Bethune-Cookman University alumnus Lamar Riddick recently auditioned for the United States Army Field Band and was selected, alongside Nicholas Feemster, to hold the first-ever Hip Hop Artist positions in US Military history!
Riddick and Feemster are determined musicians and businessmen that mesh as performers at venues like Hip Hop on High Street and strive to walk together in their faith, which Feemster described as “Still something I’m searching for on my own.”
Both musicians emphasized the responsibility to “just be honest” and trust God’s plan.
“Because God gave me this gift, I have no choice but to be humble,” Riddick said, describing how he and Feemster signed over 30 personal thank you notes to contributors who attended their show the night before. “Rap is a team sport; success is a team result. As long as you’re putting people before yourself, you’re doing good.”
However, things weren’t always on the up-and-coming. Riddick and Feemster both described the need to accept failure in their careers in order to appreciate their success.
It’s hard to imagine embracing a sense of unapologetic optimism, but that’s a quality of these men you can’t forget. It only takes a single listen of Riddick’s hit “Nothing to Prove,” to know that these musicians embody what they preach.
Riddick produced “Nothing to Prove” in response to losing another competition. He was coming from a place of frustration, ready to “put out some heat.” Yet, despite these feelings, he emphasized that anger is never a tool one can use to succeed.
“The biggest hindrances in life are our perceptions of what people think of us,” Riddick said. He has “nothing to prove” to them.
Riddick continued, “Likes don’t equal value. The quicker you understand that you have nothing to prove but to God, man, you just live free.”
While both men have experienced loss, their success was no fluke, Riddick said. “My work ethic surpasses many. That’s credited to a lot of losses. What’s going to make you work harder than losing?”
Despite their busy schedules, Riddick and Feemster’s musical ambitions are still in full swing.
“It’s talking about being a light in the darkness everywhere you go,” Riddick said, describing the upcoming EP.
In addition to this amazing accomplishment, Mr. Riddick works for the West Virginia University Marching Band, is an award-winning Christian Hip Hop Artist, he owns Revive Collective Music and Revive Collective Apparel, offers internships and jobs to local college students, serves as an event coordinator, curator, and plays drums on the worship team at Mountain Heights in Morgantown WV.
He received his BA in Music Recording from B-CU in 2015, and was a member of the drumline in the Marching Wildcats.
Bethune-Cookman University M. Shawn Hundley, Chair of the Department of Music remembers this about Mr. Riddick:
“I remember my first time meeting Lamar before classes even started back in August 2011. He came to my office to introduce himself and to personally inform me that he was going to be successful as a student because he was here to take care of business and he had big plans for his future. I had the pleasure of teaching him for four semesters and watched his progress closely for four years. It did not take me long to realize that he was going to achieve his big plans and probably more. We still stay in touch and he also wants to give back to B-CU by visiting with our current students and motivating them to go after their goals and dreams.”
The musicians also gave their advice to aspiring artists.
“Broaden yourself and be an entrepreneur. Don’t give up. That is my biggest advice. Don’t have a timeline for yourself. Your talent will make room for you,” Riddick said.
Source: Bethune-Cookman University, Cameron Patterson for The DA Student Newspaper