Former Independence ball player competes for spot to open for Migos in new rap career

Screen Shot 2018-06-15 at 4.44.34 AM

One shot- Quentin Burkhalter (a.k.a. Quentin the 5th) performs an audition to open for Migos, Lil Baby, Blac Youngsta and Tammy Rivera at the Cajun Dome in Lafayette, Louisiana on June 29. 

By Jesse Brooks

Tangipahoa Parish produces s many standout athletes that it’s not a mystery why so many have dreams of going pro. However, “going pro” means something totally different to Quentin Burkhalter, who goes by the stage name Quentin the 5th. On June 12, Quentin put his rhyming skills to the test by auditioning for a chance to open for Atlanta hip-hop recording artists and national sensation Migos at the Cajun Dome in Lafayette, Louisiana on June 29. Also performing on that date are touring partners Lil Baby, Blac Youngsta and Tammy Rivera.

The move is an ambitious one for the young artist embarking on a post-college career. Rapping was once a hidden talent for Quentin, but now he is putting his self out there by taking chances.

Quentin called Amite his hometown, but he attended Independence High Magnet School where he was a basketball player for the Tigers.

“I played football, basketball and a little track. Basketball was my favorite,” Quentin said. “I probably could’ve done more but I stopped focusing on sports whenever I discovered that I was a good rhymer. Kept it a secret until it kinda leaked out but now it’s coming out the bag, so to speak.”

Quentin attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette after high school and it was there he started to focus on his craft.

“Music has aways been around me,” Quentin said. “I’ve been around for 4-5 years. Just relaxing and crafting. I listen to anything I get my hands on and have a lot of influences.”

Quentin says that he was also exposed to music from a young age as his mother was a dance instructor and he spent a lot of time around his school’s marching band. Now, he’s focused on putting it all together.

As far as other rappers he looks up to, Quentin has named Curren$y, J. Cole and Big Krit to be some of his favorites. Quentin’s style is very chill and concise. He has a social conscious and has a knack for strong storytelling. Shortly after creating a Soundcloud profile Quentin earned several thousand plays on line for a track called “Backwoods”.

The early online success caught the eyes and ears of Shaq Cosse, a writer for The Source Magazine. Cosse praised Quentin for being unique and creative and says he believes that he has Kendrick Lamar levels of potential.

If all goes well following the audition, it could lead to the next big step in Quentin’s road of progression. For the contest, Quentin performed an original track called “Stevie Wonderful”, an old school inspired track.

If you’d like to vote for Quentin’s audition advancement, please visit https://form.jotform.com/81628388034159 and vote for #22.

Advertisements

MUSIC REVIEW: Hammond Rapper J. Quick shows a harder edge with “Can’t Lose Faith”

fUFkLFSJ
REFLECTIONS- Hammond rapper J. Quick (a.k.a. Jarius Burton) attempts to small town dreams into big city realities. Photo submitted.

By Jesse Brooks

For anyone young in America right now, figuring out how to manage day-to-day living while facing an ever growing income inequality gap is a harsh reality. This especially rings true for young African-Americans trying to accomplish that and more.

The awareness of this reality is something being explored by rapper J.Quick (a.k.a Jarius Burton) from Hammond, Louisiana. Quick has been building a career in hip-hop ever since he was a teenager, and at age 22, he somewhat has the feeling of a veteran on the scene.

Though Quick himself may feel like he has been on the grind for years, his reality is that he and his career are young. As he has completed projects as a recording artist, his sound and narratives have been in a constant flux.

His latest release, an E.P. entitled “Can’t Lose Faith”, is a departure from his past themes that dealt with relationships and heartbreak through Drake style hip-hop ballads. The current release is darker and more reflective, signs of a young artist diving headfirst into manhood.

fmD1rMWg
NOW PLAYING- Stream J. Quick’s “Can’t Lose Faith EP” right now for free on Sound Cloud.

