In the video for Ashanti’s debut single, “Foolish,” the singer re-created the plot from the gangster flick “Goodfellas,” with Terrence Howard, Ja Rule and Irv Gotti filling in for Ray Liotta, Paul Sorvino and Robert De Niro.
Now the Long Island beauty is borrowing from a different source for her most recent clip, “The Way That I Love You”: Oprah Winfrey’s Oxygen Network.
“It’s something completely different than anything I’ve ever done before,” Ashanti said of the video. “We’re kind of basing the concept on a show called ’Snapped,’ which is on the Oh! channel. It’s about women who have gotten pushed to the [point] where they feel, I guess, [that it’s] necessary to murder their husbands, boyfriends, what have you. It’s actually a documentary like [Tru] TV’s ’Forensic Files,’ but this one is only for women; when women snap they do crazy things. So being that the record is so dramatic and so painful and emotional, I think that the concepts just married each other and it was amazing. The director, Kevin Bray, just brought different twists and different angles out of it, and it was a great thing.”
The driving L.T. Hutton-produced track is the first single from Ashanti’s upcoming album, The Declaration, due June 3. The full-length is a follow-up to 2004’s Concrete Rose.
In the video, Ashanti and the male lead are in a tumultuous relationship, battling back and forth. In the end, though, she takes a dramatic turn toward a solution: She leaves … but not before putting a good scare into him.
For The Declaration, Ashanti worked with Babyface, Jermaine Dupri, Bryan-Michael Cox, Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke, but she had the best chemistry with Hutton. The two recorded 17 tracks together, with a bulk of them making the album.
“As soon as I heard the first four bars of [’The Way That I Love You’], I was like, ’Oh my gosh,’ ” she explained. “I took a pen and a pad and I just started jotting down words, and it just kind of poured out. I think that it’s such a great record, so many people can relate to it, male, female, and it’s deep. It’s very different from anything out there, and it’s totally different for me as far as production and arrangement and things like that. I’ve written topics very similar, but this by far is, I guess, kind of next level for me.”