Local Pittsburgh Rapper Michael Ahsé Moltz Moves to Los Angeles
Matt LeBlanc, Roach, Ahsé, Rio, James Perry | Photograph by Alex Young
Like most kids, Ahsé (Awe•Say) walks around in a T-Shirt, jeans, and Jordan brand sneakers. Though as he sits for interview, the 19-year-old dons a white, fur trench coat and platinum grills on his teeth.
His Hollywood, and classic rapper aesthetic prelude the rapper's forthcoming move to Los Angeles where he will pursue a job with Universal Studios.
Before he departs, Ahsé shares memories in the studio he's recorded past songs and with his friends who've experienced life with him. Matt LeBlanc, a producer who tasted viral success with the track "Damn Daniel," sits in front of the desktop Mac. Shakkur Thomas, a.k.a. Roach, one of Ahsé's best friends, sits on the floor with his knees to his chest. "I can feel 2Pac's emotions," he says. James Perry matched Roach on the opposite side of the room. Both Roach and Perry join Ahsé in the Lokal Foreners rap crew along with Hippy Swizzy and Que Dafoe.
Matt plays a song he made with Ahsé called "Fanny Pack." "Recording this shit was fun as hell. This is my favorite verse you did here," Matt says.
Suddenly, "bring that cypher," Matt says. "James you tryna get in that freestyle," Ahsé asks. James agrees to rap.
"How shallow is you? Step out of your body for a little," James says. "Open those eyes and let you walk with me," Ahsé adds.
The room is pleasant, kids having fun listening to music. "What I saw was the energy [from Ahsé]," Matt says.
If Ahsé isn't rapping, he's on his skateboard. "I definitely skated before I rapped," he says. He remembers walking from his home in Penn Hills to the Duff Skate Park and then walking to the Timebomb streetwear shop in East Liberty where he met the owner, Brick. "We got paid to skate and slap stickers around. Brick sets up the opportunities."
Additionally, Ahsé rode for the Daily Bread lifestyle label. They gave Ahsé and his We're Not Free skate crew free clothes.
Growing up, "the only way I could express my emotions was through art," Ahsé says. He started making music when he was 15-years-old. Ahsé's family put him onto good music. His mom gave him vinyl records by Prince, Anita Baker, Tina Turner, and Al Green. His brother, Nick Moltz, played him Kid Cudi's "Man on the Moon" for the first time.
"My older siblings are my guidance to somethings," Ahsé says as six of nine Moltz children. He values his friends too. He carries on the life of his friend Todd Dye, who was killed by police brutality in Colorado Springs, Colo. in 2015. The phrase "If you don't have a target, you'll always miss" is something Todd told Ahsé and it's a tattoo on his arm now. "If not for We're Not Free and Todd, everything would be different," he says.
While Todd's life drives Ahsé, the rapper has yet to release a mixtape. He has solid collaborations with Lokal Forener mate Hippy Swizzy and another local rapper named Bossy. Currently, Ahsé wants to "build up" for the release of his debut project, "Age of Aquarius." The tape's title plays on Ahsé's spirituality, sense of self, and zodiac sign. He calls himself a buddhist. "The higher power has been in yourself the whole time," he says.
As Ahsé gets ready to board his plane to L.A. and start life in a new place, he says he'll be back in the 'Burgh soon, and to his friends, "stay golden," as Todd would say.