Being a musician from Hammond, roughly 55 minutes north of New Orleans on I-55, can be tough due to a lack of media availability. It is a college town, but its markets are in between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, which leaves the Tangipahoa Parish hub lost in the mix sometimes. Musicians from Hammond often have to compete twice as hard for gigs, sales or anything else with artists from more established urban bases.

Even for a small town, Hammond has its dangerous neighborhoods and immediately from the opening track, Quick paints an upbringing involving experiences of violence and drug dealing he witnessed. This is the first time Quick has ever brought his audience into his past, and by doing so he makes his case for an exit from that life.

Can’t Lose Faith was produced and mixed by Teveyon Bickham and sounds like an assortment of several styles of hip-hop from over the years. In the opening track and the fourth “Lost So Many” there are a lot of subtle nods to 90s style hip-hop, but it’s a hodgepodge of Death Row, Bad Boy and Cash Money. The sound reflects the pair of Hammond artists well since it tends to be the kind of town that absorbs everything. The harder sound fits the more mature viewpoints Quick is working through.

Perhaps the most striking track of the EP is the final one entitled “You Had to Be There.” In it, Quick envisions his neighborhood as a war zone with violence the audience would not be able to imagine. He describes an environment so riddled with violence that it can be hard to mentally rise above. If anyone closes their eyes, this could be in any town in America. The narrator endures scenes of violence and fears calling police in fear that the violence will be subjected to them.

Can’t Lose Faith is a sign of growth for Quick lyrically, showing that he wants to be an artist with a message. Quick seems to embrace growth as his social media presence is in a constant state of rebranding. He periodically shares images of himself in between promoting projects, and he also eventually removes all of his old work from the public. This is an artist experimenting and figuring out who they will become.

If Quick can expand out of the Hammond area, starting with this release, audience’s won’t lose faith with him.

Stream Quick’s work here:
YouTube
SoundCloud
Spotify
iTunes

Pelicans’ Mirotic gives back to local charity

Mirotic
WINNING LOOK- New Orleans Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic hosts free shave and haircut event at the New Orleans Mission. Photo submitted.

By Jesse Brooks

NEW ORLEANS- Nikola Mirotic, a forward for the New Orleans Pelicans, has already kicked off a busy offseason in the Crescent City by giving back to local charities.

On Wednesday, May 23, Mirotic teamed up with The New Orleans Mission and Gillette to host a free beard shaving and haircut event for those in need. The event also provided food and clothes for homeless individuals.
The New Orleans Mission is a charity organization that was founded in 1989 and they provide food, shelter, clothing and spiritual guidance to the city’s homeless population.

Mirotic made headlines this season after shaving off his instantly recognizable beard moments before an April 4 matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies to breakout of a scoring slump. Magically enough, the turnaround was instant as he went on to average 25.8 points and 12 rebounds in the five games that followed while shooting 56.3 percent from the field.

Mirotic’s improved beardless play continued on throughout the Pelicans’ first round sweep of the Portland Trailblazers in the opening round of the Western Conference Playoffs, and it landed him an endorsement deal with the Gillette shaving company.

Now thanks to the recent charitable event, the guests of the New Orleans Mission also get to enjoy the feeling of Mirotic’s winning shave as they spent a morning with the Pelicans’ hot shooting big man.

Mirotic, a native on Montenegro, was traded to the Pelicans on February 1 in exchange of Omer Asik, Jameer Nelson, Tony Allen and a 2018 first round pick and is largely credited for help saving his new team’s season after All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins went down with an achilles injury. Since arriving in the Big Easy, Mirotic has enthusiastically participated in the New Orleans community.

“This has been an incredible year. I want to take a moment to thank everyone. Mrs. Benson, the front office, my coaches, teammates, staff, and especially the fans for welcoming me and my family to New Orleans with open arms!” Mirotic Tweeted earlier this month. “I’m very proud to be a part of the New Orleans Pelicans organization and look forward to building on what we accomplished this season!”

Additionally, Mirotic also took time to visit patients at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans on Thursday, May 24 as part of an unannounced appearance.

