Our Top 10 Ashanti Songs list takes a lot at one of r&b’s popular singers/actresses from the early 2000s era. Ashanti was practically an overnight success with her self-titled debut album. Her first album went gold during its premiere week. She earned many awards for the album. She has sold over 27 million records throughout her career. She was one of the first female artists to have two songs featured at the top of the Billboard 200 charts at the same time. “Foolish” and “What’s Luv” were number one and two respectively. In addition to her solo work, she has hits as part of collaborations with artists such as Ja Rule and Fat Joe. Like most singers, the acting bug bit her. She appeared in the movies Coach Carter (2005), Muppets’ Wizard of Oz (2005), John Tucker Must Die (2006) and Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) as well as other movies. It’s time to get to know Ashanti better.
Ashanti Shequoiya Douglas was born on October 13, 1980. She had dreams of becoming a singer while she was in school. She started writing songs while she was in high school. Ashanti had trouble getting discovered when she tried her luck at being a singer. She would perform at different venues while waiting to be discovered. She was turned down when she sent her demo to Bad Boy Records and Jive Records. Her luck would change for the better when she started hanging around at Murder Inc. Records. Irv Gotti noticed her singing ability. He wanted her to write hooks for his hip-hop artists as well as perform in the songs. She got her start by singing in the background of Big Pun’s song “How We Roll.”
Ashanti released her eponymous debut album in 2002. The album debuted at number one on the r&b charts and the Billboard 200 charts. It sold a whopping 503,000 copies in its first week. It was one of the biggest debuts for a new female artist at the time. The album features the singles “Foolish,” “Happy” and “Baby.” The album sold over six million copies.
Fresh off the success of her debut album, Ashanti released Chapter II in 2003. The album didn’t sell as much as her previous one, but it still managed to sell a lot of copies in the first week. The album sold over 326.000 copies. The album peaked at number one of the r&b charts and the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Rock Wit U (Aww Baby),” “Rain on Me” and “Breakup 2 Makeup.” The album sold over one million copies.
Concrete Rose came out in 2004. The album was overshadowed because of the legal issues facing her record company as well as her producer Irv Gotti. Gotti was arrested for money laundering. The album peaked at number seven on the Billboard 200 charts and number one on the r&b charts. The album sold over 254,000 copies in its first week. It didn’t do as well as her first two albums, but it still sold a lot of copies. The album features the singles “Only U” and “Don’t Let Them.” Despite receiving mixed reviews, the album still sold over one million copies.
Declaration was released in 2008. The album peaked at number two on the r&b charts and number six on the Billboard 200 charts. The album sold 86,000 copies in its first week. The album had the lowest amount of albums sold in its first week. The album features the singles “The Way That I Love You,” “Body on Me” and “Good Good.” The album sold over 300,000 copies.
Braveheart came out in 2014. The album debuted at number four on the r&b charts and number 10 on the Billboard 200 charts. The album sold 28,000 copies in its first week. The album features the singles “Never Should Have,” “I Got It” and “Early in the Morning.”
Ashanti came out during an era that featured a lot of female r&b artists who were on the music scene. She had to compete with Destiny’s Child, Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans, India Arie, Tweet, Keisha Cole as well as others in the industry. She was able to become a success in her own right. She was able to cross over from r&b to pop music. She had success on her own as well as with other artists. She made history as the first new artist to have the number one and two charted singles at the same time. This Top 10 Ashanti Songs list will feature her best songs.
# 10 – Baby
The first song on our Top 10 Ashanti Songs list is “Baby” from her self-titled album. The song has an r&b beat. The sultry song talks about her love for her man. She finally found the man of her dreams. He’s the man that would make you do anything and everything for him. The song is relatable to women who would do anything to have the man they want. Men could also relate to the song if they feel that way towards women. The music blends r&b and hip-hop nicely. It has a smooth and mellow beat. It has enough tempo to bop your head.
The music was recorded in the early 2000s, but it still sounds fresh. The track has a simple and easy chorus that’s easy to remember. She basically repeats the title. She sounds like a cross between Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Christina Milian. She sings the song in her lower register. She vocalizes in her upper register so she does show some versatility in the song. She doesn’t hold any notes in the ballad, but there wasn’t any room for notes.
