On April 2, 2002, Ashanti hit the ground running with her debut self-titled studio album. In fact, the project made the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest-selling debut album by a female artist, according to Vibe. It reportedly sold over 500,000 within the first week (Sis has always been legendary).

Although it’s been 20 years since the world was introduced to the songstress, dubbed the Princess of Hip-Hop and R&B, she continues to break records and turn heads. This time though, she’s shaking things up in the metaverse, proving that there is an ever-evolving relationship between music and tech.

“Technology has been a blessing,” she told AfroTech during the 2022 Essence Festival of Culture. “I mean, it’s the gift and the curse, let’s be honest. Everything has pros and cons, but I think using it as a tool to empower and uplift and learn and research are all beautiful things.”

Rockin' Wit Tech

As previously reported by AfroTech, the “Rock Wit U” crooner is now the first Black female artist to be a co-founder of a Web3 company, thanks to a partnership with EQ Exchange.

“I want to continue to do things like this and have these conversations to continue to spread the narrative, continue to use the platform and become the vessel and say, ‘Hey guys, it’s so important to own your intellectual property.’ You know, like we come up and we set the trends with these dances for TikTok and for Instagram and all of these tutorials. I feel like creating awareness and understanding that ownership is so powerful is essential.”

Continuing The Conversation

For Ashanti, continuing conversations surrounding technology, ownership, and more outside the walls of events like the Essence Festival of Culture is vital. It’s the key to being the change that the world needs.

“I wanna make sure, that we continue these conversations. We do these panels, we use the technology to spread the word,” she concluded. “To just dive in, you know, research, do what you can to understand it, learn it, and dive in.”