With all her protective Murder Inc. brothers always around, Ashanti says it's hard for her to get any action, even when she's shooting a video.
With Irv Gotti directing all her clips, we've seen Ashanti exchange pecks on the cheek, throw her man's keys out the window in frustration and pin him to the bed to chastise him. But the Inc.'s princess has never really had a chance to exude that loving feeling on camera until recently.
While shooting a video for "Rock Wit U (Awww Baby)" earlier this month in Miami, Ashanti got more action than she bargained for. In the clip, helmed by "Bulletproof Monk" director Paul Hunter, fans will see the 22-year-old at her most affectionate and adventurous.
"The wonderful Paul Hunter ... brought in a female elephant, Bubbles," the singer said recently. "He had me riding in the water on the elephant where the beach is at in Miami. I'm not gonna front, I was shook. The first time I got on, she had to kneel down and she was about 10 feet [high]. I had on this skimpy dress and flip-flops. I was like, 'Ah, man, I don't want to get on this elephant.' It was hot and her skin shifted from side to side, so I always felt I was gonna fall. Once I got used to her it was a wonderful feeling.
"Paul just brings that next-level thing," she continued. "It's a growth spurt from my first three singles and all the stuff I did with [those videos]. This is the first time I actually have a guy. He's my man. I'm actually dealing with this guy for the summer, which was crazy 'cause we had to be close. I'm around Murder Inc. all the time; they're always blocking things. This was the first time I got to chill with a guy. It was cool. He was nice. We got to drive in a jungle."
Adventurous safari expeditions aren't necessarily the way to Ashanti's heart in real life, she said. All you have to do is have a keen sense of humor.
"I'm a [laid-back] type of person. I can go to South Beach and sit outside and get a nice daiquiri and just talk. I like [the New York restaurant] Mr. Chow's. We can go to the movies. I just went to this mall, Dolphins Mall, and they have a huge virtual reality game room. I'm all about variety. Just make me laugh and you're good."
"Rock Wit U (Awww Baby)" is the first video from Ashanti's upcoming LP, Chapter 2, due July 1.