Ahzu Direct is the moniker behind artist Merle K Richardson, a US-based rapper, producer, and songwriter.
Originally from Durham, North Carolina, the artist set out to develop a really distinctive blend of sound, which falls somewhere in between the timeless warmth of old school rap and the amazing feel of modern hip-hop music. His long journey through music started out when he was only 8 years old. Back then, he took up drums at his church, and he began to discover the unique power of beat-making.
Ahzu was very close to his family, and it was a complete tragedy when his beloved aunt was killed in a shootout, which eventually sparked a drug war in the neighborhood. The event changed the artist’s outlook on many things in life, as his cousins, whom he was inspired by greatly, all got life sentences for their involvement in the crack epidemics. Although he was an A-grade student, Ahzu eventually was expelled due to skipping classes and selling marijuana. He started to get a taste of life in the street and even jail time. He was living a life of crime, although he always had his passion for rap in the back of his mind.
In addition to his musical endeavors and exciting rap career, Merle is also a skilled web developer and photographer, with a keen eye for punchy aesthetics and modern design techniques.
Due to being sentenced to house arrest in 2002, Ahzu had a bunch of free time on his hands: his decision as to what to do with it was life-changing! Instead of just sitting in front of the TV, he bought some recording gear and started making his beats, as well as recording his vocals in the bedroom. As they say, the rest is history.
His production immediately gained momentum, and it didn’t take long for him to hook up with his cousin, Kane Skinner, and best friend, Binky Keez, to start NuGame (later known as “NuGame Entertainment), an exciting rap group.
Eventually, Ahzu focused on his solo work as well, highlighting his skillful beat-making talents, as well as charming the audience with his in-your-face energy and raspy vocal flow, which might remind you of artists as diverse as Nas, Kendrick Lamar or Biggie Smalls, only to mention a few.
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