March 29, 2017

Ahmad "Back In The Day" (1994)

Ahmad's self-titled debut was released in 1994 via Giant Records. Labeled as 'a boy from the hood who gives a funk,' Ahmad released 'Back In The Day,' one of the most nostalgic records of my childhood when he was just 18 years old himself. Teddy Pendergrass' song 'Love TKO' carried the vibe, while Ahmad's west coast flow eased us through a remembrance of being a teenager. Many artists have attempted to recreate (or pay homage to) Ahmad's hit single over the years and certainly, its inclusion in the movie, The Wood, was a great fit. In 2008, the Los Angeles Times ran a featured article on Ahmad Lewis, highlighting his rise from artist to a scholar: 'Ahmad Ali Lewis made a deal with his mother back when he was a student at Palisades High School: He would go to college unless he got a recording contract for his upbeat rap music. It was a big if. But Lewis, 17, an honors student and top football player, skipped the college entrance exams and signed with Giant Records. "I said, 'S.A.T. -- whatever. I want to R.A.P.," he recalls. Looking back, Lewis said he does not regret his teenage decision, even though his early success was followed by struggles in a music industry he criticized as promoting violence in the African American community … Ahmad the first-name-only rapper has become Ahmad Ali Lewis the Stanford-bound scholar … When young Ahmad became consumed with rap, his mother panicked … “I told him, 'if you are going to rap, at least don't use bad language and don't talk down about women.' And he said, 'Mom, that's not me anyway, I don't do that.' It wasn't church music but it certainly was a positive message." #WeCLAP