Ambition & Activism with @MissJaz_
Jazmine Woods | Hip Hop Activist & Journalist
Meet Jazmine Woods. This first generation college student from Cleveland, Ohio is definitely one to watch. Her work ethic and her passion to pursue the career of her dreams inspires every soul that gets the pleasure of meeting Jazmine. She is a Kent State University senior majoring in Communication Studies. On top of balancing school work and working full time, she is also the entertainment editor for Uhuru Magazine. Uhuru Magazine is a publication that focuses on providing content that is both relatable and intriguing for marginalized/minority students. Jazmine has also been a radio personality and DJ on Black Squirrel Radio with the popular late night show Talk That Talk.
In 2014 Jazmine was accepted into the National Student Exchange program where she got to study at New Jersey City University for one semester. While there she commuted to New York City through out the week to complete an internship with Page-31.com. Jazmine contributes her editorial voice as “Jaz Woods” to the online publication that specializes in celebrity interview content, new music, sports, and entertainment news. To call Jaz a superwoman would be an understatement. She's a true Capricorn with her boss moves and go getter persona to match. We talked to Jaz about the NYC hustle and hip hop and are so excited to share her insight and innate wisdom with you.
What inspired you to begin your journalism career? What was your experience like working in New York City?
I’ve just been writing all of my life. I am inspired by the works of Angie Martinez and Sway Calloway. Both of these individuals have helped shape my ideology on what it means to be a pure Hip Hop journalist. I really enjoy watching and taking notes from Ebro over at Hot97 & Beats 1. You can tell his interviews allow the artist to think. It’s always important for me to remember that rappers/musicians are human’s first, artist second. I like to keep integrity & substance at the forefront of whatever I do. My journey has led me to live and work in New York City, working with an online magazine, various musicians from the network I’ve created & develop my brand. New York is the perfect place for my growth and development. While in New York this summer I attended Chinx’s Documentary screening presented by Revolt TV. I also attended Meek Mill’s interview with Elliot Wilson. Steez Day was awesome. Joey Bada$$ and all of Pro Era really lit up Central Park and I had fun writing about it. Most memorable would be meeting SZA. I remember starting my draft to that event recap on my phone while on the J train back to Brooklyn. She’s one of my favorite artists. I’ve interviewed and worked with artists all over Cleveland and in New York City that include K Camp, YTM, Victoria Monet, BeiSims, T-Wayne, Salomon Faye, Berner of Taylor Gang, Se1v1en and countless others. I also had the opportunity this summer to interview Nas, one of my favorite rappers, daughter Destiny Jones.
What inspires your writing and your passion to create?
What inspires me is the growing need to help or be the voice for others. Hip hop, of course. At an early age I developed a love for Hip Hop music through my step-father and musical upbringing. I was always researching and finding new Hip Hop artists since age 11. Not only has growing into a hip hop activist inspired me to start my career in journalism, but mentor others struggling with self-identity and being young and Black in America. Being a first generation college student coming from where I come from, it’s not easy. The Black experience is a rollercoaster but I love it. I lived in New Jersey for half a year and that is there where I dug deep and realized my purpose in life. And that is to help others with my voice and love for Hip-Hop by any means necessary.
How do you define your work? What is the most important lesson being a young millennial woman in the arts has taught you?
I would probably define my work as God’s work. Honestly. I was given this passion from the Creator and I will utilize my strengths and talents until the day I die. The most important lesson I’ve learned being a young millennial woman is to be yourself and remember that someone is watching. Whether if they look up to you or admire you from a far. They’re watching. And f*ck what anyone else is doing. A lot of people talk the talk but aren’t walking it.
Create your wave, don’t be defined by others and what’s going on around you because true awareness starts from within.
What next for your career?
Graduation. I’ll be 22 with a degree soon. Conquering New York. I have some things planned out there with a few institutions and individuals that I’m ready to take off the ground. I can’t say too much right now. But God is good.
What advice would you give to those following their dreams?
Treat people good and you will be treated better. Go after whatever it is you want. Those that don’t get it now will wish they had once you’re making moves and living your dreams. Don’t be limited by perception, seek truth in every aspect of life.
For more of Jaz check her out online at MissJaz.com