Army Field Band showing respect to Hip-Hop.
The United States Army Field Band has included artists from the hip-hop genre. The army picked Lamar Riddick, a Morgantown artist, and Nicholas Feemster, alias NICOFEEM, a Morgantown musician, to play the new roles. On Nov. 7, the army staged a swearing-in ceremony for the two artists at the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre in Washington, D.C., to celebrate this new chapter.
During the event, themed “Let’s Dance,” the WVU Wind Symphony performed a ceremony towards the close of the program. Colonel Don Schofield, commander/director of the United States Air Force Band, served as guest conductor for the symphonic orchestra. Following the music and swearing-in ceremony, there was a short reception.
Feemster is an artist who has a strong interest in mental health. With the goal of demonstrating the positive influence that music can have on mental health, he launched a worldwide social media campaign named #letjustbehonest2020 in collaboration with the Black Mental Wellness Corporation. Feemster’s lyrics have also been included in high school and college curricula throughout Europe, where he has been published in many publications. His core audience spans the globe and will only continue to increase in the future years, according to the artist.
Riddick’s goal as an artist is to revitalize contemporary society and the music business by creating music that is both enjoyable and change-inducing. The Eddy Awards presented Riddick with the Hip-Hop Artist of the Year title in 2019 for his work in Morgantown, which he received in 2019. While residing there, Riddick established himself as a prominent figure in the area and as a representation of West Virginia hip-hop culture. Riddick works with the Revive Collective to provide internship opportunities for students who want to make a difference for future generations.
It seems like God is writing his approval on this chance with the army. The opportunity to make a difference in the world via Hip-Hop, not just as an artist, but also as a follower of Jesus, is enormous. Then there’s the matter of properly reflecting Black and Hip-Hop culture, as well as Jesus. “It’s an incredible opportunity,” Riddick expressed his excitement.
Nicholas Feemster and Lamar Riddick, U.S. Army Hip-Hop singers, will participate in a conversation at West Virginia University’s Center for Black Culture and Research before heading to Maryland for boot camp. The discussion will take place on Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. at the JG (Gluck) Theatre in the West Virginia University Mountainlair.