Ashanti Says It Was 'Great' Performing With Ja Rule At VH1's 'Hip-Hop Honors'

'I've been working with a lot of people,' singer says of upcoming album.

[artist id="1165858"]Ashanti[/artist] and [artist id="508987"]Ja Rule[/artist] were among the many who took to the stage during VH1's "Hip Hop Honors" celebration that paid tribute to Def Jam Records.

The former standout stars on the label performed their hit, "Down A-- Chick." Together they ruled the charts during their Def Jam run, scoring hits from both of their albums separately and in collaboration. So reuniting for the festivities wasn't a hard thing to do, according to Ashanti.

"It's been great," she told MTV News before the show. "I haven't performed with Ja since — I can't even remember it's been so long. We talked to each other on the phone and we said, 'Yo, we gonna make it hot! It's gonna be like old times.' It feels good. When we did the rehearsal, the chemistry was there."

Next up the songstress is readying a new album, her first since parting ways with Irv Gotti and Murder Inc. Records earlier this year. The untitled project is slated for release next year on her own Written Entertainment imprint, she said.

For her forthcoming album, her fifth overall, Ashanti said she's working with a mix of new and familiar faces, including the writer behind her last album's biggest hit, "The Way That I Love You."

"I've been working with a lot of people," she said. "These new producers, The American Dream, Warren Campbell, L.T. [Hutton] again, who did my last single. So it's been good."

In May Irv Gotti confirmed to MTV News that Ashanti would be parting ways with the Inc. The move was expected after her last album, The Declaration, was put together with little input from her former label head. Gotti said it's no longer possible for the pair to create music.

"The relationship has run its course," Gotti explained at the time.

"The chemistry of what's needed — we're in two totally different places. You're talking to somebody that took her and shaped and molded her and put her out there for the world, and it blew up. We [hold the record] for the [fastest] selling debut by a female R&B artist — 503 [thousand]. We did it! My views and philosophies and her views and philosophies are not meeting up."