Local Artist Mixes Hip Hop with EDM

Local Artist Mixes Hip Hop with EDM
TFW 1.8.15 Mic Adams live

Staff Photo Nick Brothers
Ben (Mic) Adams performs his song “Jump On It” live at C4 with DJ JFrey Saturday, Jan. 3.

By day, he works as the marketing director for University House, and he’s the father of a 7-year-old boy, named Josiah.

By night, Ben Adams, 29, puts the hours in as Mic Adams, who is hustling to chase his dream of making it in hip hop one day.

His desire to rap formed while attending the University of Arkansas Fort Smith. At parties, he was always the “white guy who would get drunk and freestyle.” After moving to Fayetteville in 2008, he ended up living next door to his future rap partner, Justin Crenshaw — who’s known as JC. Before long, the two got together to make a track, and they submitted it to FM 101.9’s Northwest Arkansas Artist of the Month contest and won.

“It just took off from there,” Adams said.

About a year later after releasing a mix tape of their own, the two did a remix of Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow,” called “Red and Black” for the Razorbacks. The song became viral on YouTube, and a UA student marketing intern messaged them and requested to use the song at the football home games.

Mic Adam's mixtape can be heard at soundcloud.com

Mic Adam’s mixtape can be heard at soundcloud.com

“I remember we were playing Tennessee at home, and JC and I were sitting on the hill,” Adams said. “(Our song) came on when the whole team was warming up. Being played in front of 70,000 plus people, we were nudging everyone around us saying, ‘This is us! This is us!’ We were still in college at the time, so we were just like, ‘Ah, we made it!’”

Now, Adams is promoting his solo mix tape, “The Beginning.” Crenshaw has since retired from music and now resides with his family in Texas.

By far, his most popular song off of his mix tape is a dubstep/trap remix of Genuwine’s “Ride My Pony,” called “Jump On It.” The song features Adams attacking the rhythm of the industrial-sounding electronic music with his words and he seamlessly ties in Spanish lyrics — which comes from growing up in Lima, Peru.

This style of rapping, combining an EDM — electronic dance music — track with hip hop verses is something Adams plans to further develop as his own hybrid sound.

On YouTube, his song, “Jump On It” already has more than 27,000 views. With that amount of exposure online, Adams has been able to build up an international network of contacts within the music industry, whether it’s a DJ in Europe looking to get their EDM track out there, a producer who can do post-production audio mastering, or other artists and producers who represent them looking to do collaborations.

Staff Photo Nick Brothers Ben (Mic) Adams works on a track in his home studio in Fayetteville. “There will be some days when I get off work and I need about an hour nap and then I’ll work in the studio until 2 or 3 a.m.,” he said.

Staff Photo Nick Brothers
Ben (Mic) Adams works on a track in his home studio in Fayetteville. “There will be some days when I get off work and I need about an hour nap and then I’ll work in the studio until 2 or 3 a.m.,” he said.

For “Jump On It,” Adams was able to remix a dubstep track he recieved from a local producer, and customize its structure to fit his needs. Songs like “Destiny” from “The Beginning,” which is a remake of a song by the rapper Logic, it’s standard practice for up-and-coming artists to rewrite the verses over the instrumental track.

“This sucks because it gets you heard, but you can’t take any credit for it,” Adams said.

Other than the sexual theme of “Jump On It,” Adams said he wants to make music that goes beyond the typical themes heard in pop music today.

“I’m so tired of turning on the radio and listening to rappers talk about drugs, alcohol or booty,” Adams said. “Can we do something else? Can we do something that actually is true, good music? Something that still makes you feel good, but at the same time you can actually relate to. That’s something I would like to do, by all means.”

He still enjoys his job where the unpredictable days keep him interested. He hopes to one day branch off into real estate in the future if his hip hop dreams don’t take off.

“I think to myself now, without having this hobby, just doing work and just doing it without this… life would be pretty boring,” Adams said. “I’m going to ride it out, wherever it takes me. If it goes anywhere, hell yeah. If it doesn’t, I’m still happy with it.”

Mic Adams’s music can be heard at soundcloud.com/micadams.

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