Sounds of the QC: J-Quin Takes the Crown!

Excitement and energy was at an all-time high April. The purpose, to crown that talented individual that will pen the signature anthem for the city. But honestly, it’s truly more than that. More than the opportunity for that artist to be “put on” or hidden underlying motives as some have suggested. No tonight’s activity and excitement represented one thing, the unity of individuals under the banner of healing a city. To put aside race, politics and negativity and use that thing called music to show a better side of us.

Hosted by Streetz 103.3, the event was kicked into high gear by the multi-talented teens of Inspire the Fire. They took attendees down a “Hip Hop Path” of music and dance. But it didn’t stop there, as each finalist took the stage and showcased their creativity, hard work and their vision of what the Queen City’s anthem should be. The diversity and range of each song reflecting familiar places, events and the spirit of the QC, from the smooth melody of Mel Silas, to The Buzz City All-Starz commanding the stage and repping the Charlotte Hornets signature teal and purple,  attendees were not disappointed at all! Guest judges Larrin Granderson, Cristana “Dutchess” Lattimore, JR Adduci, Michael “Big Mike” McCluney, Kia O. Moore, Mason “Quill” Parker, Dennis Reed and Telisha “Teka Rose” Wheeler each weighed in on the  lyrical talent, writing, creativity and stage presence to see who would take the title.

But in the end, it was J. Quin (Jason Harkless) who walked away as the winner for submitting the winning entry and Charlotte’s new unofficial hip-hop anthem.  The irony, his cousin Warren McCall talked him into entering the contest, a mere two days before the deadline for entry! But hearing the anthem, you would never have guessed. The flow, the lyrical content and music arrangement was on point and aptly representing the Queen City in all its glory.

J. Quin will get the opportunity to perform the winning song live at the National League of Cities meeting in November 2017 in Charlotte, N.C., and at the Queen City Awards. Also, there will be a contest specifically for high school students in the fall, giving them the opportunity to showcase their creative talent and represent the QC once again.

First runner-up was Mel Silas, and popular vote winner was Big Red (Willis Draughn) who also walked away with prizes, ranging from studio time to featured articles and the opportunity to work with industry greats here in the QC. This event could truly be a catalyst for not just change, but also a reemergence and recognition of the power of Hip Hop. Thanks to Mayor Roberts, Committee Chair Noelle De Atley,  the community volunteers committee, sponsors and those in attendance for an amazing evening. 


Verbatim (Damion Samuels) – Royals

J. Quin (Jason Harkless) – Charlotte Anthem

Mel Silas – Charlotte Anthem

The Bungies – Char Lit

Buzz City All Stars (Kirk Ayton) – We on to sum thin

Thomas Wooten – 704 Ode to my City


Tony G. (Anthony Gilchrist) – The Queen City

Big Red (Willis Draughn) – My City Charlotte Anthem

Black Linen (Solomon Conyers) – Love Potion 704

Th3Higher (Xavier Walker) 4s Up SoQC

Legend Status (Tony Laveria) – Welcome to the QC

K Flow (Kawanna Jackson) – Queen City Stand Up

Etha (Natalie Carter) – Charlotte Anthem

Paladin (Quinten Wright) – All I Do