent interview with the New York Post, Ashanti reflected on that particular record, and the impact it had on her career. However, she explained that she was never in the initial plans for the song. She said that the song was meant for another R&B star, who ultimately turned it down.

"To be honest with you, I think that song was supposed to be for Brandy, and she ended up not doing it,” said Ashanti of the chart-topping record. “And Ashanti came in and alley-ooped!”

The song went on to set the tone for Ashanti's career. Following the release of "Always On Time," she cemented her hip-hop-infused R&B records on the charts with "Foolish" and then assisted Fat Joe on "What's Love." With "Foolish" at #1 and "What's Luv" at #2, Ashanti became the first female artist to secure the top two positions on the Billboard Hot 100.

Evidently, it was these moments that carved Ashanti's name in the history of music. Revisit Ja Rule's "Always On Time" ft. Ashanti below. 

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About The Author
Aron A. is a features editor for HotNewHipHop. Beginning his tenure at HotNewHipHop in July 2017, he has comprehensively documented the biggest stories in the culture over the past few years. Throughout his time, Aron’s helped introduce a number of buzzing up-and-coming artists to our audience, identifying regional trends and highlighting hip-hop from across the globe. As a Canadian-based music journalist, he has also made a concerted effort to put spotlights on artists hailing from North of the border as part of Rise & Grind, the weekly interview series that he created and launched in 2021. Aron also broke a number of stories through his extensive interviews with beloved figures in the culture. These include industry vets (Quality Control co-founder Kevin "Coach K" Lee, Wayno Clark), definitive producers (DJ Paul, Hit-Boy, Zaytoven), cultural disruptors (Soulja Boy), lyrical heavyweights (Pusha T, Styles P, Danny Brown), cultural pioneers (Dapper Dan, Big Daddy Kane), and the next generation of stars (Lil Durk, Latto, Fivio Foreign, Denzel Curry). Aron also penned cover stories with the likes of Rick Ross, Central Cee, Moneybagg Yo, Vince Staples, and Bobby Shmurda.