Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Music · B. Jenkins busts out
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B. Jenkins busts out

Danielle Horvath - December 15th, 2008
Rhyme-master B. Jenkins beat out 12 other artists to win his third Self-Inflicted 8 competition for a coveted spot to open for Paul Wall when he performs at Streeters Ground Zero this Tuesday, Dec. 16.
“It’s a great opportunity as an independent artist to be exposed to a new audience and I’m also very grateful to Streeters who gave me my first chances to perform a few years ago,” he says.
When most other 15-year-olds were playing video games or hanging out with their friends, Brandon Jenkins was writing song verses and turning them into raps. At 16, he was spending every weekend and vacations at the recording studio of Saginaw-based rapper/producer Astray, whom he impressed with an original rap when he met him at a local mall.
“It was a lot of time away, and my parents made it clear I had to keep up with school if I wanted to pursue this dream,” Jenkins said. “They got a lot of negativity at first from people who thought rap was a bad environment for me to be in so young, but I became more determined than ever to keep at it.”

In May 2006, while still a sophomore at Benzie Central High School, he released his first single “Do It Like Me,” which was followed two months later by his first album, “Right Where I Want To Be,” which sold over 2,000 copies statewide and launched him into local stardom. At just 17, Jenkins began playing at nightclubs downstate, where he quickly got a close-up view of the pitfalls of that lifestyle.
“There were people all around me losing their lives and dreams to drugs and alcohol and I made the realization then that I wasn’t going to let that happen to me,” he said.
Jenkins began performing at Streeters in Traverse City with his mom in the audience due to him being underage, which gave him the chance to perform with the likes of The Ying-Yang Twins, Bizarre, MC Breed and Paul Wall.
In February 2007, Jenkins’ producer Astray was picked up by Web entertainment – the same label that launched Eminem’s career. “Eminem is my all time favorite and having access to the Shady Records studio in Detroit was like a dream come true for me.”
It was also his senior year in high school and Jenkins knew he had to get that part of his life done so he could focus on his music career full-time. He graduated early with a “B” average, admitting he missed out on a lot of his high school years.
“I never bonded with my senior class, and I know I missed a lot of school functions. It was a weird feeling sometimes to be working 14-hour days at the studio and be thinking that everyone else was sitting in class. But I learned to deal with it and made the realization that this is what it was going to take to do what I wanted.”

Having a producer working in a major label environment fueled the fire for him to begin working on his second album “Talk of the City,” due out in Spring ’09.
Jenkins also decided to contact an old friend from Onekama who had produced music videos, Keith Zielinski of 5830 Productions. They combined their talents to create a video that would help launch their careers into mainstream media. Zielinski organized the video and Jenkins put everything in to creating a hit single.
Jenkins then turned to Astray, who produced and is featured on the song “Make A Flick,” along with reggae star King Jazzy. “Make A Flick” is a catchy ringtone-friendly song about camera phones and the hip-hop scene. It debuted on Sirius Satellite Radio’s Shade 45 and the video will be premiering on MTV-U, BET and Youtube.com within the coming weeks. The single is also available for purchase on digital download sites such as iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster and E-music.
At 19, Jenkins is beginning to see the benefits of his years of hard work and can now support himself from his music. “I come from very humble beginnings,” he said, “and I don’t take anything for granted. I worked hard for everything I have accomplished today, and I try to tackle each project like it’s my first time at bat. I am amazed at how far I am today and excited about how much there is ahead of me. Music is my life, I would rather be at the studio than anywhere else, and I know all this hard work will pay off.”

B. Jenkins performs with Marz, Critical Bill, Maniacal and Paul Wall at 9 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 16 at Streeters Ground Zero. You can check out his music, up-coming shows or send him an email at: myspace.com/thebjenkins.

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