“People Always Put Us Against Each Other”: Ashanti On Beyoncé And The Musical Rivalry That Never Was

In an interview with Global Grind’s Blogxilla, Ashanti talked about going head-to-head musically with Beyoncé during the early ’00s. If you’ll recall, the two were often compared once Beyoncé went solo, and an article in the New York Times from 2003 even boldly stated in its title: The Solo Beyoncé: She’s No Ashanti. Hey, the year before Bey dropped Dangerously In Love and was launched into the stratosphere as a solo artist, Ashanti was quite huge too, having released her mega-hit debut album of the same name, racking up awards, and being the first lady of the uber-popular (and now defunct) Murder Inc. But if you ask Ashanti, such comparisons then and now are tired. She says that she and Beyoncé always got along well and while they both worked hard and had a lot of buzz at the same time, their music was totally different (even though the New York Times described Ashanti at the time as Beyoncé’s “mirror-image rival”). This is what the singer had to say:

“I remember that [article]. I feel like ‘the critics’ and ‘the media,’ people always put us against each other, but we never had beef. It was always all love. ‘Hey!’ ‘What’s up!’ ‘I like your shoes!’ It was that kind of thing. I think we’re two very different artists. I think we bring our different music to the table and I think there’s room. Again, I didn’t like the fact that people always put us together, but it’s a competitive business. There’s only one number one spot. Both working very, very hard. I was extremely happy just being with Murder, Inc. We had an amazing wave and I loved the music we were doing and it just felt right.”

The “I Got It” star recently talked to No Judgement Zone‘s BlogXilla about her latest project, as well as the single “I’m Real,” released by Jennifer Lopez back in 2001.

“It was bitter sweet, because I was really excited because it was J. Lo, you know what I mean? But I was so mad at Irv, cause I was like ‘You know I wanted that record!’”

Turns out Ashanti was the voice behind the track this entire time. Apparently she had demo’ed the record for Miss. Lopez, & they (Murder Inc) ultimately used her voice for the hook, backgrounds & adlibs.