Busta’s Person of the Week: This honor roll student is proud of her role

Ashanti Bowen, “Shanti B”

Busta’s Person of the Week: This honor roll student is proud of her role
May 23
02:30 2019

By Busta Brown

“I’m an honor roll student and I’m not afraid to say it. I keep making my parents proud, because I work so hard, you will never see me down,” said Ashanti Bowen in her song “I got promoted.”

When the talented eight-year-old is rapping, she goes by the name Shanti B. “Jermaine Dupree, I’m just getting started, so keep your eyes on me,” are more lyrics from her song “I got promoted.” Jermaine Dupree is a legendary Hip and Hop and R&B producer who has written hits for TLC, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Jagged Edge, Jay-Z, and countless other A-List singers and rappers.

It’s clear Shanti B has big dreams. When I spoke with Shanti B, I could feel her confident spirit and her maturity level is a step ahead of most eight-year-old girls. She raps, sings, dances, and is an honor roll student as well. “I’m smart. Beauty and brains is how I maintain,” are more lyrics from “I got promoted.”

Strong women have always been in her family circle. Her mother, Vilma Martin Bowen, is the goddaughter of Winston-Salem royalty, N.C. State Senator Earline Parmon. Parmon was a leader in the community and her spirit of love continues to inspire local and state leaders. That strong and sweet spirit lives inside Shanti B, so I know she’ll use her music to make a difference in the world.

I truly enjoyed my Q&A with the little superstar rap princess; she’s an old soul. As you read along, you’ll appreciate and be impressed with her taste in old school music.

What age did you begin rapping and why?

“I started rapping when I was seven years old. I was in my cousin’s video and I liked it and decided that I wanted to be a rapper.”

What do you rap about?

“I rap about things that kids do and things that kids are supposed to do, like making honor roll, riding my bike. I want to rap about positive things, like Queen Latifah did. My Aunt Ava always plays the old school rap videos on TV.”

Do you write your own lyrics? 

“I don’t write all my lyrics, but I participate in the writing. I wrote the hook for ‘I Got Promoted’ and ‘I’m Spoiled.’”

I noticed you enjoy singing and dancing as well. Which is your second favorite thing to do?

“I enjoy singing and dancing. I have been taking ballet and tap lessons since I was four. This summer, I will be starting my piano and voice lessons, along with point, so that I can begin to stand all the way on my toes. I will also be in the Starlight Dance Troop. I also love to write and read.”

Who is your favorite rapper and singer? 

“My favorite rappers are JJ Fad because I like that song, ‘Super Sonic, Da and Baby’ and my favorite singer is Prince.”

Congratulations on your honor roll achievement. What’s your favorite subject and why?

“I always make honor roll. My favorite subject is math because I like regrouping, multiplication and division.”

How does your parents show support for your dream of becoming a famous rapper? 

“My parents push me to practice writing my own lyrics, because daddy says the more I write on my own, the more money I keep. My mama also makes sure that I use my own style in the studio. They also make sure I work hard in school. If my grades slip, then rapping is over until I bring them back up.”

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your parents?

“I learned from them that it is important to always give back. When I did the Honor Roll video, we were in Cleveland projects, giving away book bags full of school supplies and cooking hot dogs and hamburgers. We also served drinks, chips and cookies. I want to have a Shanti B school supply giveaway every year.”

I have no doubt that Ashanti “Shanti B” Bowen’s music will be heard worldwide very soon. Winston-Salem, let’s show our support for this little princess on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram @Shanti B.

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