Singer Ashanti is sharing her account about her involvement with Irv Gotti.


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The pair have made headlines after Gotti repeatedly suggested a romantic relationship while promoting the Murder Inc. documentary.

Issues Started After "The Declaration" Album

During an interview with Angie Martinez, Ashanti shed light on one of the early signs of when she believes the lines of business started to become blurred, which she recalls happened after the release of her fifth studio album “The Declaration.”

She saw no purpose in doing business with Gotti: “When I recorded my last album on Universal, ‘The Declaration,’ I did everything by myself. You know, he took a large percentage and did absolutely nothing … At that moment it became — his feelings were more important than the business. I think that shows true for a lot of his decisions, you know, the downfall of Murder Inc. His emotions and stuff did not allow him to function and run the label like a functioning strong man would. I feel like around then [is] when I went independent and realized that there was no purpose for us to do business. That’s when I was like ‘Oh okay, he’s not the person that I thought he was.’ He’s very contingent. That had to be probably after ‘The Declaration,'” Ashanti explained.

Further Claims Of Complications

Their situation was further complicated as Ashanti cites further complications, claiming Gotti used his status as a music executive to sabotage her footprint in the music industry.

“Irv got into a dark place,” she said during the interview. “He was blocking a lot of things, you know what I’m saying? Irv was telling DJs don’t play the record. You know what I’m saying? Again we already spoke about him not allowing me to come to the studio, you know? He was just telling people, don’t work with me.”

Ashanti also revealed how those moments made her feel, and if she felt like her career was in jeopardy.

“I will admit it, it was scary because I understood that he had power and I understood how the world viewed us together as a whole, Murder Inc.,” Ashanti explained. “With Irv being the head of the label and providing all of these amazing opportunities. When a person gets in that position of flex[ing] their power — it does become scary.”

Ashanti Claims Gotta Asked For 90 Percent If She Left The Label

According to Ashanti, Gotti attempted to keep Ashanti close to his sleeve. At one point, she says he even made attempts to share the same accountant.

With that said, Ashanti was looking for ways to break free from Murder Inc. Records. She even caught the attention of Dr. Dre. However, to do so, Ashanti claims Gotti demanded 90 percent of whatever she would receive in the deal.

“Me and Dre were talking about a deal, and when I was talking to Irv about it, he had said something like, ‘Well, I want 90 percent of anything you make, like for the rest of your life’ — You know, like something crazy,” Ashanti said.

She continued: “But he was serious, you know? And I was just like, ‘But I don’t understand.’ You don’t want me around. You told me to get the f-ck away from Murder Inc. I get the f-ck away from Murder Inc. I go and try to get a situation and then you tell me, ‘Well no, ’cause then I want this and this and this forever.'”

Ashanti thanks Gotti: Despite their troubled past, Ashanti can still acknowledge the magic they created together and his talents. She credits Gotti for helping her reach new heights, but she makes it clear he didn’t make her a star.

“You didn’t make me. You helped make me great. You pushed me. I will always give him that,” Ashanti said.

Ashanti's Legacy

Ashanti’s collaborations with Irv Gotti will surely stand the test of time but her legacy, which has transcended decades, has placed her as a permanent fixture in R&B.


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Owning her masters: As of 2014, Ashanti is an independent artist, and she regained ownership of her masters, as AfroTech previously told you.