Ashanti Essentials

Ashanti Essentials

That Ashanti started her career in part as a foil for rappers like Ja Rule makes sense: Something about her has always been preternaturally calming, a steady presence that can bring down the temperature of the hottest room. Though indebted to the hip-hop/R&B hybrids of ’90s artists like Mary J. Blige and TLC, her best tracks also call back to the spirit of ’80s quiet storm: music that expresses its strength through lightness, serenity, and sophistication. Just because her voice sounds like a feather doesn’t mean the feelings don’t run deep.

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