Ashanti caused quite the stir when she revealed that she was re-recording her debut album. Ashanti’s debut album is one of the biggest debuts from any female artist and made history in the Guinness Book of Records by selling 503,000 copies in its first week. So why re-record?
During that time, the Long Island, NY native was signed to the former label Murder Inc., but now she is an independent artist with her own record label, Written Ent. By re-recording her debut album under her own label, she will be able to own the rights to it. When she made the big announcement, however, Murder Inc. co-founder Irv Gotti was not a fan of her decision.
Irv responded to the news on Instagram writing, “What she is trying to do is re-record all those great records, and put them out on her label,” wrote Irv.
“She can do this under the COVER laws. But she is basically trying to f— me out of my masters. And make people decide which album to listen to or stream. Hoping her loyal fans will choose her version. But hey. I stand on the Magic that was created. And I wanna see her duplicate that Magic. It’s f—- up really. But such is life.”
During her recent appearance on The Breakfast Club, Ashanti responded to Irv and explained her reasons behind re-recording her album.
“So as an artist, when you are in the game for a certain amount of time, you pay your dues and things are supposed to come back to you. You have a legal team that does what they’re supposed to do so that you can function and own (your work),” she said.
“So with my album being 20 years old in April, obviously it makes sense for me to go in and re-record so that I can collect my coins.”
She also reassured fans that she won’t be changing the album’s “vibe,” “but kinda just injecting something new, sonically, into it” and possibly adding new features.
Once Ashanti takes the steps to own her masters, she will be in good company. Here are some other artists who own their masters.
Rihanna was able to obtain her masters back in 2016 after fulfilling her contract with Def Jam. Reportedly, during that process, she also created her own imprint Westbury Road Entertainment on Universal’s Roc Nation label.
Ciara now owns the masters to all the music she’s released since creating her label Beauty Marks in 2017.
All My Children Are Coming Home— Anita Baker (@IAMANITABAKER) September 3, 2021
Impossible Things Happen🎁...
After a public plea for fans to stop streaming her music until she gets her masters, Anita Baker now has the rights to her music. The legendary singer initially tweeted that because she “outlived” all of her contracts, she was obligated by law to have her masters and likeness returned to her.
Featured image by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET