I've always been intrigued by hip-hop artists who have been able to evolve and have objected to staying in the box in which their audience is most accustomed to seeing them.
Ahmad has come a long way since his early 1990s hit "Back In The Day." For his latest effort, "Good Meat Makes Gravy," he releases a short film that is scored with two of the album's songs, "Thankful" and "That Day."
Written and directed by Ahmad, the "Good Meat Makes Gravy" mini movie deals with issues familiar to anyone struggling to pursue a goal.
During the "Thankful" segment of the movie, Ahmad is trying to find the balance of working on his music and appeasing his girlfriend. His girl is a successful businesswoman who has given him the key to her house in the hills. But she's lost interest in their relationship and is annoyed by his pursuits.
When Ahmad's character plugs his iPod into the auxiliary jack of her car to play her his new music, she angrily unplugs it and changes the radio station.
The tension is obvious but somewhat bearable until Ahmad catches her engaged in an inappropriate telephone conversation with one of his music partners. He snatches the phone from her; they argue; he gives her back her key and fleas ó on his bike.
Despite the turmoil, Ahmad raps, "I'm going through some sh-t, but I'm thank-ful Ö "
As Ahmad sits sulking outside of a building, the movie's second song, "That Day," produced by GoonRock (LMFAO's "Sexy & I Know It" & "Party Rock Anthem"), fades in as a clown dances up to him and hands him a flier, promoting a music competition offering a $500,000 recording contract prize.
Ahmad is in, though he's caught off guard when he walks into the audition and sees his ex-music partner being embraced by his ex-girlfriend as he waits his turn to compete for the record deal. Ahmad excuses himself from the room for a few minutes but is not deterred. He has come too far.
The storyline, pacing and execution of this short is so good that the 9 minutes fly by quickly. It's a must watch.