For years, Yayha Nurrideen has been known as Bernard “Mr. Tiger AK” Smith, Jr. Originally from the Winston-Salem area in North Carolina, Nurrideen has been living in Texas for well over a decade. Over this decade, he has gone through a series of changes which he feels have all greatly benefited him.
Among his businesses includes national advertising agency, Star Worthy, Inc. and his entertainment company, First Amendment Entertainment. Both companies have been growing tremendously since January of 2010. Going into 2012, Yayha Nurrideen is expecting his companies to experience even more growth.
Growth on the business side is always a good thing, but growth on the inside is always for the best and Yayha Nurrideen is experiencing both. Recently, he decided to fully devote his life to his religion, while still running his businesses. Yayha Nurrideen discussed his walk down the righteous path and much more with Hip Hop Vibe.
Read the entire interview below:
Over the years, people have known you as Mr. Tiger AK, why have you decided to change your name to Yahya Nurrideen?
I decided to re-use my name, Yahya Nurrideen, because I am in process of becoming a better man, with the help of Islam. Yahya Nurrideen is my Muslim name since I was a teen. I no longer go by Bernard Tiger Smith Jr. aka Mr. Tiger AK. Still, though, there are some products being released under those two names. But any product produced by me, here on out, since Nov 1st, will be released under Yahya Nurrideen.
How long have you been a Muslim?
I am Sunni Muslim, also known as Al Islam. We believe that God created us all equal. We, as Sunni Muslims, do believe in a here after, and do not believe that earth is heaven or hell. But, if it wasn’t for the Nation of Islam, blacks in America would not know about Al Islam (True Islam).
Will your committment to your religion change the way you run First Amendment Entertainment?
My religion will not change the way I run F.A.E or S.W.I, unless it’s for the better.
Business-wise, how have things been going?
As for business wise, everything is what it is, like any business, you have some who put in more work than the other, but as for myself, I will continue to make sure I take the proper steadfast steps to keep First Amendment Entertainment the fastest-growing entertainment label in the World. In other words, we’re doing good and striving to do better.
Can you speak more on the F.A.E. live shows?
The F.A.E. shows can have better turn outs, but the entertainers who have performed from F.A.E. are very Star Worthy, and they give top-rate performances. I try to make sure F.A.E. is performing somewhere every week.
Going into 2012, what plans do you have for your labels?
Going into 2012, I plan to contract my label with more clubs and more major networks, such as BET, VH1, MTV, and HBO. I also plan to present more of the charity clubs at OWN network station. I think Oprah can really help put the label on higher grounds where the world can really get a better understanding of my vision.
Do you believe a big-name will emerge from your label next year?
As far as a big name emerging from my label, that’s a question that only the world can decide that answer, because to me, we have a lot of big names at F.A.E. But, to answer that question more in depth, yes, if the Lord shall will.
What has inspired you to do so much, over the past few years?
My inspiration to do as much as I’ve done comes from being hungry for more success and I want my grandkids lives to be easier than mine was. Not to mention, I’ve become more addicted to accomplishing my goals.
Overall, what do you want to gain from your business?
I intend to gain the recognition from the world, that Yahya Nurrideen, is the hardest-working CEO in show business and F.A.E is the greatest company to work for.
How do you feel about the political landscape and the emergence of Herman Cain?
Herman Cain, I wasn’t there, so I have no comment (laughs).
Did the verdict of Dr. Conrad Murray come as a shock to you?
I don’t think Dr. Conrad Murray deserves the sentence he received, because I don’t think he held a gun to Michael Jackson’s head, but again, I wasn’t there, but that’s all I have to say about Dr. Murray.
Going forward, in your own career, how do you intend to avoid the mistakes others have repeatedly made?
But, going forward in my own career, I definitely don’t want to make mistakes as Dr. Conrad and Mr. Cain did. But, seriously, I feel I will not make too many mistakes if I keep it honest with myself and others, while keeping in mind of those who came before me in the show business.