Ashanti is celebrating the 20th anniversary of her self-titled album in a big way.
The 41-year-old hitmaker will release an exclusive NFT collection to honor the huge milestone, giving her fans a chance to tap into the emerging world of Web3. During SXSW last month, the “Happy” crooner announced she would partner up with the woman-owned Web3 company EQ Exchange to launch the exciting project which will also include special “creative experiences,” according to Complex. The NFT collection will officially drop on April 6.
Ashanti gushed about the forthcoming news on Instagram over the weekend.
“I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since my debut album “Ashanti”!!!!!!!! I’m so grateful that yall been rocking with me for over 20 years!!!!! Now I finally get to give you something in return,” the New York native wrote, noting how she was excited for fans to have ownership of her “new Masters.”
“Which re-recording should be first???” the star asked her 6.9 million followers.
According to a press release, the buzzing partnership will make the Grammy-award-winning singer “the first Black female artist to be a co-founder of a Web3 company.” Pretty huge, right?
Ashanti released a statement about the historic move, telling fans:
“It’s so important to me to get the message out that artists should own their intellectual property. By empowering myself through new technology, I’m trying to help other women avoid going through the things that I’ve been through. The future belongs to those who take control and make it their own.”
As MADAMENOIRE previously reported, the R&B artist is planning to re-record her debut 2002 album to regain full ownership of the smash project that featured hits like “Foolish” and “Baby.”
“The thinking behind that is showing the business side of ownership and how important it is to own,” Ashanti said of her decision during an interview with Angie Martinez back in November. “Once I re-record the first album, [I own it]. When that goes, everything purchased from that moment, I own.”
In addition to winning back her masters, Ashanti shared that she wanted to enhance the project to “sound more 2022” and that she was going to “add a little sauce” with a few surprises on the revamped edition.
While fans and some of the star’s former Murder Inc. labelmates appeared to be all for the acquisition, the star received pushback from the label’s former CEO Irv Gotti, who helped her to produce the majority of the debut album. He previously claimed that she was trying to screw him out of his masters.
“I produced all those great Ashanti albums,” Gotti commented on Instagram at the time. “So I also own a good portion of the Publishing. What she is trying to do is re-record all those great records. And put them out on her label. She can do this under the COVER laws. But she is basically trying to fuck me out of my Masters. And make people decide which album to listen too or stream. Hoping her loyal fans will choose her version,” the producer added.
Welp, haters are always going to hate …
Congrats to Ashanti!
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