Though Mirotic has only been with the Pelicans for a short time so far, his impact on and off the court has been positive. His contributions helped elevate a team from falling out of the Western Conference race to becoming one of the most talented. As of now, signs point to Mirotic being a great fit in New Orleans.

“I love the city, the community is great,” Mirotic said in statement to Will Gillory of NOLA.com on May 14. “I want to be a part of a playoff team, and I want to be part of a team that really has fun. This has been like a family for me, and I’m looking forward. This is the place I want to be.”

Jay Artigues Sportsplex adds new services just in time for summer

IMG_0345
GROWING- The Jay Artigues Sportsplex has announced new training services and a full summer program that includes camps for kids. Photo by Jesse Brooks.

By Jesse Brooks

HAMMOND- The Jay Artigues Sportsplex, a multi-sport training facility located on Highway 51 northbound, has announced the availability of new services and full program of summer activities.

The Sportsplex, founded by current Southeastern athletic director Jay Artigues and former Oak Forest Academy baseball coach Tony Salim, was opened three years ago and started mostly as an indoor training facility for baseball, the only one of its kind in Tangipahoa Parish. Since Sportsplex’s opening year, the facility now offers training services for softball, cheerleading, tumbling and football in addition to baseball. Starting on June 4, they will offer strength and speed training as well.

“We have camps going on for everything from baseball to soccer to cheerleading, we just had a football camp so we really have it open to all sports,” said Salim, who now serves as manager and oversees the daily operations fulltime. “When we opened this place, Jay Artigues and I talked about this being one of our dreams for the area for several years, and at one point we finally said let’s go for it. We’ve grown a little bit every year. A lot of people think that it’s a baseball facility, which it is, but it offers much more than just baseball. We offer a lot of things for your kids to do.”

IMG_0346

BEAT THE HEAT- Now open at the Sportsplex, King Cone Ice Cream and Snowballs is serving up refreshments. Photo by Jesse Brooks

Salim also said that the stakes of high school sports have become a lot more competitive in recent years, and facilities like the Sportsplex that offer the latest equipment and services from trained professionals helps young athletes in the area gain an edge. By offering a competitive arena, the Sportsplex, which offers 10,000 square feet of indoor turf, promotes healthy lifestyles through competition for local area youth. As the facility grows and continues to include more sports, it gives opportunities to more kids to be occupied in athletic training.

The Sportsplex truly is the only facility in the area where youth and high school athletes have access to resources are of college and professional level quality. Currently, the facility has hosted several local high school cheer squads that have rented the indoor turf for practices.

“I think it makes the local youth better,” Salim said. “Not only is it a pure training facility as far as whenever you need one-on-one instruction when you’re trying to get better, but we’re also available for local area teams when it rains, which prevents them from missing a practice. Several years back, many of us never had access to something like that.”

One of the newest additions of equipment is the hit track system. Salim says this technology is used by Division I programs, and it tracks how far a batter’s swings go and it measures the exit velocity of each hit. The system also records the batter’s swings on video to watch and critique later.

Salim feels that the more competitive high school sports become, the more important it is for athletes to participate in travel ball. The Hammond Yankees are a youth travel team that was established by Artigues and Salim in 2011 and their home is the Sportsplex.

ifjs3TrcQOKSlE%rfAGs9Q

BEGINNINGS- The Hammond Yankee youth travel ball teams were founded by Jay Artigues and Tony Salim in 2011. Their home is the Sportsplex. 

“Anywhere from 10 to 20 kids have moved on to the college and professional ranks after playing Yankee ball,” Salim said. “Anyone can try out and we just try to get the best players possible. We’ve taken both experienced and raw kids. It just depends on what we think their potential can be.”

Wade Miley, who is a pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers, has trained at the facility and has hosted camps there in the offseason. Kolton Kendrick, who plays within the Minnesota Twins organization, and Zach Clark, a player in the Brewers organization, also train at the Sportsplex in the offseason.

Beyond this summer, the growing continues for the Sportsplex. Salim confirmed that the facility has purchased additional land to expand the property to include turf fields with hopes of being able to host their own tournaments. The move should make Hammond a major hub for youth baseball within South Louisiana.

In addition to the sports services, the Sportplex also offers their space for birthday parties for kids.

“Obviously, there was a big need for birthday parties in the area,” Salim said. “Guests can come in and they have the entire turf area. There’s a variety of games kids can pick from that include kickball, dodgeball, wuffleball, and flag football that is organized and run by trained staff.”

Birthday packages include a field facilitator, a hostess, soft drinks and bounce houses by request.

This summer the Sportsplex will also host a regularly scheduled Parents’ Night Out that will last from 6-10 p.m. For $25 a guest, parents will be able to drop their children off for an event that includes activities, bounce houses and food in a package.

Next month the summer camp schedule will begin at the Sportsplex:
June 4- Barrett Morgan Baseball Camp from 5 to 7 p.m.
June 4-7- All Day Sports Camp from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
June 11- Chris McBride Soccer Camp from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Ages 5-13)
June 12-13- Kids’ Cheer Camp time TBA. (Ages 5-12)
June 18-21- Jay Artigues Baseball Camp from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Ages 9-13)
June 25-23- All Day Sports Camp from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
July 16-19- Jay Artigues Baseball Camp from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Ages 9-12)

For more information, please call (985) 956-7770 or visit jasportsplex.com.

A message from owner Gayle Benson to Pelicans fans

tom

While we are heartbroken by the loss of my husband, we are also tremendously grateful for the overwhelming love and prayers we continue to receive. Tom Benson’s love for his teams was rooted in his love for the fans. There was nothing he enjoyed more than greeting fans on game days, driving around training camp practices to shake hands or seeing so many loyal fans welcoming the team back from a road trip- win or lose. He felt a special connection to our incredible fan base because he truly felt like a fan himself -a hardworking, passionate New Orleanian who loved everything about his city. Following the Super Bowl victory, his first order of business was figuring out how he could share the Lombardi Trophy with as many of you as he could. He vowed that our trophy would be the most traveled, touched and photographed in the history of the NFL and ordered that a tour of the Gulf South be scheduled so that as many fans as possible could have their turn with it.

To his very last day, Tom Benson’s greatest hope was to bring more championships to our fans. I want you to know we are more committed than ever to make his hopes a reality. We will never forget his belief in what truly powers our teams- our fans. I would like to assure you that we planned carefully for this day and, while my husband could never be replaced, I am blessed to be surrounded by a wonderful leadership team and staff and we will move forward successfully together. We cannot thank you enough for all of the joy you gave my husband and will continue to do everything within our power to make you proud of our teams and city.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support as we celebrate my husband’s extraordinary life. Most of all, thank you for your unwavering devotion to our teams and city. I look forward to sharing many more special times together.

Gayle Benson
Owner
New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans

Sources indicate Lafayette area episode of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown is in production

ab

BOURDAIN IN CAJUN COUNTRY- Sources indicate television personality Anthony Bourdain was in the Lafayette area filming an episode of his CNN show ‘Parts Unknown’ during Mardi Gras. Photo: Screenshot of Bourdain in the Southwest Louisiana on the episode “Cajun Country” for his previous show ‘No Reservations’.

By Jesse Brooks 

Over last weekend and through Mardi Gras, sources online have indicated that production is underway for an Acadiana focused episode of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown on CNN. 

On Sunday, February 11, Madonna Broussard, owner of Cajun and Creole style restaurant Laura’s 2 in Lafayette, posted a photo of herself with Bourdain and explained that she hosted the renown chef for a segment of the show.

Bourdain, who is in production of his 11th season of his current show that first aired in 2013, is no stranger to South Louisiana. Bourdain has been known for his claims that New Orleans is one of the greatest food cities in the world, and featured the city on his previous television show No Reservations on Travel Channel. He returned to the Boot State on No Reservations a second time in the episode “Cajun Country” to film his first ever visit to the Lafayette area. In that episode, Bourdain participated in a traditional Cajun boucherie.

