He asked her to pen hooks for his rap artists and to perform with them in duets.Ashanti provided the melodic response to their call.She also appeared in a number of big-name music videos, in addition to other dance work. After being impressed by her singing ability, Diddy had her sign to a development deal.Ashanti got her first taste of acting as a child extra in Spike Lee's Malcolm X (1992) and in Who's the Man? She was also one of the students in the 3-2-1 Contact Extra, What Kids Want To Know About Sex and Growing Up. Initially, she went to Bad Boy Records and sang one of Mary J. In the end, due to a bad contract, Ashanti did not sign with Diddy.Ashanti subsequently involved herself in schoolwork, cheerleading, and running on her school's track team.
She also received a Comet Award and two Soul Train Music Awards that same year.
She also had a couple of minor appearances in music videos, such as KRS-One's "MC's Act Like They Don't Know" as well as 8-Off's "Ghetto Girl". This ultimately led to a record deal with Jive Records in 1997.
This relationship soured when Jive tried to make Ashanti into a pop singer.
She was also in the Drama club and performed in a few plays.
She put college pursuits aside when Epic Records approached her with a contract in 1998.
Ashanti was applauded by her musical peers as she entered the Pasadena Civic Auditorium to accept her award and she was supported onstage by Patti La Belle, who stated "she's a baby and we have to support our babies." In September 2002, Ashanti and her sister Kenashia appeared on the first Disney Mania CD, which was released under Walt Disney Records and features contemporary Disney songs.