Ashanti Is best known for her R&B classics and Hip Hop collaborations. It’s no wonder she was crowned “The Princess of Hip Hop and R&B” so early in her career. After her eponymous debut album was released in 2002, she became a global sensation. Her debut single, “Foolish,” topped the Billboard Hot 100 and announced her presence with a bang. From then on, Ashanti successfully became the go-to singer for Hip Hop collabs. She has since been featured on a number of tracks by some of the biggest rappers around.
Ashanti has partnered with many celebrities as a singer and songwriter. In 2022, her efforts were further crowned with a coveted star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She remains one of the most influential musical artists of all time. Additionally, Ashanti’s Hip Hop collabs also helped popularize the rapper and singer duo. Her longtime partnerships with Ja Rule, and features on tracks by Fat Joe, Plies, and more, have made her a Hip Hop darling.
With over two decades of success, Ashanti’s career is quite enviable. Like many other musicians, she also made a reasonably notable crossover into acting. Her most famous roles are in John Tucker Must Die and Army Wives. She held the 2000s down as a singer with several notable Hip Hop collabs.
“Always On Time” (2001)
“Always on Time” is unarguably one of the most successful songs of the 2000s. The 2001 single is one of many timeless Hip Hop collabs by Ja Rule and Ashanti. “Always on Time” was released as the second single from Ja Rule’s third album, Pain is Love. “Always on Time” further reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100, marking Ashanti’s first No. 1 song. It also put the singer on the map ahead of her mega-successful debut single “Foolish” was released. “Always on Time” is the song that set eyes on Ashanti and kicked off her journey in the public eye.
“What’s Luv?” (2002)
“What’s Luv?” is a single by Fat Joe that features Ja Rule and Ashanti vocals. Released in February of 2002, the song dominated airwaves around the world. It was the second single off Fat Joe’s fourth album, Jealous Ones Still Envy (J.O.S.E). “What’s Luv?” was Ashanti’s second Hip Hop collab that performed exceptionally well on charts worldwide. The single also reached the penultimate spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and was blocked from the top spot by Ashanti’s debut single, “Foolish.” “What’s Luv?” has become one of Ashanti’s signature songs over the years, and rightfully so.
Though released over two decades ago, “Foolish” is still widely considered to be Ashanti’s signature track. The R&B single spent ten whole weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. “Unfoolish,” while not a hit song, was a promotional single that featured a verse from The Notorious B.I.G. His guest appearance on the track was thanks to a verse from his song “F—king You Tonight.” Overall, “Unfoolish” has quickly become a cult favorite from Ashanti’s endless Hip Hop collabs.
Ashanti and Ja Rule reigned supreme in the early 2000s, and “Mesmerize” is one of their standout tracks. The 2003 Hip Hop track features Ashanti and Ja Rule confessing their desire for one another. Both artists also appeared in the music video greatly inspired by the musical Grease. In the now iconic video, Ashanti and Ja Rule play a series of amusement park attractions before riding off together. “Mesmerize” hit the penultimate spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and is another staple in both artists’ discographies.
“Into You” (2003)
The “Into You” music video may have featured Tamia’s re-recorded vocals, but Ashanti’s voice on the album track is unmistakable. “Into You” is a Hip Hop love song by Fabolous, with vocals by Ashanti. Irv Gotti famously refused the singer to appear in the video, which led to Tamia’s version. However, Ashanti still received credit on official singles charts due to the mass appeal of both the album and single versions.
“Pac’s Life” (2006)
“Pac’s Life” is a song that celebrates the life of rap icon Tupac Shakur. The famous single was released as a part of the artist’s posthumous album release. “Pac’s Life” is a Hip Hop and R&B collab that features T.I. and Ashanti. Furthermore, the music video of “Pac’s Life” was highly anticipated and debuted on BET in November 2006. “Pac’s Life” was also filmed at the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center, and T.I. and Ashanti appeared in the video paying homage to the legend. With the announcement of an incoming Tupac biography, the single has enjoyed more airplay.
“Body On Me” (2008)
Nelly and Ashanti have rekindled their romance after a decade apart. In 2008, the rapper featured Ashanti and Akon on the track “Body on Me.” Initially meant for her album The Declaration, the single was recorded while the pair were dating. Moreover, the Hip Hop and R&B collab features Ashanti’s sultry vocals anticipating a steamy night with her man. “Body on Me” didn’t achieve mainstream success but resonated with fans of the couple at the time.