"I don’t really like to compare myself to too many people ‘cause I wanna be the first me."

Music

5.9.2017

Premiere: Watch Ahsh Eff's Campaign Anthem Vid: "Staain"

Ahsh Eff considers herself, in her own words, a walking commercial: everything from her green hair (and matching eyebrows), to her dope, eclectic style, to her sound, is a part of the deal, and its all 100% her. One look at her lefthand wrist and it’s clear where she positions herself, too…because she’s got it tattooed there: OUTSIDER. And though Eff has already garnered comparisons to the Golden Age of NYC hip hop, with critics ranking her alongside legends like Lil’ Kim, the rapper is more interested in simply being the first Ahsh Eff.

It’s this commitment to originality that blankets everything from her style to her hard-hitting, lyrically-lit sound that has us hooked. And on the heels of such hits like “Kozart”, “@YoungThug”, and “Staain” (and let’s not forget her bombastic debut, “Storefront”), Eff seems to poised to make some serious waves, outsider or not.

Sold? We thought so. Watch the video for “Staain” above, premiering exclusively on Milk, then keep scrolling for our full interview with the multifacted, ever-evolving Ahsh Eff.

We’re stoked to be premiering the “Staain” video! What’s the story behind the track?

I like to think of “Staain” as my campaign anthem. Like an ode to people following, following the campaign, stunting every day, being good looking fly—you know, connecting with that and knowing that that’s a campaign within itself. It’s a movement.

What was it like bringing that to life visually with the video?

When I was first thinking about putting together a video, I was like, “I wanna do something that’s a constant, that’s different and cool.” So I decided to be running for a large majority of the video. So we took like at least two hours worth of me just running, I was just running a whole bunch of random places, you know? ‘Cause I just feel like when you’re running, every single time no matter where you’re at if you see somebody running, you look to the side because you just wonder where they’re going or where they’re coming from, or if they’re running from something, toward something, you know? So I wanted that feeling, a certain level of ansy-ness, and still guessing too.

Right, and it’s not static—it’s like you’re on your way to something.

Yeah, on my way to something.

I’m obsessed with that light pink giant puffer jacket you’re wearing in the video.

Thank you so much. It’s by this guy Hyungmin Lee, he goes to school at Parsons and makes all these lit puffy pieces—dresses, shirts, skirts. And my girl my friend Sachi Soysauce styled me. I was like, “I want a jacket that’s just like mad, just weird,” you know? And when we got it she was like, “I don’t know if you’re gonna like it ‘cause it looks like a quilt!” [Laughs] But I put it on and I was like, “No I like it. It’s lit.” So we just did it.

So I know you’re being compared to the Golden Age of New York hip hop and ‘90s era Lil’ Kim, but how would you define your sound and what you’re bringing to the table?

To describe myself, in current terms, I will use people to describe myself. So I would say I feel like my swag is a cross between like Cam’ron with my braggadociousness and how boastful I am and how loud I am, you know? Loud without being actually loud. Also, my level of…how do I put it? I think that the level of lyrics in my songs make people wanna compare me to the Golden Age, but I like to look at myself as being the first Ahsh. I don’t really like to compare myself to too many people ‘cause I wanna be the first me.

Definitely.

But more than anything, I feel like people compare me to the Golden Age because when they hear me, they hear New York. It resonates with them. My voice, the lyrics, everything. They’re just like, “Wow, Golden Age!” instantly, but no, I got a lot more in store.

Is there an album on the way?

We’re working on a project. I’m in the process of narrowing it down to the final stages of how many songs. So probably five, no more than seven songs on like an EP. I like to think of it as the perfect songs up there. The perfect six to seven songs.

Do you know when it’s coming out?

It should be coming out before the end of the summer. I don’t want to give a specific date, but before the end of the summer, definitely.

So as far as being the first Ahsh and establishing yourself, does style and how you present yourself play a part in that?

Yeah, it does. I always look at myself like a walking commercial, you know? Ever since I was younger, like whenever I used to wake up to go to school and stuff like that, I would just be like, “How do I wanna feel today? What is it about me that I want to show people?” It’s deeper than clothes for me, you know? Like my hair. My hair’s a statement. I’ve been green for four years now. When I first told my mom, “I wanna be green!” She was like, “Ok, I’m gonna let you get it, but I’ll tell you this: you’re gonna have to keep it in until it’s time to get out, even if you don’t like it.” And I just wore it and loved it. The first week I had brown eyebrows and then I was like, “Nah, fuck this, I’m doing green eyebrows.” So I did it. And it stuck ever since. But I want to present myself like a lifestyle. My hair, what I do, I do fun shit with my friends, all my friends and I are creative—I just want to be able to present that to people, and act as a catalyst for people to be secure in doing themselves, through music.

Have you had any cool responses from people listening to your music?

Yeah, I’ve had a lot of great responses. Not gonna lie. It’s truly been a blessing, the level of responses that I’ve gotten. I’m really happy and I just look forward to being able to put out more stuff that people appreciate and that they rock with, you know? People are already comparing the growth, of literally four songs that came out in the span of like three months. I’m enjoying the responses, seriously.

Do you feel like since you came out with “Storefront” that your music has evolved or that you’ve improved?

Oh yeah, definitely. I feel like when I made “Storefront”, “Staain”, “Kozart”, “@YoungThug”, there were concepts to do each one of those songs, but not like a full cohesive thread, ‘cause they weren’t all on a project. So I wanna say I was in a different head space, but I wasn’t on the same exact head space for every single one. Whereas now, I feel like it’s more cohesive and I’m able to more tell a story, you know? And I’m happy because people are already feeling like I’m telling a story just with what I have out. Get ready for the real story and for it to be something that’s really cohesive and together.

So now you feel like there’s a thread tying them all together.

Yeah, threading it together. Yeah, definitely.

As far as your music as a whole, do you have a vision for how you want to affect people or start conversations, or what story you want to tell?

The conversation that I want to spark is honestly I wanna spark arguments. [Laughs] You know what I mean? I want to be able to have such a strong hold on emotion, period. Even if it’s the most basic emotion. To where I can create a conversation just off of somebody playing my song. Six months from now, bunch of people in the room, Ahsh Eff comes on, right? And two people start arguing over which song is better. And all of sudden you have two people from different walks of life, bonding over music. That’s what it’s really about, you know? So that’s what I want to do.

What inspires you as an artist?

My life. And the lives of other people too. I always tell my friends, if something crazy ever happens to you, or you have a weird dream, or you’re going through something, don’t tell me everything, but tell me the surface of what’s going on, ‘cause I try to write about things like that. I also wanna write about things that have nothing to do with me! ‘Cause other people can connect with it, so it’s still lit, and it does technically have something to do with me because music is my thing.

So what’s in the pipeline for the rest of 2017?

My project. It’s the main thing. Once it comes out, a lot of people will be able to know more about me and be more abreast about me. Above all, I’m speaking from the stance of an outsider. I have outsider tatted right here on my wrist. I’m giving the perspective of a popular outsider. I’m giving the perspective of people who feel as though they can’t speak up or people who feel as though they don’t wanna dance at a party ‘cause they can’t dance. It’s cool, ‘cause I can’t dance either, but I can rap my ass off and I’m killing it. So I’m inspired by that more than anything. For real.

Featured image courtesy of Sandrine Pomies

Stay tuned to Milk for more from NYC’s finest. 

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