Often, watching the news can be everything but interesting when we just want to know what’s happening on twitter, the latest beefs, and discover new music. Thankfully Complex’s Brandon “Jinx” Jenkins seems to have managed to make every type of news (whether political or pop culture related) seem relevant and worthy of bringing our attention to. I recently got the chance to chop it up with this very busy guy but nonetheless worthy of getting ahold of. Whether he was busy outside the states, working on his DJ skills, working on a story, or wrapping up an interview with Vince Staples or Spike Lee, he somehow made the time to get back to me. The influential Complex news anchor and editorial producer “Jinx ” lets me in on how one experience at Morehouse managed to change his life, his choice between happiness and bankrolls, the very real struggle of being in between gigs, and his priceless memory with Jersey’s GOAT Just Blaze.
–So being from Jersey, what were you planning on doing at Morehouse ?
Jinx:I went to school in pursuit of an engineering degree, but swapped to Marketing in our Business department. It was the only curriculum to get me close to advertising, and other creative fields. A professor at Morehouse, exposed me to the world of branding and advertising. I can say for sure that it changed my life.
– Dang, shout outs to him then. What was your initial plan for after Morehouse ?
Jinx:My initial plan after Morehouse was to land a gig at Translation, an ad agency in New York. I got an internship there as a result of a series of very dope events, but ultimately got shook about not having a confirmed job and ended up bouncing for a full-time gig elsewhere. The job I took sucked, and I regretted it for a while. But looking back I can see that it all kind of worked out. Still, fuck that other job though.
–Sheesh, the struggle seemed like it was real. What got you into Complex?
Jinx:As a reader, I became familiar with Complex in college. I was flying home for the first time from Atlanta, and I saw it in the airport. I’m pretty sure I purchased one every time I was in the airport from that point on. I was always interested in the content, and it really struck a cord with me. I was into a lot of shit that my friends weren’t into at that time. In order to talk about different music I had to hang with different kids. Or if I wanted to discuss the new Nikes in depth I had to hang with another homie. Complex captured all those things in one zine.
– That was high-key fate for you then. What were you up to before landing at Complex ?
Jinx: Before I got on at Complex I was over at Mass Appeal as the Video and Programs manager. It was something I had just landed before I left, but mainly I was writing for the site, doing video interviews with whoever would fall through, producing and trafficking content. Honestly, a lot of us did a little bit of everything. Crazy, but fun.
-When you got to Complex, who was your first interview with ?
Jinx: I think the first person I interviewed was Just Blaze. I’m from New Jersey so he’s like HOF, one of the GOATs for us. He was really cool, and I think he understood that I was new so he let me take longer to get my questions together and gave me dope answers. Low key, I don’t think the interview was ever published. I wish I could remember the advice he gave me, but I remember writing it down in the notebook I had on me. I save them all, so I’m sure I’ve got something ill scribbled somewhere.
-Wow, looking at now, seems like you get to do a little bit of everything. What do you think has been the best and worst part ?
Jinx: That’s a tough question. BEST: Getting a taste of what it’s like to create. WORST: When you make cool stuff, you want to make a lot more of it. It can be an anxious and unsettling feeling. I mean worse, more specific moments have occurred, but that’s just how it goes.
–How busy would you say you are during like a normal week?
Jinx: Pretty busy. I should also state that I’m a huge fan of sleep. But work is like a constant flow. News doesn’t stop. And the production element of our work takes up time as well. I’m not tethered to a desk so time passes pretty quickly. I’m not out often unless there’s something I can’t miss, but when I’m home I’m still on the internet sifting around. It’s kind of weird to think about, there’s always something happening in the culture, so you’re always devoting some amount of attention to it.
-So from politics to pop culture, it’s obvious that you’ve met a range off great people. What has been the best advice you’ve gotten thus far ?
Jinx: I’ve met a lot of people that have given me great advice. My parents, family, teachers, professors, colleagues, homies. Some I share as good word, some I keep to myself as a competitive advantage. One that I always repeat to other people is “Stay the course.” Sometimes.. often your situation is gonna be bullshit in some form or another. You have to pick when to stay the course, thug it out. You usually come out a better person than you would have been if you succumbed to the pressure or quit. Stay the course. In order to get chose you have to be present.
-Have you covered anything that still stands out to you today ?
Jinx: I can say traveling to Ferguson was probably the most important and personally informing story I covered. The experience it self was like nothing I’d ever experienced. But as a black man, as a human, it awoke an awareness in me. An awareness that’s existed as long as I can remember, but hadn’t been at the forefront of my mind in the way it is now. Just the awareness of the black population in society. It’s seriously too heavy to try to break down, without devoting an entire convo to it. But yeah, that coverage was a moment where I felt like I was doing something that really mattered to people beyond the usual folks I’m talking to and for.
-With dealing with such an unpredictable schedule, how do you balance business with your personal life?
Jinx: Ehhh.. My job’s a little weird cause it’s a outward facing position. So even when I’m not on the clock there’s the potential that I could be in an “on the clock” moment
-Who has been your biggest supporters thus far?
Jinx: My biggest supporter has been my family and myself. My family hasn’t always understood what my interests were or how they filtered into a paycheck, but after a while they got the idea that I was really more about being happy and enjoying the time I spent working, producing work that I valued. They’ve always had my back and are actually the reason I have a lot of the interests and skills that I have today. I say myself, cause you have to be your best advocate, even if you’re being brutally honest. You shouldn’t beat yourself up, the world will do that for you. But you should be the one pushing yourself and at times patting your own self on the back. I feel like Katt Williams said something similar, but way cooler.
-Would you say that you are living your dream now ?
Jinx: My dreams are always evolving, and of course I want to do a lot of things. I’ve got further to go.
–If you could go back in time and give yourself some tips, what would they be?
Jinx: Save money. Complain less. Roll the dice.
-Yeah.. I’m officially stealing that. Have you had an “oh sh**” moment as a news anchor yet ?
Jinx: Getting tear gassed in Ferguson and being in the middle of a mix of protesters and rioters who were disobeying the curfew. A couple of them were strapped, and in the middle of it, a dude recognizes me from my interviews with rap artists.
–So you have clearly witnessed the glamorous and the not so glamorous side of things being in the position that you’re in. What would you like to be known for 10 years from now?
Jinx: Well in 10 years I’ll still be in the mix. So I hope whomever I cross paths with, I leave them with with a sense that I care about the culture and contributing to it in a positive way.
Well thanks so much Jinx for your time ! You’ve definitely inspired me and have been influential to this generation. Please continue to keep our attention making culture pop !
Jinx, ladies and gentlemen.