Herman Fuselier, a music and entertainment writer for The Daily Advertiser newspaper in Lafayette, also confirmed that he participated in segments that were being filmed for the show this week with a Facebook post seen here.

Fuselier is a Opelousas native and has dedicated a strong portion of his career to preserving the history and culture of Cajun zydeco, blues and R&B music of the region. His book Ghosts of Good Times: Louisiana Dance Halls Past and Present was released in October of 2016 and chronicles the stories of the venues that gave life to zydeco music.

Fuselier’s social media announcement indicates that the episode in production will feature Cajun Dance Halls like El Sido’s Zydeco & Blues Club and their fight to stay open through changing cultural landscapes.

Through social media, Bourdain himself confirmed that he was in Mamou, Louisiana on Tuesday to participate in Courir de Mardi Gras, a traditional Cajun version of the regional holiday. Here is a photo he posted of himself in full garb on Instagram.

A date for the premiere of Parts Unknown Season 11 has not yet been announced.

MUSIC CALENDAR – February 2017

88
ARTIST OF THE MONTH- The Angry 88 are original Hammond City punk rock for bring a CBGB style noise to South Louisiana in modern times. Catch them at Mad Maiden’s in Ponchatoula on February 16. Photo courtesy of the band’s Facebook.

HAMMOND

2/17 – Casey Saba @ Red White & Brew: 21+ 8 p.m.

PONCHATOULA 

2/16 – The Angry 88, Shadow Giant and McQueenery: 21+ 10 p.m.

2/24 – The Telegraph Salesman @ Mad Maiden’s: 21+ 10 p.m.

2/24 – Webbie w/ Sassy D @ 1111 SW Railroad Avenue: 21+ 8 p.m.

BATON ROUGE

2/23 – Cory Branan w/ The Weeping Willows @ Manship Theater: All Ages 7:30 p.m.

2/24 – Alejandro Escovedo @ Manship Theater: All Ages 7:30 p.m.

MADISONVILLE

** OPEN MIC EVERY FRIDAY @ Abita Roasting Co.: all ages 7 p.m.

MANDEVILLE

2/17 – Alex Bosworth w/ Hank Mackie @ The Lakehouse: 7 p.m.

NEW ORLEANS 

** Rebirth Brass Band @ The Maple Leaf EVERY TUESDAY: 21+ 10 p.m.

** Percy J @ The Maple Leaf EVERY WEDNESDAY: 21+ 10 p.m.

2/16 Green Mantles @ Checkpoint Charlie’s: 21+ 10 p.m.

2/16 – Lilli Lewis @ Little Gen Saloon: All ages 7:30 p.m.

2/16 – Noisewater @ Le Bon Temps Roule: 21+ 11 p.m.

2/16 – Struthers @ Maple Leaf: 21+ 11 p.m.

2/16 – Lenny Zenith @ Portside Lounge: 21+ 8:30 p.m.

2/16 – Vox and the Hound @ Three Keys: 21+ 9 p.m.

2/17 – Kermit Ruffins @ Little Gem Saloon: All Ages 9 p.m.

2/19 – St. Vincent @ Civic Theater: All Ages 8 p.m.

2/19 – The Porter Trio @ Maple Leaf: 21+ 10 p.m.

2/22 – The Revolution (Prince’s band) @ Joy Theater: 21+ 8 p.m.

2/24 – Tab Benoit @ House of Blues: 18+ 8 p.m.

2/25 – Cory Branan @ Portside Lounge: 21+ 8 p.m.

2/25 – Joywave @ Gasa Gasa: 8:30 p.m.

BILOXI

2/16 – Daughtry (acoustic evening) @ IP Casino: 21+ 8 p.m.

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS

2/24 – The Underhill Family Orchestra @ Government Street Grocery: 21+ 7 p.m.