Rec Center a powerhouse of music for producer

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 30, 2003

FERRIDAY, La. &045; The music permeating from the Ferriday Rec Center is more than teenagers getting together to listen to music &045; it is a full production.

Rydell Turner started his own production company called Powerhouse Entertainment, where he is a manager for three teenage rap groups. Two groups are from Ferriday and one, the newest edition to the group, is from Jonesville.

Turner and the groups meet at the rec center three days a week for an average of four hours per day.

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And it all started about six years ago when his son and three of his friends would sing at schools. It started out as fun, but Bryan Curry said by the time he was in seventh grade, it became serious.

That is when the group performed at Ferriday High School at a talent show. Now Curry will be in eleventh grade and said he does it &uot;just to have fun.

The three groups &045; B Twice, Southern Badboyz and Uptown Thriller &045; have conducted four performances, doing shows at schools for students, two in Ferriday and two in Natchez.

On Aug. 2, they will have their fifth at the Jonesville Recreational Center.

Turner said people just come to him and ask him to help them. He auditions talent but only works with a few groups at a time.

But Turner said he loves producing for the teenagers. For many of them, this is what they really want to do and he is helping them do that.

Lakeith Lewis, the newest member of B Twice, who joined three years ago, loves to rap. It started out as a hobby but now he has gotten serious about it.

Lewis said the group writes their own songs and own beats. Mostly Jeremiah Jones writes the beats, an original member of the group. Jerry Hampton and Christopher Cook round out the group along with Lewis and Curry.

Lewis, a 16-year-old from Ferriday, said he joined the group, &uot;when I found it could be serious and could make me money.&uot;

Lewis said if the group makes the progression, he wants to rap after high school.

Lewis said being in the group does make a difference for many of them.

&uot;It gives people something to do besides get in trouble on the corner,&uot; Lewis said.

And Turner knows by encouraging their efforts, he can keep them doing what they love instead of getting into other things.

&uot;Number one reason is to keep them out of trouble,&uot; Turner said. &uot;I can be with them here. Once they are here, I know they aren’t in the streets.&uot;

And not only are these groups getting something out of the Ferriday Rec Center, but others in the community are as well.

Turner said Mayor Glen McGlothin lets them use the gym for their practices but also for dances, or record hops, every other Saturday night, so teenagers in the city have something to do on Saturday night. Sometimes the groups perform at the dances.

The groups, through the money they make at some of their performances, give back to the community.

First of all, they provide entertainment and they do so without profanity or bad language. Also, Turner said when they charge people for their concerts, they give that money back to the community many times, helping some community teams buy uniforms.

Turner said he hopes they learn a lesson from the giving they are doing now.

&uot;I hope we’re setting a guideline for them when they’re making it to give back,&uot; he said.