This is part one of a two-part story about what led me to promote my very first hip-hop show in Spokane.
But first, let me tell you about myself & set the stage…
I’m Brennon Poynor I run a podcasting studio called Spokast! I’m a longtime resident of Spokane. I unabashedly love our city, local community, downtown landscape, our former city slogan, “Near Nature, Near Perfect,” and I’ll verbally fight with anyone who disses the Lilac City.
Now to the story at hand.
I found myself positioned at the heart of the vibrant Lucky Lounge on a warm Saturday evening in July 2022. Accompanied by my wife and six-year-old twins, we were excited to participate as extras in a music video for Spokane rappers Exzac Change, Iyzlow Matisse, and Jinx Universe. The video for the song “After the Rain,” produced by DJ Donuts, was being filmed and directed by Make Waves Media House, the creative team behind Live From Somewhere.
Photo credit: Katherine Vandergriff
There was definitely a buzz of creativity in the room with so many like minds in the same space. Not surprising, given that Lucky You has been a beacon of creativity in the Spokane music scene since opening in 2019.
This was the first time I had seen Jinx Universe, since I had sent him an Instagram message expressing how much his latest album, “Make It Look Good” (MILG), had inspired me. We had a brief conversation, but Jinx said something to me that I wouldn’t soon forget.
“I’ve always wanted to do a show at Lucky You, but I haven’t been able to get in touch with the booking manager.”
My problem-solving mind immediately started churning on how I could make this happen. Spokane absolutely needed to see Jinx Universe perform his new album live!
Before I go much further, I need to introduce you to Jinx quickly briefly…
Derrick Jenkins was born in San Diego in 1989. As he recalls some of his earliest memories were of his parents playing records of R&B icons of the 80s & 90s at family BBQs, which had to lay the groundwork for his musical acumen.
As a child, Derrick and his family moved between Massachusetts, Las Vegas, and California, eventually landing in Spokane in the mid-2000s. Once here, he quickly started the hustle of making music as a young MC. Derrick lived for the grind of songwriting, recording music & performing wherever he could find a stage.
In 2014, he found major success when his debut single, “Alive,” which was also chosen as the music for Cricket Wireless national commercials. He spent the latter half of the 2010s cultivating his sound & persona, which led to the release of his EP “I Want to Be Young” in 2017.
This all leads us to the present day. (I will say that is obviously just a glimpse of Derrick Jenkins, but I’ll save the story for another day.)
Jinx’s album “Make It Look Good” (MILG) was released one year ago, in May 2022. Teaming up with his longtime friends & producers Chris Soper and Jesse Singer, collectively known as LIKEMINDS, to create an album filled with absolute bangers showcasing sophisticated lyricism, catchy hooks & genre-bending influence.
From beginning to end, “MILG” will have you dancing to ”Let’s Do It Again,” laughing along with “Like Me,” and wiping away tears to the heartfelt track, “Come Together.” No matter your position in this universe, Jinx’s album will have you feeling all the feels.
Even though I knew I had to make this “Jinx show” happen, I didn’t immediately tell Derrick. At the time, I had literally zero experience promoting shows, let alone a hip-hop show. Plus, I had a podcasting business to run.
At Spokast, I produce roughly 20 different podcasts ranging from a weekly Gonzaga Men’s Basketball Recap show with Adam Morrison to a bi-weekly podcast with Spokane Conservation District that features local farmers & conservationists in our region. I’m very good at keeping my podcasters consistent and creating content for their shows. But as most business owners can relate, I’m awful at practicing what I preach.
I mentioned “Make It Look Good” inspired me. In the bridge of the track “Get Up,” Jinx raps,
Just ‘cuz you got time
Don’t waste time
It’s about time
Feel the sunshine
You got time
But don’t waste time
It’s go time
I had the time, and I needed to commit to what made Spokast! successful to begin with. Bringing back Spokast! the podcast.
If you’re unfamiliar with my podcast, Spokast! it focuses on the arts & entertainment scene in our city. In each episode, I interview local Spokanites, dig into what they are doing, how they got there and highlight what makes Spokane such an exciting place to live.
With the relaunch, there was only one person that could be my first guest… You guessed it, Jinx Universe.
I interviewed Derrick in late August of 2022. The interview left me buzzing, and we sat in the studio talking for another hour plus. We talked about a lot of different things. Our favorite artists growing up. The hip-hop scene in Spokane. Our children. And then I told him about that idea I had back in July… getting the people of Spokane to Lucky You Lounge to see a “Jinx show.”
To be continued.
Brennon Poynor shares the stories of Spokane—the people, the places, the happenings!— with thousands of fans on his flagship podcast, Spokast! As a podcast pro with the equipment to prove it, he produces 20 additional podcasts (with 10 more in pre-production), taking on the tech so podcasters can focus on the heart of their work.