# 9 – Happy ft. Ja Rule
The next song on our Top 10 Ashanti Songs list is “Happy” from her self-titled album. It has an r&b beat. This is the second track from her successful debut album. The upbeat song is about her being happy to find love. She talks about how her man makes her feel good. It’s a feel-good song that’s perfect for the summer time. The song is a summer jam. It’s the perfect song to listen to while you’re relaxing and enjoying the day. The music features a sample from The Gap Band’s song “Outstanding.” It was the perfect sample for the song.
The melody is also similar to Mary J. Blige’s “Love Is All We Need.” The head bopper is impossible to sit through without moving around. The thumping drumbeat will instantly grab your attention. The flute gives the song something extra. She’s not known for having the best vocals when you consider other singers in music, but her voice is good on this track. Her voice is pretty on the track and blends well with the music. She definitely makes the most of what she has vocally. She knows her limitations and doesn’t try to do more than she can handle.
# 8 – Rain On Me
The painful song is from Ashanti’s Chapter II album. It has an r&b sound. The heartbreaking song is about the pain of overcoming an abusive relationship. The lyrics are moving and powerful. She talks about a very touchy subject and she wasn’t afraid to take a chance and talk about abuse. There aren’t that many people who sing songs about abusive relationships so it was a refreshing change to hear someone sing about it. People who are in abusive relationships could use this song as therapy.
Ashanti usually sings songs about good and bad relationships, but this was new territory for her. The music contains a sample of Isaac Hayes’ “The Look of Love.” The sample gives the music a soulful feel to it. It makes the song have a classic sound. It’s appropriate for the subject matter. The music is dark and moody and suits the theme of the song. Ashanti is convincing as the abused victim in the song. You can hear the pain in her voice as she’s telling the story about being in an abusive relationship. She sings the song as if it hits close to home for her. She takes vocals risks and does little runs in the song. She was able to pull it off without sounding sharp.
# 7 – Shine
The inspirational song is from her Declaration album. The song has an r&b and pop sound to it. The healing song is about having self-confidence. It has a very positive message for people who have low self-image. She doesn’t want you to give up no matter how hard people try to bring you down. The lyrics hit close to home for anyone who has ever been in a position where they felt as if they weren’t good enough. This song is definitely worth a listen if you have ever been bullied or just treated badly for no reason. This song wasn’t a single, but it should have been because it has an inspiring message behind it.
The melody is similar to Christina Aguilera’s song “Beautiful.” Aguilera’s song has a similar message to this one. Diane Warren wrote a moving song for Ashanti. She brought out the best of her vocals. She turns the song into a gospel song. She also hits notes that she didn’t hit on her previous songs. The song gives her voice a chance to vocally “shine.” It’s a different theme from her songs about relationships. Diane Warren and Ashanti should work together on more songs because this was a match made in heaven.
# 6 – What’s Luv ft. Ashanti and Ja Rule
This lustful song is from Fat Joe’s Jealous Ones Still Envy (J.O.S.E.) album. The track has an r&b and hip-hop sound to it. The drama-filled song is about a man who wants to have a casual fling with someone who is involved with someone else. He doesn’t care that she’s in love with someone. He just wants to have an intimate relationship with her. Fat Joe includes Tina Turner’s song “What’s Love Got to Do With It” in this track. The title of Tina Turner’s hit song is included in the hook of “What’s Luv.” Here’s some trivia about the song. Jennifer Lopez was originally supposed to sing the hook on the song. He wanted to appeal to the Latin audience.
He heard Ashanti sing the demo and decided to ask her to sing the hook. Lopez’s loss was Ashanti’s gain because the song was a hit. The track is one of Fat Joe’s signature songs. The music will have you on the dance floor as soon as it starts. The infectious beat is guaranteed to grab your attention. Ashanti has the best part of the track. She sings the appealing chorus. Her vocals are perfect for the beat. She sounds similar to Janet Jackson on the song. She sings a verse on the track in addition to the hook. She speeds through it without taking a breath. Ja Rule has a small part in the song, but it’s catchy. Fat Joe, Ashanti and Ja Rule worked very well together. Their voices complimented each other.
# 5 – Always on Time ft. Ashanti
The next song on our Top 10 Ashanti Songs list is “Always on Time” from Ja Rule’s The Pain Is Love album. The track has an r&b and hip-hop beat. The bouncy hit has multiple meanings. The meaning of the song may confuse you. Her lyrics describe a person being there for you. Ja Rule’s lyrics are quite different. He makes it seem as if she hasn’t been there for him and that he’s willing to cheat on her. You will have to draw your own conclusion on the song. It will definitely keep you guessing. This is one more duet that Ja Rule and Ashanti performed together.
