Impactful. Intriguing. Innovative. Few musicians inspire such a variety of positive adjectives. As a nonprofit leader by day and hip-hop MC by night, Ahmen is known as the “Batman of Social Impact.” Ahmen is the rare leader who is both a social and cultural entrepreneur. He unifies changemaking initiatives with artistic efforts that galvanize the masses. It’s a unique formula that can – and has – lead to true change for our greatest social issues.
Ahmen’s #Troublemaker music and message to disrupt the system is inspiring audiences around the world, as evidenced by appearances at major events such as IFC 2017, NYU Social Innovation Summit 2017, New Frontiers 2016, Frank 2016, Embark 2015, and INBOUND 2015. As a result, Ahmen has been identified as a “Rising Star” by New York Nonprofit Media, who named Ahmen one of their 2015 “40 Under 40” and a “Next Generation Leader” by the Human Services Council.
In the greatest spirit of hip-hop and leadership, Ahmen is an avid opponent of the status quo. He breaks boundaries as a performer, activist, and speaker for the sole purpose of stirring things up while catalyzing voices and positive action among everyday people. Most important, Ahmen has achieved unprecedented levels of success in his endeavors, from releasing his groundbreaking music on ESPN and HipHopDX to partnering with some of the world’s top companies. Ahmen is truly a highly effective modern rebel with a cause.
The ultra octane activist’s inspiring portfolio includes fostering reduced gun violence by 90% in Far Rockaway, New York (once one of NY’s most dangerous communities), helping over 1,300 low-income children every year meet or exceed developmental standards, and launching fatherhood and juvenile justice reformprograms that have spread throughout all of New York City.
Far from a single-issue activist, Ahmen has addressed a plethora of today’s most pressing and relevant issues, including the reality of the social impact world, the discovery of empathy during increasingly divided times, and the power of service to collectively advance our nation. He is also considered an expert on the role of innovation and collaboration within the fields of justice reform, early childhood education, violence prevention, mental health, and youth development.
In a recent talk, Ahmen shared how his roots as the child of 1st generation immigrants from Sri Lanka have greatly impacted both his music and his message: “I don’t believe my parents went through that struggle so I could be another 9 to 5er. They didn’t leave their homeland and families so I could blend in. They didn’t defy the odds by my dad becoming a US Diplomat and my mom becoming an internationally recognized teacher so I could simply cash a paycheck. I believe their decision to come to America obligates me to expand opportunity in every moment. It requires me to act with urgency and courage so others, like my parents, can discover paths to brighter futures.”
Not the typical antagonist, Ahmen’s insights come from a genuinely likeable place. People are drawn to his thoughts and the beats which accompany them. Proof positive is Ahmen’s “Our Time,” a song that represents his ability to tackle the difficult issues of racial and social conflict in modern America while also providing a renewed sense of hope, conviction, and purpose – all done through a supersonic fusion of hip-hop lyrics, delivery, and soundtracks. “Our Time” is the first release from Ahmen’s highly acclaimed album, If Not Now Then When.