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Local restauranteur serves up a side of music

By William Wooten
On June 14, 2019

Outside of serving the best chicken in Grambling, co-founder of Who Made Me Do It Wings & Po Boys, Michael Barnes has another interesting talent he recently displayed for his customers and others in the “GramFam” community. 

Barnes, whose stage name is “Mike B”, performed in front of thousands of students for Grambling’s Annual TigerFest Concert in the defining moment of his musical career thus far. 

This year’s TigerFest concert featured Kash Doll, Yella Beezy and Blac Youngsta. 

Barnes was granted the opportunity to open up the concert and he did just that. The crowd was into his music and even shouted out most of his lyrics. 

“It was a pleasure to perform because it brought upon a different vibe,” Barnes said. “Simply because everybody in the audience were a student of institution. I felt as if I was rewarding them because of all of the handwork they have put in throughout the school year.” 

However, the music is not the only thing that keeps Barnes going. 

He loves the fact that there are so many students that attend this historically black college. “Especially when they could be doing something else with their life,” Barnes said. “Other than that, the love that Grambling State showed motivates me to go harder.”

On the side of selling chicken and making hits, Barnes feels as if sometimes things have to give in some point of time in order to keep his life balanced out. 

“Sometimes the restaurant got to give. Sometimes the music got to give. Sometimes it is the relationship that got to give. The relationship most because that person knows your dreams and aspirations. They know what it takes to get there. They also have your best interest,” Barnes said.  

Barnes used the term “holdin’ you down” as a reference to explain what he means. 

Barnes hopes to help more around the GSU community if granted the opportunity. 

Even though he is an alumnus of Northwestern State University, his main point is to put emphasis on the education of all HBCUs.

“I never attended a predominantly black institution but I fit right in here,” Barnes said. “As long as my people stay in the classroom and I keep them motivated then I am motivated. Sooner than later the help that I contribute to Grambling, I want to be able to do the same thing for my alma mater. I want to be able to spread the love to all schools.” 

Barnes had a message for those in the young black community who want to be entrepreneurs or artists. 

“Stay Focused! Stay Humble and Stay Prayed Up!” he said. 

Barnes believes that everything you want to do starts within you. 

“It takes money to make money so, save and you will be able to invest into yourself and invest into your craft,” Barnes said. “If people see you are serious about what you are trying to do, then that is when they will fully support you.”

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