Battle rapper Ah Di Boom was a rising star in the culture, but when his street life caught up to him, it almost stopped his momentum all together… actually… it kinda did… but he is out and ready to take the world by storm.
Well, Ah Di recently linked with The Source for his first full-featured interview post-incarceration. Check out the twist and turns in the journey of this naturally gifted battler, and see if being locked up for five long years added a little rust on his run.
Boom shares with us that he always had a particular rap style that pushed him to the head of his class– and to match his natural gift, he had a desire to be a star… but you need more than desire to reach the top.
“It all fell flat after the streets started calling.” He confesses.
It wasn’t only the streets. It was also a gang of “shady promoters and managers” that added to the Hip-Hop failures that almost harpooned all of those dreams that he stored up since he was 14 years old.
The story goes that when Boom was 17, one of his old managers carelessly played dominos with his career. There was this little New Jersey producer named Rodney Jerkins (yup… the one that put Brandy out) who wanted to sign him to a recording deal.
The Source: But how did Rodney find out about you?
“Rodney heard about me. Back in 2009, I was posting heavy and he liked me. My manager was trying to get down with Rodney also. He was an artist too. He was so pushy with his stuff like every time he would send something for me, he would send his stuff and eventually, Rodney fell back.”
This might have been the biggest blow to his career aspirations. And let’s face it, the South Jersey homie, needed to get some money. That’s probably the first time when the streets started calling heavy.
“I started robbing, hustling and almost every kind of street thing that could get me a dollar and I basically transferred my music grind to the streets. I was beasting.”
The hustle was crazy… however, he got sloppy. His sloppiness eventually got him locked up for a year. From 19 to 20, he wore a state uniform, and could not make any reasonable decisions on his own, but come the first day of his release something happened that would change his life.
“The day I came home, the exact day, Tsu Surf and K-Shine came out also. That was the first battle that I really saw and after that, I knew what I had to do. I eventually hit up Bloody Knuckles to help me get started and in two weeks, I was signed up for my first battle.”
And that was how it started. Battle rap might not have ever seen anyone so influential and meteoric in his ascension to the top of the battle rap mountain. Soon he got the attention of URLTV’s Norbes.
“Norbes was at my Jesse Rican battle and that’s when he found out about me. I did a few more battles and then he eventually set up a battle for me with the PGs.”
The Proving Grounds (PGs) is the entry program that the Ultimate Rap League (URLtv) sets up to scout for future stars.
“My journey to the URL PGs was very interesting because I buried my father that morning and I had to battle in Delaware for the PGs that same night.”
Can you share a little bit about your father’s death and how you left his funeral to battle with Wavy?
“My father was diagnosed with stage four cancer and he had eight kids and I swear he would be the biggest supporter of all eight had he survived. He supported me with my music and he supported me with battles it didn’t matter what I did. I swear his last words to me on his deathbed was ‘You Better go out there and rap like a star!'”
Powerful. So on the day of the funeral, did you hear those words when you went to battle?
“A lot of people didn’t know that I buried my father that morning. I went to the PG battle relatively late. I’m not a person that chases clout… so when my dad died I didn’t want any excuses. A lot of people could’ve watched the battle and tell that something was off with me because even though I was rapping like the person they loved, I don’t know if they noticed how I felt incomplete and how my performance wasn’t what I wanted it to be like. Luckily, I did good enough to get the callback.”
And so then…
“I battled Mr. Wavy for my PG battle, I did well. Then I got accepted to another battle on the main stage against Steams. However, there was a weather condition that messed up the battle so we had to do it in a studio in Manhattan, and I believe that was the battle that proved my talent to not just the world but to myself because, in my opinion, Steams was the best writer at the time in our class.”
“But you know what? I had a battle with a top-tier before I battled Steams, and right after I battled Mr. Wavy I had Aye Verb in 2014 on Rare Breed Entertainment. That was actually the turning point in my career.”
What was his interest based on? Also, were other leagues outside of URL and RBE looking at you? Did the artists also take notice?
“A lot of leagues was noticing me a lot of leagues was booking me left and right before I had a SMACK battle I had two known names on my resume the guys that you see today I was in a lot of conversations with those guys I battled Dose and Aye Verb before I even had a URL PG battle.”
“Before my SMACK appearance, I probably battled on over 15 leagues and over eight states (going as far as Nebraska and Virginia to Philadelphia to New York and Connecticut.”
