Long nights, brighter future


Xavier Harris, Staff Reporter

The story of six friends who became a “family” in a few years just from hanging out and making music and into local breakout stars is the one way to describe the journey of the underground rap group N.O.D.I.C.E.

Junior Aramis Jones, seniors Ahmad Meriweather, Devin Strickland, Anthony Davis, Adrian White and Kayode Bolade a senior at Hazelwood Central, collectively make up the group N.O.D.I.C.E; or New Original Dudes In Charge of Everything.

“One word to describe N.O.D.I.C.E. is ‘extravagant,’” said Aramis Jones during his first 16 bars of the song “Long Nights” from the popular underground mixtape Basements to Billboards.

Where did it all begin? It was back in 2005 if you ask White. That’s when he took an interest in producing and “beat making.”

Being inspired by producers like Timbaland, Dr. Dre, Polow, Pete Rock and Kanye West, White tries to keep the music he produces original and stray away from the pack.

In that six-year period, Adrian has put together a “family,” been featured in the Riverfront Times, won second place in a local event for producers called “S.L.U.M Fest,” and worked with rapper Chingy. This is a huge feat for someone who’s just 17 and only in high school.

But how do you accomplish all of this in such a short amount of time at such a young age? The only logical answer would be to practice and perfect your craft, or just “work at making music full time,” said White.

Through a few connections, the six friends came together and decided to use White’s craft to their advantage and begin making music by their freshman year of high school. That’s when the magic began to happen in what White calls his “pseudo-studio.”

“Ace [White’s stage name] make the beat, soon as he make the beat I just get on it… and make history,” said Strickland.

With the collaborative efforts coming into the studio daily, N.O.D.I.C.E released their first mixtape in the spring of 2011, Perfectly Different. The name speaks for itself, because it matches N.O.D.I.C.E efforts to stray away from the ordinary local sound of other groups and to make a name for themselves in the underground music industry.

The response to the tape wasn’t desirable; but it was a start. So the group began to grow not only as artist, but also as a family. They hung out whenever possible, “rocked shows” at various local clubs, and most importantly made music in the studio.

However, in the months leading up to their second mixtape release, N.O.D.I.C.E ran into a problem; they did not have a D.J. to host their mixtape.

Without a D.J. to host the tape, there wouldn’t be a mixtape to release.

Fortunately, a man by the name of Rudy Rodriguez, a D.J. from Miami, Florida listened to their mixtape and gladly offered to host it.

After the news, they began to promote their mixtape via Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. Without any outside help, N.O.D.I.C.E accomplished something huge, with consideration of the amount of downloads their last tape had received.

“As of now [August 30] we have 1,133 downloads of Basement To Billboards,” said White.

On Sept. 10, the group performed at Mizzou and was overly excited to perform at the event.

In fact, Anthony Davis said, “I’ve been waiting on this since July, to the point I can’t even focus.”

It shows on all the group members faces when asked the question about the Mizzou show. Even if big name rapper Twister, who was expected to perform after the group, but N.O.D.I.C.E was more than ready to perform with their heart and souls in the mic.

Nevertheless, after all the shows are done and the mixtapes are released, the group has no intentions of slowing down.

By the way they’re progressing, it won’t be long until these underground kings become big names on billboards.

“As far as God takes us,” said Jones.