Ahmad Julian and Andre Oswald are Old Money, a New York based rap, production and DJ duo of Jamaican and Guyanese origins. Their music incorporates the sounds of contemporary Africa such as UK Funky, Dancehall, Kwaito, Kuduro and Hip-Hop while remaining rooted in traditions of pan-African philosophy. In this way, their output remains dynamic and cutting-edge, while also taking on a mystical bend – influenced by fringe spiritual orders like the Nuwaubians, the Moors, NOI, and The 5 Percenters, as well as science fiction novels by author Octavia Butler.
Their politics, which permeate their work, are molded by their experience growing up in disenfranchised communities in Brooklyn and the Bronx, while attending prestigious, predominantly white academic institutions in Manhattan and New England. Here, as well as at the highly ranked northeast schools they attended after high school graduation, they also encountered well heeled black societies, as enumerated in Lawrence Otis Graham’s Our Kind of People. Thusly, Old Money’s music is informed by their being young men of color in America experiencing various forms of privilege from multiple perspectives.
After returning to New York, Old Money started recording music and immersing themselves in downtown Manhattan’s indie/electronic and streetwear scenes – culminating in a blog and brick and mortar store with the name Attorney St. in the lower east side. While they enjoyed being a part of that world, they were growing increasingly disillusioned with the lack of substance behind the scene’s hype. As Ahmad puts it “We saw a lot of young energy and a lot of creativity, but with no direction. Muhfuckas was talking about and doing nothing, really. Just parties and dumb shit. And to an extent, we participated for a while. To an extent, we still do. But we made the decision that we’re too smart to play dumb.” Taking a break from blogging and the downtown scene, they decided to refocus their efforts on producing and releasing music.
In summer of 2013 they release their debut mixtape Fire in the Dark on Dutty Artz.
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