Sacha Jenkins

Sacha Jenkins (born 1971) is an American television producer, filmmaker, writer, musician, artist, curator, and chronicler of hip-hop, graffiti, punk, and metal cultures. While still in his teens, Jenkins published Graphic Scenes & X-Plicit Language, one of the earliest ‘zines solely dedicated to “graffiti” art. In 1994, Jenkins co-founded ego trip magazine. In 2007, he created the competition reality program “ego trip's The (White) Rapper Show," which was carried by VH1. Currently, Jenkins is the creative director of Mass Appeal magazine.[1]

Sacha Jenkins
Philadelphia, PA
NationalityUnited States
EducationWilliam Cullen Bryant High School
OccupationJournalist, graffiti historian, Hip Hop analyst
Known forCo-founding Beat Down (newspaper) and Ego Trip (magazine)
TelevisionThe (White) Rapper Show, Ego Trip's Race-O-Rama, TV's Illest Minority Moments presented by Ego Trip
Spouse(s)Raquel Cepeda
ChildrenDjali and Marceau
Parent(s)Horace B. Jenkins and Monart Renaud


Sacha Jenkins was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 22, 1971. The Jenkins family lived in Silver Spring, Maryland until Sacha Jenkins was seven years old. After his parents’ separation, Jenkins’ father, Horace Byrd Jenkins III, moved to Harlem. (Horace was a professor of communications at Howard University.) Jenkins, along with his mother, Monart, and his sister, Dominique, moved to Queens, New York in 1977.

Horace Byrd Jenkins III won Emmy Awards for his contributions to the TV programs "The Advocates," "Sesame Street," and "30 Minutes" (CBS TV series), and was a pioneer in the TV magazine format with the program "Black Journal."[2] Under the name Horace Jenkins, he wrote and directed the feature film Cane River (1982).[3] That same year Horace died of a heart attack.[4]

Sacha’s mother, Monart, who is of Haitian origin, is a painter who has exhibited her work in galleries in Washington, D.C. and New York City.[5]

Jenkins is married to author/filmmaker Raquel Cepeda. The couple have two children, Djali Brown-Cepeda (Jenkins' stepdaughter)[6] and a son, Marceau.


Jenkins graduated from William Cullen Bryant High School in Woodside, New York in 1990.[7] Afterwards, he attended Brooklyn College and City College of New York. In 2000, Jenkins was awarded a fellowship to the Graduate School of Journalism via National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University.[7][8]


In 1988, Jenkins published his first ‘zine—’’Graphic Scenes & Xplicit Language’’—one of the earliest magazines dedicated to graffiti art. In 1992, Jenkins and childhood friend Haji Akhigbade established Beat Down, a very early hip-hop newspaper.[9] Beat Down’s music editor was future blogger Elliott Wilson.

In June of 1994, following a falling out between Akhigbade and Jenkins, Jenkins and Wilson co-founded ego trip magazine.[7] The magazine published 13 issues during the next four years —with content spanning everything from rap to skateboarding to punk rock to interviews bearing Count Chocula's byline. Eventually, there were Ego Trip books (ego trip's Book of Rap Lists and ego trip's Big Book of Racism) and Ego Trip television series [“Race-O-Rama” (2005), “ego trip's The White Rapper Show” (2007)[10] and “Miss Rap Supreme” (2008)][11] — all carried by VH1.

Jenkins himself has written and produced a number of film and television projects. In 2005 he began working as a writer on season one of Aaron McGruder’s hit series The Boondocks. In 2011, Jenkins was executive producer of “50 Cent: The Origin of Me” — a documentary that traces the genealogy of rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.

Between 1997 and 2000, Jenkins was the music editor of Vibe magazine. He has written articles and features for Spin magazine and Rolling Stone about a wide array of recording artists—from Nas to Queens of the Stone Age to The Mars Volta and Kid Rock. Jenkins co-authored Eminem’s biography,The Way I Am, with Eminem. With co-author David “Chino” Villorente, Jenkins created the influential Piecebook series of books. (Piecebooks are the sketchbooks that graffiti artists used to map out their works or “pieces” before committing them to a larger surface. The Piecebook series highlights drawings that span the globe and go as far back as 1973.) In 2007, Jenkins wrote the foreword to Jon Naar'sThe Birth of Graffiti, a book devoted to graffiti in New York in the 1970s.[12]

Currently, Jenkins is the creative director of Mass Appeal, an urban culture magazine and website founded in 1996.[13] He is also writing a biography with the Beastie Boys,[14][15] and is finishing up his directorial debut, “Fresh Dressed” — a documentary film about the history of hip-hop fashion—for CNN Films.

Jenkins is a member of The White Mandingos, a rock band that also features rapper Murs and Bad Brains bassist Darryl Jenifer. Their debut single and full-length LP—both titled "The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me" — were issued by Fat Beats records in June 2013.[16]

Jenkins has collaborated with other notable musicians to present their works in the theater space. In 2009 he wrote and produced an off-Broadway play entitled "Deez Nuts: A Musical Massacre," about a journalist who interviews rap group The Beatnuts.[17] Two years later he directed "Negroes On Ice," a traveling production featuring Grammy Award-winning producer Prince Paul.[18]

He is a member of the National Arts Journalism Program.[19]


  • Writers Convention: A Collaborative Study of Pigments, at Bill Adler’s Eyejammie Fine Arts Gallery, New York, November 4 – December 17, 2005. Jenkins described the show as a series of painted “duets” with artists including Chino BYI, Claw Money, Cycle, Daze, Eric Haze, Kaves, Mint & Serf, Jose Parla, and SP One.[20]
  • Write On Bros.: Paintings and Words by Sacha Jenkins SHR and the Legendary Livingroom Johnston, at the Eyejammie Fine Arts Gallery, New York, May 9, 2007 – June 2, 2007.
  • Write of Passage, Red Bull Studios, October–November 2013.[21][22][23][24][25]