Did Dose and Aye Verb call you out? Were others calling you out?
“When Dose and I battled was very epic because my rise came so fast. It seemed like nobody knew how I did it, but everyone was there for the process. Everyone tried to doubt acting and saying that I paid to get my way to the top because my rise was so fast. I was only in the game for about eight months and getting a big name like that was very unheard of without paying out of your own pocket. Then… everyone saif that I beat Dose clearly.”
“Now with the Aye Verb situation, everyone was saying that I beat him convincingly. This was the time where the rookies and vets were beefing heavily. So it was a big thing in battle rap culture at that moment, that I beat him. After that, everyone and their mother was calling me out to battle, It was a big moment in my career that I graciously took and ran with.”
Who were the big names?
“It was like this all the big names were willing to battle me!!! You had DNA saying he’d kill me… You had Charlie joking about killing. You even had Goodz accepting to battle me! It was so dope.”
Goodz and Boom battle was legendary. Talk to me about that. How did you even get Goodz.
“The battle with me and Goodz was so classic because it came from a real place! I am not a fake dude me as a man is me as a battle rapper! I always respected Goodz as a man he was someone I looked up to as a man and a battler So when an interviewer asked me who what I want to battle I took my chances and called out goodzHe was in my top five and it’s something about people in my top five that I know how to battle them and it ended up working in my favor we had a classic match!”
What did Goodz say about the battle?
Top tier rapper Goodz was contacted and asked about the battle and he said, “Adhi Boom is a hard worker and I like his grind. I also saw his personality and always respectful and had a unique style.“
How did it happen? Who made it happen.
“Well, I was scheduled to battle JC. It ended up not happening because I was still locked into a URL contract. So, I had to go against my word with my brothers and cancel that matchup. I took a few months off and came right back with RBE and they embraced me like family and instead of giving me JC they went for the gusto and honored me goods”
What is it like to be a battler from New Jersey?
“Being from Jersey is everything.
I believe that New Jersey has the most talent, the most creative rappers in the battle rap game! The creativity from Nu Jerzey Twork, the legacy of Arsonal, The unorthodox style Of O Red, The grittiness Of Guge, the grind of Dre Dennis, the strengths Of J Krooger! So to be apart of that and make an impact with those rappers is Amazing!”
So when did you get locked up, how did the streets distract you after you were on a roll?
“When I was scheduled to battle Charlie Clips, I got a letter in the mail that I had a sentencing date for a crime I busted 4 years before. I was on bail for 4 years and I was battling so my whole battle career to the top happened all in a 4-year span so basically I got to Charlie, Goodz, Aye Verb, JC, Dose… all in 4 years.”
How heartbreaking was that?
“It wasn’t heartbreaking, as much as it was more shocking. Like I was confused, mad, worried. That’s one thing I hate being confused about and it confused me because I was like why now???? At the height of my career doing so well and having to put a pause on not just battle rap… my whole life just confusing!”
Did you feel like it was a set up right when you were about to turn a new leaf?
“Nah, I didn’t know what to think honestly. I just was lost for words. When I battled Clips, I wrote the round (no lies) in two nights before the battle. It was easy to focus.”
So when you went in… did the other inmates know you? How did that affect your stay? How long exactly?
“I did five years. Also, a few inmates knew me and a few Correctional Officers recognized me it was a pro and a con! The pro was that I got movement some days and the con was that n*ggas wanted to see if the shit I rapped about was is real.”
And they tested you?
“More like asked dudes from my hood about me. They tried, but didn’t succeed.”
“When you are downstate, they want to know if you are officially real. So the easiest way for them to find out is to ask people that are from your city about you. They try you on the phone and if you don’t stand up and speak as a man for yourself, you become a pushover. You’d get ate. At the end of the day, I am a man before a gangsta.”
And now you are out. Did you do your whole bid or did you have a team to get you out early?
“Nah, I did my time: Day for Day.”
Did you write a lot inside and art you ready to go ham? Did anyone hold you down while you were locked up?
“I had my share of people that supported me for sure. I was also locked up for five years and the first two years in a half years, I didn’t write not one single bar.”
Ah Di Boom will be battling on a big stage sooner than you know. While not releasing the league or the opponent, he wants fans to know that he is tip-top shape, and is out for blood. Will you be prepared to check Boom out in 2020 or will do you think that he should simply give it up? If we were betting on this verbal combat, we are banking on Boom. Let’s go!