I think it's safe to say that the Season 6 premiere of Girls took Hannah out of her element as she journeyed out of the city and to the beach so she could undertake a new writing assignment. Hannah attended a surfing workshop for an article that was supposed to play on how out of place she felt in that environment, and she was definitely struggling. In fact, Hannah was having an all-around miserable time until she connected with her adorable, laid back surf instructor, played by Riz Ahmed. Things took a turn for the romantic after a drunken night out where Ahmed's Paul-Louis impressed Hannah with a rap performance at a party. But does Riz Ahmed rap in real life?
Hannah was totally charmed by Paul-Louis' skills (and who wouldn't be?), which made sense because Ahmed is a pro when it comes to this particular talent. He's been rapping as long as he's been acting, balancing his dual careers for the last 10 years. Under the name Riz MC, he's been releasing music both in the United Kingdom and in the States, but with the massive success of The Night Of, his acting career has taken off.
"There's a saying: You wait three hours for a London bus, and then three of them come all at once," Ahmed told The New York Times back in August 2016. "People that didn't know I was an actor were going, 'Riz MC is in Bourne!' And people that didn't know I did music are going, 'The dude from Nightcrawler did this Englistan thing!'"
Rap was a big part of Ahmed's life from early on; he grew up listening to '90s hip-hop, and eventually made the jump to performing himself. He started out doing sets on pirate radio and at open mic nights, telling Spin that it was a "very natural way to express yourself as a kid from a certain kind of neighborhood."
His rap career has only grown since then. His first single, "Post 9/11 Blues" was released in the U.K. in 2006, and caused controversy because of its satirical take on politics and racism. Ahmed never shied away from discussing issues of racism, Islamophobia, and identity in his music; though some found his music controversial, he was just speaking about things that had had an impact on him throughout his life.
So there you have it: not only is Ahmed an impressive actor with the doe eyes of a Disney cartoon, he's also a successful rapper. Honestly, it's just not fair for one person to be this talented, but because I love him, I'll give him a pass.