In celebration of R&B-pop royalty, this week's #TBT edition spotlights the one and only Ashanti. Back in 2014, the singer-songwriter discussed the powerful metaphor behind her fifth studio album, Braveheart, and how she navigated her return to music after cutting ties with Murder Inc.
"Braveheart came from a very sincere and honest place...talking about just being brave and having heart in everything you do," she tells Fuse. "Braveheart, the movie, happens to be one of my favorites...The Scots had homemade rags, barefoot, pain on their face—but you couldn't deny their passion. You couldn't deny their hunger."
On her fallout with Murder Inc, Ashanti kept it real, calling the experience "a character builder."
"Just being a family and then having those horrible things happen—kind of trying and testing all of our relationships—it was a lot," she says. "You're guilty by association. So business wise, when I'm trying to do a deal with a clothing line or perfume line or ad campaign, and they're seeing my picture on the New York Post, 'Federally Indicted,' and I didn't get indicted! So why are they using my picture?"
Below, listen to Fuse reminisce about Ashanti's classic debut album on an episode of Besterday: