By day, Jeremy Wells works as a Web designer, while Joe Hudson spends his time as a teacher. At night — and sometimes during the day if it’s the weekend, the two transform into their alter egos JRock and Tweeter to provide sweet, sweet hip-hop to the masses as the group Beer N Black.
Or at least rap a little, drink some beers and have a good time hanging out with friends. Who knows what might happen?
Fans, and the curious few, will just have to find out when the guys take over the stage at Jammin Java on Saturday.
Raised in Virginia, Well and Hudson met in college at Christopher Newport University when they joined the Pi Lambda Phi fraternity. The two would spend time freestyle rapping at parties. The more parties they went to, the more their friends wanted them to perform.
Hudson said the transition from freestyling parties to being in Beer N Black wasn’t really that difficult.
“We still freestyle at parties,” Hudson laughed. “After we [performed in front of people], we were hooked. It’s an unbelievable feeling … to get up there and it goes so fast that as soon as it’s over, you’re like ‘Man, I want to do that again — right now!’”
Wells said the important thing to remember is that they both love to have fun. They also don’t take themselves too seriously. For instance, fans are likely able to hang out with the guys before the show, talk with them during the show, and drink a beer with them after the show.
It’s all about making the audience feel like they’re at a party.
“We want them to feel like they’re a part of the show,” Wells said. “It’s not like, ‘Hey, come watch Beer N Black perform,’ it’s more like ‘Hey, come party with some people and have an excellent time.’ You’re there with some of your friends, you’re going to meet new people and that’s one of the biggest things we love about our shows is a lot of our friends come and they bring their friends.”
When it comes to writing the songs, Hudson said the process goes back and forth.
“We are constantly talking about ideas,” Hudson said. “It’s relentless. We probably have in our files a hundred unfinished songs. I think I found out through music that I have ADD for sure. I don’t think I knew that until I started making music.”
“Originally, we lived together so when we made music, everything was together,” Wells added. “That’s just what we did for fun. Obviously our verses would be individual, but the whole song idea overall was usually created together.”
Wells said the duo complement each other. Hudson, Wells said, is a very creative person and comes up with a lot of unique ideas for songs.
“Sometimes I’m like, ‘That’s not a good idea, dude,’ and he’s like, ‘Nah, let’s do it,’ and it turns out to be the best song ever,” Wells laughed. “It just comes out of left field, which is good because it makes us not sound cookie cutter and like everyone else.”
Both Hudson and Wells agree they’re not the typical rap group “with fancy cars and throwing hundred dollar bills,” but what they do have is music their fans can enjoy and appreciate.
“I think most of our fanbase can feel a reflection of themselves in the music we deliver,” Wells said. “I feel like that’s why they connect to it at a deeper level than they would with the [rapper] on a speedboat with all the girls and stuff like that. I think that’s one of the things that makes it more of a party atmosphere at one of our shows.”
“I think the most important thing is when I’m sitting there and I’m writing and recording and listening and I’m thinking about the outcome, picturing random people that I would never think of are going to be listening to music like this and they’ll text me a month later saying, ‘I just got that!,’” Hudson said.