In this song, Ashanti keeps going back to a guy, even though he doesn't treat her right. She said this song is about "making mistakes in love."
Ashanti never became a huge star, but she was all over the radio in early 2002. On February 23, her collaboration with Ja Rule, "Always On Time," went to #1 in the US and stayed for two weeks - this was her first single as a featured artist. On April 20, both her self-titled debut album and her solo single, "Foolish" hit #1; the album stayed at the top for three weeks and the song remained for a remarkable 10.
This same week, her duet with Fat Joe, "What's Luv?," went to #2. Additionally, Ashanti co-wrote another song that was wildly popular around this time: "Ain't It Funny" by Jennifer Lopez (featuring Ja Rule). On March 30, all four songs were in the Top 10:
#1: "Ain't It Funny" #4: "Always On Time" #5: "What's Luv?" #9: "Foolish"
This made Ashanti the first artist since The Beatles to have her first three singles chart in the Top 10 simultaneously.
Ashanti's record company offered stores a $2 rebate on every copy of this album sold the first two weeks it was released, which meant the CD was priced much lower than others. As a result, it went to #1, providing a great deal of publicity that made up for the rebate. This ploy made record companies examine their pricing, as CD prices kept going up while sales were going down.
The track is built around a keyboard sample from the 1983 DeBarge song, "Stay With Me." Notorious B.I.G. used the same sample on his hit "One More Chance." Mariah Carey also borrowed from "Stay With Me" on her 2008 track "I'll Be Lovin' U Long Time."
Ashanti's self-titled debut album was released earlier than scheduled due to the immense success of this song.
Ashanti wrote this herself, as she did with all of her songs at the time. She feels that singing her own material allows her to inflect more emotion into her work.