Army’s first hip-hop artists sworn in and honored at West Virginia University
Morgantown, W.Va. – For the first time in our country’s history, the United States Army Field Band features Hip-Hop singers.
For the new roles, the military chose Morgantown artist Lamar Riddick and Nicholas Feemster, aka NICOFEEM. To commemorate this new chapter, the military hosted an oath-taking ceremony for the two performers at the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theater on November 7.
The ceremony took place towards the end of the WVU Wind Symphony concert entitled “Let’s Dance”. The symphony was conducted by Colonel Don Schofield, Commander / Conductor of the United States Air Force Band. After the concert and the swearing-in, a brief reception was held.
â€œI am very excited to see what new opportunities open up, as this is the first time someone has held this position. I am also delighted to be working with Lamar, â€said Feemster. â€œWe’re similar in our subject matter and the way we approach music, so it will be interesting to see what we come up with. “
Feemster is an artist with a passion for mental health. Illustrating the impact music can have on mental health, he led a global social media campaign called # letjustbehonest2020 in partnership with the Black Mental Wellness Corporation. Feemster has also been featured in European media and his lyrics have been added to high school and college curricula. Its main fan base stretches across the globe and will continue to grow in the years to come.
As an artist, Riddick aims to revive current culture and the music industry by entertaining and inspiring change. In 2019, the Eddy Awards bestowed Riddick with the 2019 Hip-Hop Artist of the Year Award for his work at Morgantown. While living there, Riddick plugged into the city and shone as a representative of West Virginia hip-hop. With Revive Collective, Riddick offers students internships to contribute to future generations.
â€œThis opportunity with the military has been written everywhere. The potential to impact the world through hip-hop, not just as a musician, but as a believer in Jesus is amazing. Then it represents Black culture and Hip-Hop and Jesus the right way. It’s such an amazing opportunity, â€said Riddick.
Before moving to Maryland for training camp, US Army hip-hop singers Nicholas Feemster and Lamar Riddick will join the Center for Black Culture and Research at the University of West Virginia for a discussion. The conversation will take place at the JG (Gluck) theater at WVU’s Moutainlair on November 9 at 7 p.m.