Letters

Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

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.”

LAUNCHING PAD
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.”

MOVING ON
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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