Ashanti, Irv Gotti Turn To Nia Long For 'Baby' Help

Actress stars in Ashanti's new video, co-directs clip along with Murder Inc. boss.

Silver screen dimepiece Nia Long lent a hand to Ashanti last week in Los Angeles — not only did the co-star of such films as "Big Momma's House" and "Love Jones" act in scenes for the Murder Inc. princess' new video, "Baby," she also dictated how the shots should be filmed.

Long shared directing duties with Murder Inc. boss Irv Gotti for the video, in which she plays a woman who is so lovestruck she can't sleep and leaves her home in the middle of the night to confront the man of her dreams. Flashbacks are shown throughout the clip as precursors to their relationship. The song's star, Ashanti, isn't left out, though: She gets to display her performance skills in the video. (Click here for photos from the video shoot.)

Off the TV screen, Ashanti will be showing off plenty of routines as well. The Murder Inc. camp will be heading out of the country in the next few weeks for an international tour. Once she gets off the road, the Glen Cove, New York, native will concentrate on her next release.

"We're gonna be going back into the lab, probably at the end of the year or top of next year," she said last month during rehearsals for the MTV Video Music Awards. "We're gonna be doing a world tour overseas and my book is coming out (see "Ashanti To Reflect On Love In New Book"), so after the holidays, back into the lab."