2021 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals

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Ashanti is getting back in the studio, but not to record new music. Now that she owns her master recordings, the Long Island native is going to re-record her self-titled debut album and release it as an independent artist.

Many artists can’t say that own their master recordings, which are the original records of an artist’s songs. When an artist owns their masters, they have full legal control over their music and have the chance to make the most money from whatever they do with their music.

“It’s so surreal,” she said about owning her masters on The Tamron Hall Show. “I have an amazing legal team, and I got my first record deal when I was 14 years old, so understanding and seeing how things have changed so much from then to now and conceptually understanding what you’re signing is so imperative, it’s so important nowadays. The fact that I’ll be able to re-record my first album, and put everything together.”

Ashanti recorded her debut album, which was released April 2, 2002, right at home where she lived with her mother who became her manager and her sister.

“I wanted to feel like I had my own apartment,” she said. “So I used to be downstairs in my own section and I would put on the Cartoon Network on mute and I would just write,” she said. “It allowed me to kind of get into my zone.”

During her chat with Hall, she also spoke about what it was like to see her ex-boyfriend Nelly during the Verzuz being her friends Fat Joe and Ja Rule. She said that was the first time she saw him since they ended their 10-year relationship six years ago.

“I really didn’t expect it, I didn’t know he was gonna be there, honestly. So when I saw him kind of coming across the stage, I was just like, ‘Oh…’ and it was so weird because we haven’t seen or spoken to each other for over six years so that was the first time in six years, so it was a weird feeling…I always, like when we first broke up, I would be like, ‘Oh my God, when I see him.’ You know I went through that, and then it was like, ‘Oh, I’m okay.’ You know what I mean? So it had been so long, I didn’t know how to feel or what I was going to feel when I actually did see him. So, that’s what it was like.”

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