Ahmmi Harkness
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Ahmmi Harkness

Band Hip Hop World


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The best kept secret in music


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1998 Album- "Worldwide" Warner Bros./Reprise
1998 Single- "The Breaks" Warner Bros./Reprise
2000 EP- "Future, Present, Past" True Rap Music
2002 Single "Young & Restless" True Rap Music
2005 Single "Back it up (513)" True Rap Music


Feeling a bit camera shy


Ahmmi Harkness (pronounced ah-me) was born and raised in the Queen City also know as Cincinnati, Ohio. Learning to exceed the odds became second nature to Ahmmi, who was born in 1978, to a mother who would later be diagnosed schizophrenic and placed in a mental hospital and a father who would end up in jail only to return over eighteen years later. She grew up with her grandfather who would teach her the value of hard work and instill in her the passion to become dedicated, and persistent at her goals and strive to accomplish them. At the age of 3, Ahmmi began singing around the house and with the Rose Buds her church choir. This love affair between music and Ahmmi would grow stronger and continue to flourish well into her teenage years. By the time Ahmmi was in the 7th grade she had already started her own singing group and was performing in local talent shows and at family gatherings. She began attending the School for Creative and Performing Arts in downtown Cincinnati, which gave her a structured environment for her poetry and music to grow and develop into a true art form. Music gave Ahmmi the ability to escape from the reality that her life was not like her other friends who had both parents and gave her the opportunity to express how she really felt about her life and the neglect and pain she experienced inside.

With influences such as MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, and Salt-N-Pepa, Ahmmi’s poetic song lyrics would soon turn into forceful and direct rhymes. Her hip-hop career began to sprout as she began to practice various ways to combine her poems and stories to the beats that she was given by her first producer Mike Tucker. Even at the age of 14 Ahmmi’s musical career was heading in a positive and social political direction. Her first demo included a song entitled “Black Woman” which focused on the lack of direction and the anger that black women felt in society and how black women needed each other for future survival. This set the pace for Ahmmi as a female emcee and gave her the confidence and ability to continue forth and pursue her career as a rap artist. While attending Cincinnati’s School for Creative and Performing Arts, Ahmmi met fellow creative writing classmate Deena Philpot and the two hooked up and formed rap duo “Nadanuf” (not enough). This union would prove to be destiny as the duo would make a name for themselves in Cincinnati by winning various talent shows and performing in local clubs. Nadanuf would enable Ahmmi to gain the needed performance experience and taught her how to compromise and work with other artists with different views and styles. After graduating from high school in 1996, Nadanuf moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue their dreams of stardom in the music industry. After 8 months of much hard work and dedication and working with producer Aaron “BabyBoy” Griffin, Nadanuf landed their first major recording contract with Warner Bros. Records. Ahmmi’s first album entitled “Worldwide” was released in May of 1998, her first single a remake of the classic Kurtis Blow hit “The Breaks” entered Billboard Rap Singles Charts at #14. Ahmmi began touring the U.S. and Europe opening for other major artists such as Destiny’s Child, Faith Evans, Master P, Usher, and Wyclef Jean to name a few. This would herald as the beginning days of a young super star in the making.

After one year Warner Bros. Records would downsize and leave Nadanuf where they began, without a record deal. But this blessing in disguise was exactly what Ahmmi needed being that she was 20 years old and now a young woman viewing the world through different eyes with different ideas and a different point of view. Ahmmi began working on her solo career in 2000 when she moved back to Cincinnati to be closer to family and get herself grounded Ahmmi began growing spiritually and wanted to find a way to incorporate her spiritual and social views into her music without seeming as if she was preaching to her listeners. In the summer of 2001, Ahmmi dropped her first EP entitled “Future, Present, Past” which she released and co-produced on her own through her indie label FiveTwentyEight Music Entertainment. Ahmmi sold over 500 CD’s out the trunk of her car and on the streets of Cincinnati. Songs like “Young and Restless” served as a street anthem for the city and inspired many to begin thinking about the community and how they could use their own talents to change the world. Lyrics like “I’m introducing solution, dilution of pollution/my attribution’s to spit rhymes that spark revolution!” encouraged Ahmmi’s listeners to be strong and continue to stand up for their beliefs during the infamous Cincinnati Riots and for Timothy Thomas who has killed by Cincinnati Police in April 2001.

Ahmmi Harkness has continued to stand strong and encourage others with her music regardless of what set backs she may have experienced during her life. From 2000 to present date Ahmmi has featured on many local Cincinnati artists