I remember being 16 years old and often running into Ashim on my way to school. Of course for us that wasn’t unusual, but what stands out in my mind the most is that he always had a notebook with him. As we got older his passion for hip hop was evident in almost every conversation (or debate) we had, in one way or another. I grew to know and respect a man with an outstanding vocabulary, an even greater understanding of where he came from and an undeniable passion for music. What I didn’t know was that this man would change the way I looked at hip hop forever.
As we followed our separate paths over the years, we kept in touch whenever possible and I would listen to his songs here and there. He never sent me anything that HE considered special but I saw him grow in each and every song, every lyric, and every beat. It’s funny, you never know whose paying attention or how their path may cross yours when the time is right. As a successful publicist, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the most talented individuals all over the United States and I was always impressed by what Ashim produced, but not him. He would always find something that could be improved and has always remained humble despite many encouraging reviews.
I as well as many others who have grown up in the hip hop community are waiting for the art of Hip Hop to be restored to its original state. The sad part is that this hasn’t happened simply because we refuse to open our ears and listen to something outside of what we hear on BET and the major radio stations. Hip Hop doesn’t need to be revived, it never died. Hip Hop is hiding behind the flashy lights, fast money, and a pleasant beat that we dance to at the club.
Of course Ashim is one of those artists who is extremely critical of his own work, continually trying to better his craft and never without the latest Jay Z album close by. More importantly, I have learned that it isn’t the fame or money that the hip hop industry provides these days that motivates him to be the artist he is, it’s his pure and genuine love of hip hop that is also reflected in his music.
Real Hip Hop Hasn’t died, it’s right here: