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#TBT Ashanti's Self-Titled Album Still Serves Up All the Feels

#TBT Ashanti's Self-Titled Album Still Serves Up All the Feels

I don't know about you, but when Ashanti's self-titled debut album dropped I remember exactly what age I was and who I was dating. It was my first, at least what I thought was my first, love — Robert. He was roughly 5’ 8”, two years my senior and a dark chocolate honey, who attended Canarsie High School. His melanin effortlessly glowed. There was an uncanny resemblance to former Bad Boys rapper Loon.

I met Rob earlier that year while I attended Isaac Bildersee Junior High School. I was 13-years-old and obsessed. He was the older stepbrother of a classmate and we met at the Valentine's Day dance. I can easily recall what I was wearing: a cute white top with a bow, red denim jeans, and a pair of Diesel shoes, yes Diesel. This dark chocolate, handsome piece of specimen walked up and initiated a conversation. At that very moment, I knew I was in love, or at least so I thought. Rob introduced me to my first brush of girl drama. A friend at the time was upset that Rob chose me. However, I had no idea she was into him. It was my final year of junior high school at a new school. I recently transferred to Bildersee from Meyer Levin, as a result of my mother relocating to Canarsie, Brooklyn. The friends, the guy, it was all new. She eventually got over it and, fortunately for her, missed a bullet.

Fast forward to the debut of Ashanti's album. Rob had lied to me yet again. There were rumors of him dating a girl at a different school. While I was naïve and wet-behind-the-ears, so to speak, I was still a gangster. I opted to do a surprise visit to catch Rob in the act. Definitely out of character of the National Honor Society student I was, but I was totally ready to kick Rob's ass. However, he must have been privy to what I was up to because once I arrived, he was no where to be found. I remember returning home heartbroken and allowing Ashanit’s voice fill the airwaves.

Now 14 years later, I still remember Rob and his bullshit. However, Ashanti's album is more relevant now than ever. At 13 I really did not know heartbreak but today, at 27, I've definitely endured my fair share of pain. From start to finish, the 17-track album eloquently takes me throw the motions. Each track tells a story that we all have endured in one relationship/sistuationship or another. While I no longer have those feelings for Rob, the album can easily convey how I feel about someone else. The irony of it all, he too attended Bildersee (I didn't know him at the time).

If you haven’t listened to the album since its debut, I urge you to take a walk down memory lane and see what feelings it stirs up for you.

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