Years in the past, Metro Instances reported on Benjamin Sobczak as his alter ego, rapper Ben Miles, who carried out as frontman of the hip-hop group Mice & Musicians. Sobczak has since ended his music profession to work for a white-shoe regulation agency as a business litigator.
A self-described lifelong “very useful hashish consumer,” he began taking up increasingly more hashish shoppers in Michigan’s blossoming new licensed trade, and finally, all of his shoppers had been hashish firms. In 2020, he left the agency to pursue hashish regulation full-time because the in-house normal counsel for Michigan-based Pleasantrees — only a 12 months away from changing into an fairness associate on the agency.
“Folks thought I used to be insane,” he tells Metro Instances. “However I used to be identical to, dude, you gotta chase your dream. And it simply felt like a greater approach for me to each be myself and to proceed to observe on this thrilling new space of regulation that I believed in.”
Sobczak says one of many issues that he needed to do at Pleasantrees was to discover a strategy to give again to Detroit’s music scene. That led to the creation of the Efficiency Check, a brand new “battle of the bands”-style occasion deliberate for the Crofoot in Pontiac in April.
“Hashish is a giant a part of the artwork scene,” he says. “I needed to have the ability to get entangled once more in some significant approach — and use the corporate as a platform to make use of the abilities I had developed when it comes to selling reveals or connections within the artwork scene to do good — and to be concerned and to really feel connectivity with music the best way I used to once I was youthful, and I used to be the one performing.”
Winners of the occasion might be awarded $5,000 money, in addition to recording time at The Village Studios. Sobczak says he needs he had that chance when he was youthful.
“After I was struggling in a band and we had been recording in some basement with practice tracks behind it, to have the ability to go someplace top-notch and see how good you possibly can sound with the appropriate sound man and the appropriate mastering, like not having to battle so exhausting to bootstrap that shit … that will have been unimaginable,” he says.
Sobczak goes approach again with the Crofoot. He carried out his first-ever present on the Crofoot’s Pike Room, and regardless of getting in a really lawyerly dispute with the administration over a rest room that was apparently damaged by a rowdy fan (it’s an extended story), Sobczak finally grew shut with the venue’s booker, Justin Pidruzny, and even held his wedding ceremony on the venue.
“Ben and I each talked about how we would like [Potency Test] to be a state of affairs the place it actually helps the bands in our neighborhood, and makes them really feel appreciated,” says Pidruzny, who acquired his begin within the music enterprise from taking part in in an area rock band. “It’s simply sort of like a chance to present again.”
Artists can register by way of opnrmusic.com, an area music firm that developed a platform to attach artists with efficiency alternatives. Entries are due by Saturday, Feb. 25, and chosen artists will transfer on to carry out on Saturday, April 9 on the Crofoot, the place a panel of visitor judges will decide a winner. (Sobczak says he’s in talks with particular visitor judges together with White Boy Rick, the previous teenage FBI informant just lately performed by Eminem in BMF on Starz, and Melanie Rutherford, newly elected to Pontiac’s Metropolis Council, who can also be a singer-songwriter who appeared on Kem’s Grammy-nominated report “Intimacy.”)
Sobczak says he hopes to attract submissions from artists throughout genres and finally to develop the Efficiency Check right into a quarterly occasion, releasing Pleasantrees-branded compilation albums of all of the winners. He says he additionally hopes to maintain cowl for the Pontiac occasion low, and plans to present proceeds to charity.
Sobczak says with the hashish trade exploding, it’s solely proper to present again.
Plus, music and hashish simply go collectively. The tradition of hashish can appear to get misplaced in a few of these glossy new dispensaries that really feel extra like glossy Apple Shops than the pinnacle retailers of the previous days.
“One of many issues that we actually prefer to say about ourselves is that we’re hashish individuals who began a enterprise,” Sobczak says of the staff at Pleasantrees. “We aren’t enterprise individuals who acquired into hashish.”
He provides, “I do assume that there’s an obligation not simply to help social fairness or righting the ills of the warfare on medication, however like what we’re doing right here simply to help the scene, the artists, the musicians, and the creatives. You realize, hashish has been a giant a part of that for a very long time.”