As Ashanti made her mark in the early 2000’s as first lady of Murder Inc., the label’s co-founder, Chris Gotti, tells us that Irv Gotti didn’t want to work with her since his focus was around Ja Rule. Initially, Ashanti was working with producers who only gave her Whitney Houston-inspired tracks, which Chris admits wasn’t the suitable sound for her, and once Irv was asked for the right music “at the time, Irv didn’t want to do it.”

With tunnel vision, Irv focused on the launch of Ja Rule’s rap career, and it wasn’t until Irv realized Ashanti was a talented writer who would complement his production thanks to Chris’ pitch. “I said, ‘I know with your talents, you put a writer with the production that you do, the sky’s the limit,'” he remembered, “That was my pitch to him.”

Check out Chris Gotti and DJ Vlad’s interview above.