She sang the hook on quite a few r&b and hip-hop songs. This helped build up her hit list. Here is some trivia about the song. Brandy was originally supposed to sing the hook on the song. The music is upbeat and infectious. You can easily forget the song is a hip-hop song. The music makes it seem like an r&b and pop song. Ja Rule took a chance singing when he’s a rapper. He’s not the greatest singer by any means, but he managed to pull it off. He should have let Ashanti do the singing, but we won’t go there. Ashanti sounds great on the song. The music caters well to her voice. She sounds like she’s having fun on the track. The song is very catchy and will stick in your head after it’s done.
# 4 – Only You
The sensual song is from Ashanti’s Concrete Rose album. The song has a pop, rock and r&b beat. The provocative song is about her fantasizing about a man sexually pleasing her. She wants to be by his side and tries to find ways to be next to him. She does things out of character in order for him to fall for her. The song has a dark feel to it. It’s different from her previous tracks. This song has a rock edge to it. Her songs are usually r&b and hip-hop friendly.
It was a chance for her to step out of her comfort zone and try something different. Don’t expect the song to sound like your typical rock song, but it does have a rock edge to it. The guitar riffs are fire. The guitar riffs sound like something the Neptunes would have performed. The music is engaging and inviting. Her vocals are strong on this track. The music was great for her vocal range. She doesn’t need to shout in order to be heard over the bumping music. She could have drowned in the music because of the rock portion of it, but she sounds great.
# 3 – Good Good
The sexual song is from the Declaration album. It has an r&b sound. The sensual song is about her talking about how she pleases her man. “Good Good” is a metaphor for sex. The music is upbeat and bouncy. The music contains samples of Michael Jackson’s “The Girl Is Mine” and Elton John’s “Benny and the Jets.” The songs are completely different, but Jermaine Dupri makes the samples work for the song. The samples are ballads, but they still maintain a bouncy beat. She includes a verse from “The Girl Is Mine.” The instrumentation is playful and fun. There’s no way to sit still listening to it. It has a catchy and memorable hook.
She sounds confident on the track. She sings the song with the right amount of sass. She turns the song into a female empowerment track. The beat is perfect for her tone of voice. Her vocals are strong on this track. Some of the lyrics are a little hard to understand, but it doesn’t hurt the song in any way. It’s one of the best songs on the Declaration album. Durpi brought out the best of Ashanti’s vocals.
# 2 – The Way That I Love You
The anthemic song is from the Declaration album. The song has an r&b beat. The controversial ballad is about betrayal. She sings about her boyfriend cheating on her and she finds out about it. She’s not happy when she does find out about his cheating. Anyone who has been cheated on could definitely relate to this track. The song would be perfect for people going through infidelity. The theme is similar to her other hit “Rain on Me” because of the melodramatic subject of both songs. “The Way That I Love You” is more of a revenge song than “Rain on Me.”
The music starts with a somber piano solo that will make you emotional. The piano chords are outstanding and sell the music. The rest of the instrumentation is somber to match the theme of the song. She’s puts her heart on her sleeve while she sings the lyrics. She stays in character while she talks about the pain of finding out her man was cheating on her. She sings the song with a double. One of the vocals is in a high pitch and the other is in a low pitch. Her voice is layered in a way to make it sound as if there’s more than one person singing in the background. She harmonizes very well in the bridge. She takes some risks by holding notes in the song. She didn’t need to do it because they are out of her vocal ability, but she did the best she could do.
# 1 – Foolish
The number one song on our Top 10 Ashanti Songs list is “Foolish” from self-titled album. It has an r&b sound. The toxic song is about a woman dealing with the ups and downs of a relationship while still being in love with the guy. Men and women can relate to being in relationships they can’t seem to end. She considers herself “foolish” for staying with the guy. The song samples DeBarge’s “Stay” and The Notorious B.I.G.’s “One More Chance.” This sample definitely sells the song. You are hooked as soon as the piano chords begin.
The piano blends with the synthesizer very well. The music is soft and melodic. There aren’t enough compliments to describe the instrumentation. The music is absolutely flawless. We dare you not to be moved by it. Let’s get to Ashanti’s vocals. She sings the song with the right about of sass and attitude. She sells the song well. She sounds convincing while she talks about not being able to let go of a man who doesn’t deserve her. Her voice blends well with the music. It’s easy to see why this is one of her signature songs. It probably didn’t surprise anyone that it was number one on the list because it was the song that made her a household name.
Top 10 Ashanti Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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