  • with Elliott Wilson, Jeff Mao and Gabe Alvarez, ego trip’s Book of Rap Lists, St. Martin’s Griffin (1999)[26]
  • with Elliott Wilson, Chairman Jefferson Mao, Gabriel Alvarez, and Brent Rollins, ego trip’s Big Book of Racism, Harper Perennial (2002)[27]
  • "The Writing on the Wall: Graffiti Culture Crumbles into the Violence It Once Escaped," a chapter in And It Don't Stop: The Best American Hip-Hop Journalism of the Last 25 Years, Raquel Cepeda, editor, Faber & Faber (2004)[28]
  • with Eminem, The Way I Am, Dutton Adult (2008)[29]
  • with David Villorente, Piecebook: The Secret Drawings of Graffiti Writers, Prestel (2008)[30]
  • with David Villorente, Piecebook Reloaded: Rare Graffiti Drawings 1985-2005, Prestel (2009)[31]
  • with David Villorente, World Piecebook: Global Graffiti Drawings, Prestel (2011)[32]
  • with Carlo McCormick, Sean Corcoran, Lee Quiñones, City As Canvas: New York City Graffiti from the Martin Wong Collection, Skira Rizzoli (2013)[33]
  • with Howie Abrams, The Merciless Book of Metal Lists, Harry N. Abrams (2013)[34]
  • with Henry Chalfant, Training Days: The Subway Artists Then and Now, Thames & Hudson (forthcoming October 2014)[35]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Sacha Jenkins Talks Art, Culture and 'The Burning of Kingston'". The Boom Box. July 8, 2014. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
  2. ^ "Black Journal Is Back". Ebony. October 1970. p. 124. Retrieved 2014-05-02.
  3. ^ "Horace Jenkins", IMDb.
  4. ^ "Horace B. Jenkins, 42; His Films Won Awards", New York Times, December 7, 1982.
  5. ^ "» Blog Archive » HE{ART} FOR HAITI: Interview with Raquel Cepeda and Sacha Jenkins". 2010-03-05. Retrieved 2014-04-16.
  6. ^ "The Coolest Black Kid in America, No. 3: Djali Brown-Cepeda", Ebony, January 2014.
  7. ^ a b c Jenkins, Sacha; Wilson, Elliott; Mao, Jeff; Alvarez, Gabriel; Rollins, Brent (1991). Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists. New York: St Martin's Griffin.
  8. ^ "TRUST: Sacha Jenkins: Partner/Director/Cultural Consiglieri". Retrieved 2014-04-16.
  9. ^ Sacha Jenkins. "Sacha Jenkins | Authors | Macmillan". Retrieved 2014-04-16.
  10. ^ Page on VH1 website for "The White Rapper Show,"
  11. ^ Page on VH1 website for "Miss Rap Supreme,"
  12. ^ "The Birth of Graffiti".
  13. ^ "About - Mass Appeal Magazine". 2012-02-18. Retrieved 2014-04-16.
  14. ^ Sisario, Ben (April 28, 2013). "Beastie Boys Sign a Memoir Deal". New York Times. Retrieved 2014-04-16.
  15. ^ "Beastie Boys book on the way". The New Zealand Herald. April 30, 2013.
  16. ^ "The White Mandingos Embrace Hardcore in 'The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me' - Song Premiere | Music News". Rolling Stone. 2013-03-04. Retrieved 2014-04-16.
  17. ^ Claudia Sosa, "The Beatnuts Kick Off the Hip Hop Theater Festival", Remezcla, October 6, 2009.
  18. ^ Paine, Jake (November 15, 2011). "Prince Paul Takes "Negroes On Ice" Play On National Tour". Retrieved April 18, 2014.
  19. ^ "najp". Retrieved 2014-04-16.
  20. ^ Rebecca Louie, "As for his gallery art, graffitist is no elitist", NY Daily News, December 1, 2005.
  21. ^ Ryzik, Melena (October 7, 2013). "An Educational Program for Graffiti Art". New York Times.
  22. ^ Shalby, Colleen (November 12, 2013). "Writings on the Wall: Before graffiti became a global language". PBS News Hour. Retrieved 2014-04-16.
  23. ^ Keck, Catie (November 7, 2013). "'Write of Passage' Curator: Banksy Work Is Not Graffiti". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2014-04-16.
  24. ^ Cooper, Ashton (October 16, 2013). "In the Air: Sacha Jenkins on His Six-Week, Red Bull-Fueled Seminar on the History of New York Graffiti". Blouin Art Info. Retrieved 2014-04-16.
  25. ^ Tcholakian, Danielle (October 6, 2013). "Not all NYC artists love Banksy". Metro. Retrieved 2014-04-16.
  26. ^ "Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists".
  27. ^ "ego trip's Big Book of Racism!"
  28. ^ "And It Don't Stop: The Best American Hip-Hop Journalism of the Last 25 Years".
  29. ^ "The Way I Am".
  30. ^ "Piecebook: The Secret Drawings of Graffiti Writers".
  31. ^ "Piecebook Reloaded: Rare Graffiti Drawings, 1985-2005".
  32. ^ "World Piecebook: Global Graffiti Drawings".
  33. ^ "City as Canvas: New York City Graffiti From the Martin Wong Collection".
  34. ^ "The Merciless Book of Metal Lists".
  35. ^ "Training Days: The Subway Artists Then and Now ".

External linksEdit