Ahmad Anonimis talks success, inspirations and finding himself

An artist that has bars is admirable, but an artist that can deliver lyrics with a poetic flow is something that many contemporary rappers cannot do. Two months ago, Shrek Knows Rap introduced me to a very special artist. From DeKalb/Gwinnett County, Ahmad Anonimis is a rapper that brings not only bars to the table, but also an undeniable energy. His talent shows by getting love from companies like Genius and Twitter accounts like Shrek.

Inspired by legends like Kendrick Lamar, Madlib, Odd Future, and more, Ahmad took in a lot of their attributes and applied them to his work. I will tell you one thing: it is working out great for him and his career. Ahmad's lush lyricism, to say the least, is jaw-dropping after watching his original freestyle and remix videos. Hitting the ground running back in October, Ahmad has gained a ton of fans and shown promise for his upcoming endeavors in the industry.

With Ahmad's work ethic, writing strength and delivery, I see nothing but a bright future for him ahead. Luckily, I had the chance to sit down with Ahmad Anonimis a couple weeks ago to talk about his past and future work.

[Full Interview Transcribed Below]

Nick: Tell me a little bit about yourself ...

Ahmad: Okay, I'm from Stone Mountain, Georgia, by way of Gwinnett County. So, if you've been to Atlanta and you know about different counties surrounding the city... on the east side, that's where Stone Mountain is... That's where I'm from originally... But then we moved out to Gwinnett, which is further up north. In high school is when I started making music over in Gwinnett. I’d say freshman year. I had a lot of influences from Kendrick Lamar, fucking A$AP Rocky, Tyler, The Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, Isaiah Rashad, shit like that.

J.I.D.’s got to be in there.

Well, he came later because, like, the time I was talking about was around 2011. I think he was still in college or something? I don't know. But he wasn't like, on the radar for real. So it’s different. But yeah, speaking of which, I actually met J.I.D two years ago. Yeah, I told him to his face. I was like, “You’re going to see me again one day in a studio probably, or like on a stage somewhere you’ll see my face again."

Yeah, I believe in that shit. That’s just meant to happen, man. Like that kind of stuff. That's how timing works, you know?

And then there's power in words. So, like when I said that to his face, I knew I had to pursue this because I wanted to get to the level he's at; keep going further and further. So shit, it’s got to happen, man. It's got to.

I saw that you were living in Sweden.

For a little bit. We moved to Sweden in between going to Gwinnett for like half a year or something like that when I was in fifth grade. I really don’t like talking about it because it wasn’t the greatest moment. It was kind of just like I was an alien, basically.

One, I was the only American and I was the only Black kid. It was just like two wrongs. And I was at a young age. So, like, that was when I was developing. I got picked on a lot back then. I was like, really alone inside with Sweden's muggy skies. And it was just cold as fuck. Snow was like fucking knee-high. It was crazy; it just wasn't it.

It definitely wasn't it for you, but you got the ultimate perspective. You lived in America, and you lived in Europe. I think that's cool how you can go about things with two different perspectives of the world.

It’s definitely a different experience. You learn different things about how people are treated over there. But also just the different culture over there; they're very eco-friendly. Like n***** will ride bikes on the highway; that shit was new to me. Yeah, maybe I was young as fuck, but I just remember we'd be on like big ass streets and there’d be big bike lanes and everyone would be bicycling down huge rows. I was like, "Y'all not going to get hit or something?"

What inspired you to kind of incorporate anonymous to your name?

Okay, so Ahmad: that's my middle name. My first name is Jordan. I just go by Ahmad, really. It was really just an alter ego thing, you know? When someone's anonymous, you don't really know about them, per se. When I first started making music, it was like I didn't really know myself to an extent, and that's why I did the music. That's where the name anonymous came in, but I didn't just want to be anonymous because I really think back when I first made that name, the hacker group Anonymous came out and I didn't want to be associated with that kind of activity. So I was like, let me just throw in my middle name in it and it just kind of fits.

