Merle K Richardson (born December 8, 1978), known professionally as Ahzu Direct, is an American rapper, producer, songwriter, web developer and photographer.
Born in Durham North Carolina’s Duke Hospital, he came home to the small community of Ingleside which still to this day have no stop lights.
After a short stay as a newborn, the entire family of 7 children and parents relocated to a better house which was a hop skip and a jump to the neighboring town of Franklinton, North Carolina where he lived for the next twelve years.
Ahzu Direct’s mother being from Queens, New York, would frequently travel to the city to visit her sister as well as other family members who remained in Hollis, Queens.
Richardson began playing drums for his church at the age of 8 thus being the starting point of his passion for music and beat production. Also inspired by his older cousins from New York, Ahzu began to dance and rap for money at the local carwash not far from his home.
In the early 1990’s his Aunt was killed in a shoot out that was the result of an ongoing neighborhood drug war. This dramatically changed Ahzu Direct’s view on life then shortly after his cousins, who had so inspired him, were captured and given life sentences because of their involment in the crack epidemic.
Merle was always an A student and very passionate about school activities such as performing in talent shows, attending chorus and drama classes. Although, his junior year, he was kicked out of school for skipping and selling marijuana. This would pilot a life of termoil which eventually lead to incarsiration multiple times. Though he always kept becoming a rap star a goal, Richardson lead a life of crime.
After being convicted of felony larceny in 2002 and placed on house arrest, Ahzu decided to buy recording equipment and started producing beats and recording himself in his bedroom.
Eventually, Ahzu Direct along with his cousin Kane Skinner and best friend Binky Keez formed a group called NuGame and was later branded as NuGame Entertainment. They began to recruit other local artists to produce music and perform at venues in the area.
Ahzu Direct is known for his raspy delivery and hard hitting lyrics that describe a life of drugs, murder and crime life. Many songs that have been released by NuGame Entertainment include beats produced by Ahzu Direct.
After taking a break from music relocating to such cities as Las Vegas, Nevada and Corpus Christi, Texas, Merle returned to North Carolina with even more knowledge of the streets and stories of surviving being homeless at times and still being able to live an interesting life. This has become the raw energy that fuels his determination and keeps his creative edge razor sharp.