Help Me: Ashanti

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What’s poppin’, Mike, it’s your girl Ashanti. Hitting you up for a bit of advice…y’know.

Yo, I’m dropping my new album in June…or July…or September, hmm, Christmas ’09 at the latest. But MAN, the album is BANANAS. Like the kind Mighty Joe eats. It’s that crazy! YESSSSS!

But you know a lot of people are dogging me out. I feel like the underdog, know what I’m saying. It’s like people trying to act like they weren’t singing all those babies with me a couple of years ago. I know they remember, because those joints were BANANAS! Curious George at a banana buffet BANANSAS!

No, bananas in pajamas bananas!

HAHAHAHAHAHA!

So, it’s like I feel pressure, but in a good way, know what I’m saying? I’m nervous, but I’m excited at the same time.

I think that definitely since it’s been so long that people might be ready for me to come back. My last album was ’04, y’know. Wait, maybe you don’t, because not many of ya’ll copped it. What was up with that anyway? How ya’ll gonna just stop buying my rec-kerds like that?

Oh, I know: Be-yawn-say. That bitch. I mean, what was so hot about her anyway? She doesn’t even know what déjà vu means. At least when I say baby it makes sense. Like you can’t mess up baby, feel me?

I gotta admit, though. She kind of caught me by surprise. Wasn’t expecting to be just blown away like that. Maybe those rumors about her breath were right, because she like huffed around my position on the charts and blew me away. Who knew that gravy at Popeyes was that strong, right?

But aye, I finally figured out the brand of glue Beyonce’s using for the wigs. And I been taking dance lessons again. The game ‘bout to change, man. It’s murder! – or the Inc., or wait, I’m saying derrty now. Re-do: The game, man – it’s derrty! HA!

Anyway timing is everything, and it’s like, everything’s falling into place, know what I’m saying? Like I’m here and I’m back!

Have you heard my new single? Crazy, right? And yeah, Babyface is on the new album. When I found out we got him for the project, I was thinking, “Yo, the first part of his name is Baby, my favorite word is Baby, bam we got this!”

But man, the song isn’t doing as well as my previous ones, nah mean. I mean, it’s doing a lil’ something on the R&B charts, but I want it to POP, y’know.

I kinda feel like the underdog now. It’s been a four year gap beyond my control. It’s not like I decided to chill. It was taken away. Irv was trippin’, man. I mean, man can’t plan in advance for an FBI indictment? Now he not tawking to me, acting all funny. Whatever, little Black Vienna sausage man.

So this comeback, right. What do you suggest? I mean, I got Shia ready to bust Rihanna’s kneecaps, and Mom’s said she’s shanked a tranny before, so Ciara’s no problem, but that Beewildering Breath having chick better stay outta my way this time. I don’t want to have to do her in Glen Cove style, feel me!

So, man, I’m trying to put the puzzle back together, only dolo this time. I need your help man. I want to get those hits back out there. YES!

Oooh baby,

Ashanti

Dear Ashanti,

You know, when people actually hated you, I mean starting petitions about you and plotting to bomb Glen Cove, I didn’t really think you were that bad.

Don’t get me wrong, you did look like Harry and the Henderson’s was your kinfolk and what not, but after a fresh makeover, I thought you cleaned up pretty nice. I though all of those hairy comments about you were out of line. They had you looking like Smurfette after a couple of good waxes, and Smurfette was pretty for a blue blob, so tell the haters to take that!

Besides none of that had to do with what matters most: the music. So yeah, after I stopped debating on whether or not you were a disgruntled teen mother because you kept hollering baby in every song, I liked your music for what it was. Did I buy any of your albums? Hell nawl, but I thought about buying that second. I have a promo copy, if that counts for anything.

Your voice – well, that’s another, story, but let me put it this way: You’re sounding a lot better than Mariah Carey these days.

Still, I have to know: Why haven’t you had the slightest bit of vocal growth in five years? I watched that performance you had last week and you sounded like you were struggling something awful. Like your throat was trying to runaway from an abusive relationship. Stick to singing softly, okay? You can get by doing that. The minute you try to really sang, whew, you sound like a commercial for kicking a chick in the throat.

Now on to your career: Uhh…ooh baby. Look, the song is alright, but if we’re going by third time’s a charm and you’re still not blowing back up well…

To be kind, I think you might go gold (at best), and maybe you might put out a few R&B hits. But your previous mind-boggling fame from a few years ago — yeah, homie, those days are over. Might not be a bad idea to call Monica and Brandy and talk about a “We Ain’t Dead Tour.”

If that’s not enough for you to keep going, maybe you might want to work on getting a sitcom. That way you can step out of yourself and play someone that’s so unlike your true self – like a person a rhythm or something. You got a few decent chops. I saw you on Buffy!

If that doesn’t work, I don’t know what to tell you.

Have you saved your money from your royalty checks? If not, punch a hole in a condom and go make a trip to St. Louis. Best investment you’ll ever make in your life.

That’s the best I can do. You should have hit me up in 2005.

P.S. Before you fade into oblivion, I have to ask you a few things.

Did an ewok have to die for you to wear this shirt? I’ve always been curious.

And you didn’t really bang Irv Gotti, did you? I don’t know why, but the dude reminds me of a ham sandwich. Tell me you didn’t, Ashanti.

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