Ashanti Initially Didn’t Like Her Hit Song “Baby”: “I Remember Fighting With Everybody”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 12: Ashanti attends the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards at Barclays Center on September 12, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

She may have been hesitant about putting this track on her debut album, but “Baby” has gone on to become an unforgettable Ashanti classic. The former Murder Inc. hitmaker is celebrating the 20th anniversary of her self-titled debut that brought us favorites including “Happy,” “Foolish,” and “Unfoolish” featuring Biggie Smalls. Two decades later and Ashanti continues to tour the world and sing songs from the project, and in a chat with Vibe, she revealed that “Baby” was an inclusion that she was not fond of when crafting her tracklist.

“I didn’t like ‘Baby.’ Yeah, that was an argument (laughs). It was crazy,” she told the outlet.

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“I don’t know. I felt like, I liked what I wrote, but it was a different vibe because it’s such a low register, you know, slow,” Ashanti added. “But it was a vibe and I was a little nervous. To be released as a single is something different than an album cut, you know? So [when] making the album, I didn’t know which ones were gonna go and be picked as a single, but I remember fighting with everybody in the studio. They was just like, ‘No, shut up! You’re doing it.’ (Laughs) I’ll give them that!”

Thankfully, the song grew on her and she now says she “absolutely” loves the record.

“I love just conceptually how I flipped it and going back and forth with the ad-libs and the verse and the metaphors. I love the record. But I was just nervous about it because it was different.”

Revisit “Baby” below to take a walk down R&B memory lane.


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