The Career of Artist B Menace – The Suffolk News-Herald
Suffolk’s Willie Hicks, better known as B Menace, believes rap music saved his life. Growing up, Hicks had a lot of problems; including getting kicked out of high school on several occasions. It wasn’t until a friend introduced him to football that he found another way to deal with his aggression.
He continued with football his junior and senior years of high school and was accepted to Chowan University on a football scholarship.
When he started his freshman year in college, he decided it was time to stop playing to focus on his studies.
“After I quit playing football, I didn’t have my scholarship anymore, so I didn’t have the money to buy my own books,” Hicks said. “So I spent a lot of time in the library reading these books and stuffing so much knowledge in my head before taking a test.”
It turns out that the same year, his roommate was a rapper.
“One day, before he left home, he was writing to beat and I thought to myself, ‘I could do that.’ He told me I couldn’t do it, so while he was gone I wrote it, and it was my first rap,” Hicks said.
After that, he started doing small shows with his friends.
He graduated from university in 2010 with a business degree and a minor in marketing, then moved back to Suffolk and joined a band called Flamed Up Entertainment, which was later replaced by Bossed Up Camp.
During his time with this group, they traveled to more shows and opened up to artists like Busta Rhymes, Kevin Gates and Jadakiss.
A few years passed and other band members began to break up, and that’s when Hicks began his solo career.
“Music is all I know is what I want to do, so I released a single,” Hicks said.
He wrote and recorded music and put it online where it started to gain popularity.
“I started getting a lot of feedback from different people – good and bad, but the bad didn’t bother me because at least they took the time to listen and it just gives me a chance to learn,” did he declare.
Since then, B Menace has released three mixed tapes, an EP of original music and he hopes to release an album later this year.
Although he’s been writing music for 12 years, it’s only been in the last two years that he’s reached a stage where he’s comfortable with his writing process.
Hicks said his favorite part about being a rapper is creating music.
“I consider myself an artist more than a rapper because I’m always thinking about things — what sound will work with what lyrics and so on,” Hicks said. “I still write music.”
A word Hicks would use to describe his transition from a kid kicked out of school to a traveling man playing his music is “accomplished.”
“I was acting and getting in trouble for attention,” Hicks said, “but I don’t need it now. Now my music speaks for me.