Music: Ashanti


When reviewers compare new artists with established ones, it's often not because they lack adjectives. It's probably because the new artists lack originality. So let's just say that hot-selling R.-and-B. singer Ashanti, 19, combines the hip-hop delivery of Mary J. Blige with the modulated control of Alicia Keys. Both are fine singers to emulate, but Ashanti needs to find her own voice. It doesn't help that the album's breakout hit, Foolish, is built around El DeBarge's keyboard sample from Stay With Me, a sample made famous by the Notorious B.I.G. on his signature hit One More Chance.

--By Josh Tyrangiel


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