"I feel like we've definitely moved away from the community aspect of things."
Ashanti is the name that rings a bell to many for her classic tracks like "Foolish," "Rock Wit U," "Rain On Me," and so much more. She was a princess of R&B favourites in the early 2000s and to this day she's still doing her damn thing with her most recent single, "Say Less." Ashanti is now Paper Magazine's latest cover star where she explains how confidence is a woman's best quality and how the music industry has changed.
"I feel like we've definitely moved away from the community aspect of things," Ashanti said when discussing the current state of her industry. "There are not a lot of labels that are a crew that really celebrate together. If I was doing something, Ja [Rule] and everybody came. If Ja was doing something, me and everybody came. I don't know where we are right now, it's a weird space. But I do see a lot of rappers — men and women — making up instead of tearing each other down, and I'm really happy about that. It's a ray of hope for me."
As for her upcoming music, Ashanti plans on expressing some "vulnerable topics" she's never discussed before.
"I think people will be like, 'What did she say?' which is a really cool thing," she said. "I can't say names of anyone else involved yet. But the feedback has been great so far — I've had conversations about there being a real void for true, soul-touching R&B, and that's what I feel I'm accomplishing with this record."