lilD: ‘Dub’ Wicks is making noise in Bowling GreenWritten by lilD | | firstname.lastname@example.org
At age 25, the greatest rapper to ever live was gunned down in Las Vegas, never reaching his full potential in music, movies and monumental superstardom. Tupac Shakur has posthumously released more than nine albums, earning millions of dollars for his estate, but he isn’t here to reap the benefits. But rapper, producer and connoisseur of skill-acquiring Will “Dub” Wicks is enjoying every moment of being 25 — and is just getting started.
Bowling Green isn’t known for much more than fast-food restaurants, a college and a cluster of night clubs. Unless you’re in the loop, you wouldn’t realize how much musical talent is brewing on BGSU’s campus. Luckily, a poor college student can take a short stroll to 133 E. Wooster, step into the recording studio and try to make magic.
An artist himself, Dub grew tired of the commute from Bowling Green — where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in technology — to Detroit just to record a song. Instead of just complaining, he picked up a few books and power tools and built a solution.
The BLDG is the perfect one-stop shop for a musician. First are the Beats, which include a full studio where Dub records, mixes, masters and engineers music. Once the rapper’s vocal cords are tired, they can relax in the Lounge, a club/loft area upstairs. What’s a song without the Design? In the same building, an artist can have his/her album cover, flier, logo, etc. designed and packaged for distribution. And once the project is complete, the artist has to have Gear, so the studio includes a fashion boutique as well.
The studio, appropriately named Music Lovers Headquarters, was “created to give independent artists access to professional high-quality services at affordable rates,” Dub said in his humble yet matter-of-fact tone. An acronym created in honor of his late grandmother Mary Lee Hurse, MLH Studios Inc. has been consistently raising the bar and exceeding expectations since it opened in 2008.
Most would be satisfied with completely dominating their field in one market, but where there’s a Will, there’s a will to do more. His studios in Cleveland and his hometown Detroit should be up and running by summer 2011. And by the time Dub is 40, he would like to have a studio in every major city. With 15 years to go, I’d say he’s giving himself too much time to get it done.
Dub’s independent music label, Fresh Heir Music Group, is an impressive ensemble of singers, rappers, writers and producers. The sound quality is clearly exceptional coming out of Dub’s studio, but the content of the music shows the apparent passion instilled in his artists. These artists’ projects are digitally distributed, professionally marketed and seriously listened to and appreciated. One of his artists, Casper, who’s actually a writer, placed second in the Put Me On Music Conference, behind only a regionally known Toledo artist, Cuntry. Dub’s formula for success is obviously working.
By the way, Dub’s prices are idealistic as well; just $30/hour for students and $50/hr for nonstudents to record and have their song mixed. That’s very inexpensive compared to other high-quality studios, but it’s done so every artist can have a chance to express him/herself.
“I just want to help people that have a passion and respect for music,” Dub said.
Dub is nothing short of the best at mastering a craft and seeing his vision through from the ground up. Mindful of the cutthroat music industry, he knows that “the less you know about it, the more useless you are in it.” That’s why his ultimate goal of being recognized “globally as a leading music industry service provider” doesn’t seem far-fetched. (The man must be smart; he said I was the greatest radio personality he knew.) Bowling Green was the beginning, but the world will know Dub and MLH Studios Inc. sooner than later.