In the female R& B world of USA, singers are often stored in distinct boxes. Overall, they are loved and appreciated for what they brought to the table when they first started their game.  The American R & B Audience is very critical and outraged by any misdeed or betrayal. Indeed, this often forces singers to be cautious with the management of their careers. The golden rule is the following: a singer needs to evolve step by step without giving the public the impression of having a new style. One that has been very successful in this exercise is undoubtedly Mary J.Blige, who kept a constant success on the urban scene through 20 years of business. Certainly, she had her share of high and lows but all in all she is still relevant on the R& B scene. She has never had paramount success in terms of sales. In a way, this has allowed her to always stay close to her core fan base.
Ashanti was introduced to the public as a younger version of a Mary J.Blige wannabe (descent, coppycat). Therefore, The former 1st Lady of Inc was at the time crowned by her label as « The Princess of R & B / HipHop. » For real, from the start with good ears one can hear Mary j bilge‘s work was the blueprint on which the sound of Ashanti was built upon.  Especially with « Foolish », the biggest hit of Ashanti, which incorporated a sample of Biggie in the manner of Faith or Mary J.Blige ‘s. Except that Shany (her nickname) has always been more toned, sweeter,  poppier and this choice was deliberate because her Label wanted her to reach the largest audience possible while tailoring her songs with the urban samples. However, the illusion only lasted the time of an album, the first one named « Ashanti« . Although that album was a success back then, that later criminally lacked personality. Leaders of Inc then tried to give her a more hip hop sound with her second album. Unfortunatly, it did not work.
The only hit song from that album was the teenaged oriented single « Rock With You » ,while « Rain On Me » (which is really a baby Faith / MaryJ.Blige)never took off (flopped).  Her Singing was not raw (real, credible) enough to tackle such a deep song. That was the key moment when the R & B enthusiasts (lovers , fans) actually realized that Ashanti is too cheesy (light, lacked credibility) to convince them over the long run.
Moreover, her team made ​​an fatal mistake by counseling to choose the real pop song « Only U» tailored for a superstar, as her comeback single, so that she can compete against Beyonce.
1. Rivalry with Beyonce. 

For the record, it should be remembered that at this time, most American newspapers supported 
Ashanti versus Beyonce . There have been articles in the New York Times or the Daily News, where Ashanti was put forward at the expense of the former Destiny’s Child. Matthew Knowles was even reluctant to release « Dangerously In Lov e ‘the same summer as » Chapter 2 « was going to be out,  as he was fearing  that beyonce would undergo a debacle by going against the princess Inc. The opposite happened, Beyonce nailed it all, while Shany it got weak . She then had to come back very quickly with « Only You » , a song which totally left her out of  the hip hop sound of her beginnings as that song was very poppy and  accessible. It could have even be sung by …Beyonce.
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SAshanti got it bad at the BET Awards night show. Both of her and Beyonce performed on stage but 
 Beyonce killed it so well that it made Ashanti looked like a schoolgirl dancing for an evening quarter-end. So, Ashanti took dance classes, pumped some hairflips, and tried to improve her stage charisma. Many a thing that she did not actually really in that particular time.
The song « Only You »  was good,  I mean good in its own genre, still it was her kiss of death. As explained at the beginning of the article, the Rand B public is generally very bitter with such betrayals. When « Only You » was released, Ashanti should have demonstrate her  credibility by proving that she was true descendant of Mary J Blige with a concrete urban sound. She did the opposite. Despite the good reviews, the song got mixed success …. and the end of her romance with urban public became clear. At the same time, the buzz around her label (The Inc, because they were also the ones who contributed to her success) ended . Therefore, her chances to reverse the trend seemed very thin.
That ‘s when , she finally understood her mistake. In 2005, she returned to the ghetto and offered to her fanbase 
« The Collectables » which is without a doubt the most urban project of her career .As a matter of fact, it features Methodman, Nas, Paul Wall, as well as a remixed rap version of  « Only You »and many others. She tried to please her ghetto fans but it was too late because Keyshia Cole had already taken her place.

2.’s Arrival KC

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Indeed, while Ashanti putted ou « Only You » and therefore tried to battle with Beyonce, her  spot as the descendant of Mary got stolen by Keyshia Coleand her  hit song « L ove » . this latest  was a huge urban hit . Keyshia shouts , screams, she is passionate  .It’s a mini-MJB and  exactly what was expected from Ashanti .. but ashanti missed the mark. « The Way I Love You » which got out 4 years later was in that style .It is typically the kind of ballads that frenzied ferocious black mamas love to hear on the radio . Unfortunatly her time was already gone as the song left no indelible mark in the urban world. All in all her albums have been uneven and she never had voice signature. Instead, her vocal style was often too simple, the listener often had the feeling she was a background vocalist.
« Foolish » will be remembered mainly for Notorious Big  sample . The rest of her work  is a little overlooked. Had She come out with songs like « Love »or « The Way I Love You » instead of « Only You » in 2004, for sure her career would have taken a different turn.

3.All in the same boat ..

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This is how the R’NB’ game works. Take a look at Brandy when she take a pop sound with Human or Monica when she tried to dance on « Everytime the beat drop. ». the same goes for  Mariah Carey , since she no longer screams, her only share of success happened  « The Emancipation Of Mimi  dubbed as the return of the voice. That album was all catchy loud music, but not necessarily the best of Carey from the 00’s. Actually it was just what was expected of her : She was singing/screaming!

Ciara lost everything, the day she moved away from the ghetto music to deliver sexy pop songs  (Love / Sex / magic).  Despite all their attempts since their betrayal those girls are still  struggling to be accepted  again by the RNB public. This is a deep recurrent problem for the RNB singers.

Moreover, to be successful, they often return to the top level of sound but also a view of the image.

Monica putted the same hairdoas when she entered the game at 14yo during « Still Standing. »ERA.  MJB is trying to play continuously and always on the theme of the sentence.

Brandy wore Rastas for the Put It Down video .

Keyshia Cole flopped when she made ​​an album of happy love songs and then  she had to  return to sad songs to succeed and she said herself  that she has understood that the flop of her album « Calling All Hearts » is based on the fact that it was too cheesy.

 Even Beyonce suffered a setback on the day her sound became too much EDM with « Run The World » which was a flop despite all the promotion to support the song. She then has returned with Jay-z his first hit « Crazy In Lov e »

Toni Braxton also got some sugar from the RNB audience since she has teamp up again with Babyface who had composed her first album 20 years ago …..

Ashanti is lost . What she brought to the table at the beginning of her career  was not consistent enough but she was forgaven back then as she was young and the sound was fresh and clean. Most of all , there was Ja Rule to back her up., as she was similar to  « Lorie » BRITNEY  (not in the pejorative way) with her easy breezy girl nextdoor apeal to everybody including the teenagers … but her work was never able to grow enough and that is why it is also the return of violent fighting. In the end, people do not expect anything of . She wanted to become a pop superstar urban (with Only U) without seated place princess R & B / Hip Hop. She too quickly want to touch the stars and is burned wings on the way to find nothing. .

Sad but true!