I’m sure you know the story. Rapper gets fame at a young age. Rapper makes beaucoup dollars. Rapper travels the world, buys homes, cars, jewelry, anything that our fiat currency can buy. But then times change, the next album flops. That advance? It’s owed back. Said rapper is dropped from the label.
What do they do then? Imagine if the highlights of your life were lived before you were twenty-five — if you made more money and seen more things than you may ever get a chance to make or see again. What type of outlook on life do you have? Do you live in your past glory?
The name Ahmad may not ring out nowadays. Certainly there would be no way for someone in the Gen-Z demographic to be exposed to his music. But “Back in The Day” was a monster hit, counter-programming at its best.
Part of what got Ahmad noticed was the fact that he was different from so many of his city-mates. Los Angeles and the West Coast was garnering press because of so-called gangsta rap and here was this kid; he’s from South LA, he’s young, and he’s speaking out against the popular wave of “realism.”
A hit can either make you or break you. If you’re unable to match it, then you’re forever chasing the expectations of that single.
His second album was never released and Ahmad spent some years bitter even trying a second act with music. Then, his rearing kicked in. Education was important to his mother and he had always been studious. So Ahmad went back to school. First he went to a Junior college, graduated with a 4.0, and then transferred to Stanford.
In 2010, Ahmad earned his Bachelor’s in social work. Next he earned his Master’s in social work and a pupil personnel services credential. Four years ago, it was written that Ahmad was working with youth and their families as a clinical social worker.
It takes a great amount of maturity and perspective to make that shift, to live for the moment, and not back in the day (pun intended).