I was always told that my middle name was cool and I thought it was neat. I mixed the two and you know, it basically just means me finding myself because back when I was, you know, making it — I was anonymous, I didn't really know myself as a person. I had low self-esteem probably three years ago and I've been bringing that up. I still have those times where it kind of creeps back in, but it's less and less every day.

I feel you. I'm on the same page.

Yeah, it's a natural human emotion.

Congratulations on the Genius bracket. Was that out of the blue, or what was the situation for you like?

Nah, because I think we did the first one around four weeks ago or something like that. I just sent in “Yeah” for a submission to them, and it's crazy; I didn't even watch the original one because I had something else going on that day, but my friend kept hitting my phone and he was like, “Bro, you won, you won, you won!” So, I was extra tapped in after that point because I wanted to catch it, but I didn't get the memo or notification that it was starting. I didn't know they were playing my music in that one. My friend was in there, though, and he kept tagging me. I was recording a video that day, so after the video shoot was done, I went back to my phone and saw that. I was like, "Oh, this is happening." Then they just tagged me yesterday and I was like, "Oh, shit. We here!"

I wanted to congratulate you on that. Genius is huge, bro.

I didn't win. But you know, it's all good. It's a good look. A stepping stone. Yeah. Shout out to the artist. That was all fine.

I was reading something about you and saw that your music is kind of your medicine during tough times. Who are those particular artists that you listen to?

Who are my medicine artists? I’ll give you time periods in my life and who I was listening to. I would say around middle school, I was listening to a whole lot of Kendrick Lamar, Odd Future, A$AP Rocky, because that was the time I started getting into more obscure forms of rapping and not just mainstream shit. Around that time when I needed “medicine," when I was feeling down, I listened to them heavily.

Freshman year of high school into sophomore year, I listened to a lot of Madlib, Kanye West and Tupac. My music taste is weird because I listened to the modern-day shit, but the shit that I really sit with is older music. I don't know. I don't know what's wrong with me, but I just vibe.

I like going back into people's catalogs and seeing what was going on back in 2000 all the way up to 2014. I like to see the growth of artists. Just seeing how they handle life and those years just helps me put into perspective what we're going through now.

Kendrick’s is hard. I think it was 2017 when DAMN came out. I was at his first Rolling Loud set and it was the first concert he played DAMN at. And that shit was… goddamn.

I'm mad because I was supposed to go to the DAMN concert. But the date literally sold out the first minute tickets went on sale. I saved up my money and I couldn't go to this man’s show. I was so mad. I think it was close to my birthday. I was like, “Damn bro, I could’ve seen my idol.”

Kendrick"s definitely an OG. You seem like a pretty funny dude, especially on social media. Do you have a favorite comedian at all?

Dave Chappelle and Katt Williams. Oh, yeah. Martin Lawrence. He's pretty funny, too. Nowadays, Druski. That man is hilarious bruh.

Have you seen the one where he was pretending to be a team mom?

He's hilarious.

I also saw your interest in the OG PS2. What was your go-to PS2 game growing up?

Spider-Man 2. A bunch of cartoon games from Nickelodeon. Just weird shit. I played a lot of shitty movie games, too. I was more of a Nintendo kid. I do remember my PS2, because I didn't really get a PS3 or PS4 until way later. I was just one of those kids playing online retro consoles. I played Dragonball Z games, too. Anything really. Fire shit, classic. I liked the SpongeBob Movie game. That was good, but not like the greatest. It was just a quick cash grab.

What’s next for Ahmad Anonimis? What do you have planned for 2021?

Some music, bruh. I've been working! You see this room? Recording it all right here. A lot of music has been made in the confines of these walls. These apartment walls, a lot of music. I've been ready. I've been working up to the point where I feel like it's necessary and good for me to drop. I feel this next year is probably the best time because I've had mad eyes on me since October. And they keep rising. They keep rising every day. So why not just capitalize off of it?

Yeah, I’m here for it man. You’re talented as hell. Your flow is crazy.

I appreciate it. A lot of people know I can rap, but they don't really know me. They may see that I can rap and I got a little personality on social media but like, n***** don't really know me. I want to let them know who I am, as a person.

Stream Ahmad Anonimis's new single "Party" on January 27!

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