Ashanti wants “Every Lil’ Thing” her man can give in the way of affection, not material gifts. She decides to ignore nasty rumors and jealousies, continuing to be herself (“Freedom”).
While not explicit, the breathless “Only U” and “Love Again” imagine a man providing sexual pleasure. More direct, “U” tells a guy, “Tonight I need your body.” The descriptive “So Hot” proposes a bubble bath and all-night lovemaking. The singer asks her ex-con boyfriend if he’s ready to resume their physical relationship now that he’s out of jail (“Still Down”). Drinking and suggestive dancing push a “ladies’ night” out of bounds on “Turn It Up.” A series of racy CD photos features Ashanti in short shorts, revealing tops and other immodest attire.
Her musical style is similar to that of Beyoncé or Janet Jackson. So is her reliance on sensual lyrics that sell steamy hookups outside of marriage. Furthermore, her influence extends beyond music. The singer/actress co-stars in the new film Coach Carter as a high school student whose happy ending is aided by an abortion. What’s next? Later this year she’ll play Dorothy in The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz, which will introduce her to even younger children.