Ashanti is moving forward with plans to re-record her debut album.
In honor of the 20th anniversary next year, the singer announced that she will be re-recording her self-titled 2002 debut and re-releasing it independently on her own label.
During her appearance on “The Angie Martinez Show” on Power 105.1 this week, Ashanti opened up about her power move.
“The thinking behind that is showing the business side of ownership and how important it is to own,” she said. “After this time period, I’m allowed to go in and re-record and once I re-record the first album, [I own it]. Everything purchased from that moment, I own.”
“Obviously we keep the body and everything the same, but it’s just gonna sound better, clearer, more 2022 as opposed to 2002,” Ashanti said of the re-recorded material.
She may even add some featured guests. “I have some ideas,” she said. “We’re not gonna replace Ja [Rule], but we may add a little sauce in there.”
But Irv Gotti for one is not happy about it. Ashanti’s former Murder Inc. boss responded to the announcement, saying he still retains ownership of her masters as well as a “good portion” of her publishing from when she was signed to his label.
“@angiemartinez just for super clarity. I own all those great Ashanti Albums Angie,” he wrote on Angie’s Instagram post. “I own the Masters. And. I Produced all those great Ashanti Albums. So I also own a good portion of the Publishing.”
While Ashanti is legally allowed to re-record the album, Gotti claims it’s also a deliberate move to take money from him and diminish the value of his masters.
“What she is trying to do is re record all those great records. And put them out on her label,” he said. “She can do this under the COVER laws. But she is basically trying to f**k me out of my Masters. And make people decide which album to listen too or stream. Hoping her loyal fans will choose her version. But hey. I stand on the Magic that was created. And I wanna see her duplicate that Magic. It’s fu**d up really. But such is life.”
Taylor Swift famously re-recorded her albums following a public battle with music executive Scooter Braun, who purchased the masters to her first six albums in 2019.
Ashanti’s debut album was released on April 2, 2002 and spawned hits including “Happy,” “Baby,” and the chart-topping smash “Foolish.”