Jeffrey Lewis is a beast in the media and blog space, and he continues to put time, dedication, and passion into his work.
A true Harlem native down to the core, Jeff hit the ground running over a decade ago in 2009 and has since established himself as someone you want to know in media — giving audiences all around the world the tea.
Now standing as the CEO and founder of his own media platform ItsOnlyEntertainment, Lewis reveals there’s two side to him. He states, “The professional me speaks well, he’s always paying attention to how he’s carrying himself. Then there’s the Harlem guy: a free spirit, a little wild and crazy. He does whatever the hell he wants to do, but at the same time he’s still keeping in mind that business side.”
His resume alone speaks for itself, managing content at RayJ.com and Twista.com, contributing to Interactive One’s The Urban Daily and Hello Beautiful, doing social media for DuBose Entertainment, and even branding Ceaser’s Black Ink Crew for 6 years.
So what sets Jeffrey’s ItsOnlyEntertainment from the rest? Jeffrey chooses to focus on not only the gossip, but highlights the good in the celebrities he covers. His yearning to support everybody has gotten him this far, and he shows no signs of slowing down.
AllHipHop: Who did you write for initially?
Jeffrey Lewis: What happened was I’m doing all this stuff on Twitter right? I’m getting all these retweets, then I had started a small blog called The Society at that time. One day out of nowhere, I got this message from this guy K Rich. He’s affiliated with Thisis50. He hit me up and said “Yo, I want you to come work with me on Rayj.com.” I’m like “well how did you hear about me?” He said “Oh I heard about you from Corentin,” who‘s running at ThisIs50 at the time. He put him onto me and said “Yo there’s this dude on Twitter, he’s always saying this crazy stuff. You should check him out.”
From there, I started content managing for RayJ.com. It went from RayJ.com to Interactive One, all that type of stuff. I was writing for the AllHipHop Rumors at that time as well too. I started making relationships with different writers and bloggers. I made this relationship with this blogger named Miss Mouth, she had the nastiest mouth ever. She’s got this p#### mouth, she says what she wants. She’s worse than me. [laughs] I wanted to connect with her. She put me on to writing this newsletter with her called the Miss Mouth Times. Me and her would go HAM in this newsletter. She was working on AllHipHop Rumors and at that point, she’s getting ready to leave the media game. She said “I’m going to pitch you a place at AllHipHop to take over Rumors after I leave,” and that’s what she did. I started writing on AllHipHop Rumors, that was so fun.
AllHipHop: How was it writing for AllHipHop Rumors over a decade ago?
Jeffrey Lewis: At that time in 2009, the gossip sites weren’t heavy heavy back then. The AllHipHop Rumors was ruling, it was fun. After illseed would do his shoutouts, he’ll introduce myself or another blogger afterwards. After his stuff is over, he’d say “Alright I’m going to leave it over from myself and they’re going to fill you in.” From there, it’d be my section and I’d go in. This spiraled out of control to me writing for so many different websites. I did that for a few years up until I became independent on my own.
AllHipHop: Talk about working with Black Ink for the past 6 years.
Jeffrey Lewis: ItsOnlyEntertainment is not only a celebrity news site, it’s a branding and marketing company. ItsOnlyEntertainment stems from branding and marketing into celebrity news. Yes, I’ve been the man behind Black Ink’s rise for the past 6 years. I’ve been working very close with Caesar as far as his look, how his image is in the media, overturning that whole thing with Black Ink in the beginning because people had seen Black Ink as this business in the hood. That’s where they thought they were going to stay but as you can see now, it’s a total empire. Not only one shop, but 7 shops in different cities.
I’ve been working with him with the brand and marketing, bringing new ideas to Black Ink. I started my vendor program, I know you see a lot of pop-up shops now. I’ve been doing vendors since I don’t even know how many years now, before this whole thing even got popular. Bringing a lot of different ideas to where the company can expand and take on new levels. That’s been really exciting because I get to experience things on a business side, plus behind-the-scenes in the reality TV world. A couple times, I’ve been included on the show. My blog’s popped up on the screen a few times, I’m working behind-the-scenes so I have exclusives. [laughs] It’s been fun, definitely been a great ride. Now, I’m ready to spread my wings and go even higher.
AllHipHop: What is the reality of running your own media outlet? What’s the grind?
Jeffrey Lewis: The reality is it’s hell. It’s so much fun, but it’s hell because it’s a lot of work and people don’t understand that. People think “Oh you start a blog, go out there and start talking about people.” No it doesn’t work like that. It’s a lot of work: talking to people everyday, my phone ringing off the hook everyday. A thousand and one emails, events, dealing with my correspondents, dealing with my writers, camera people, graphic designers…
AllHipHop: How big is your team?
Jeffrey Lewis: My team’s very small, it’s 4 of us. Even still, I’m doing the handling of the business. I handle all of the business: the branding, the marketing, everything. The backend of the website, putting the website together, of course managing the other people that come around. This is the entertainment world, not everybody is as dedicated as they say they are. Especially when you work in entertainment or media because you get invited to all these different events and special things, people want to be in the mix. Sometimes it’s a revolving door. You’ve got to weed out the people who really, really want it. It’s fun, but it’s a lot of work. You have to be passionate and dedicated if this is really what you want.
AllHipHop: What have been your favorite stories and interviews?
Jeffrey Lewis: This past year, we had Joseline Hernandez on this past year and she was awesome. We love Joseline at ItsOnlyEntertainment, not only because she’s beautiful but because you never know what you’re going to get with her. Her attitude is always in your face. We definitely love us some Joseline Hernandez. We’ve had the cast from P-Valley: we had Tyler Lepley on, Brandee Evans on. We’ve interviewed so many people, especially this past year because the pandemic had everybody in the house. We had Jacob Latimore on, he’s from The Chi. Every day is exciting, you never know what you’re going to get. Of course, I love when celebrities are commenting.
AllHipHop: Who are your favorite artists?
Jeffrey Lewis: I’m from the old school. I’m from the era of Biggie, Jay-Z, Pac, Lil Kim, Nas, Foxy Brown. Those are New York favorites and I’m from that era. I definitely like the people from my era, but you can’t leave out the new school. Now, I’ve got to go with Lil Baby. He’s killing it right now. What I like about Lil Baby is that he almost doesn’t know that he’s Lil Baby. Even with all the fame and all the hit records that’s come to him, he’s still Lil Baby and I like that. I like a person that still knows how to be themselves even though their life has transitioned into this crazy lifestyle.
AllHipHop: What’s your take on urban media?
Jeffrey Lewis: In urban media, we need more togetherness. We need more of us sticking together in urban media because we don’t get the recognition we truly deserve. If we stick together more, motivate one another, come together and create that narrative for each other, it’d be better for us. You go to events and urban media is at the end of the carpet. Now I’m noticing that urban media is not even on the carpet. They’re putting urban media in virtual and the other outlets get on the carpet, then you get the rest of the stuff. I want to see urban media finally get the recognition we deserve. I want to see all my writers and bloggers in urban media at top pay. I want to see them thriving and successful.