"I’m a writer, a keeper and teller of stories, and someone who fervently believes in the next seven generations. I am currently thriving in the publishing world and cultural organizing, and am still recovering from ample service time in academia, the non-profit industrial complex, and the music industry. I’m told by people who still call themselves my friends that I’m one of the toughest editors, hardest inquisitors, and greatest cheerleaders they’ve ever had. I like broad thinking and big ideas. I’m really good at narrative and cultural strategy. I will never use the word “impactful” (because it’s not a real word). I’m at my best mentoring artists who think like activists, and activists who think like artists, but I love all people so just be yourself and let’s go."
Jeff was named to the Yerba Buena Center for The Arts 100 list of those “shaping the future of American culture,” and the Frederick Douglass 200 as one of “200 living individuals who best embody the work and spirit of Douglass.” He has received the American Book Award, the Asian American Literary Award, and the USA Ford Fellowship in Literature.
His first book, Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, garnered many honors, including the American Book Award and the Asian American Literary Award. Slate named it one of the best nonfiction books of the past 25 years. Powell’s’ Books chose it as one of their 50 most important books of the past 50 years. A new revised Young Adult edition of the book—co-written with legendary hip-hop journalist Dave “Davey D” Cook—was published in 2021.