Jelani is an award–winning essayist who focuses on race, pop culture, and theology. Topically speaking, he tends to occupy the intersection between hip-hop culture, nerd culture, and evangelical culture. (Stop and say hi! It’s not a busy intersection.)
His writing career started with a focus on music.
In 1996, he joined forces with Radiant founder Ray Majoran to launch HipHopZone.com, the first site of its kind to provide reviews and commentary related to Christian hip-hop music and culture. His contribution to HHZ was rewarded with Best Overall Hip-Hop Site from the Support Online Hip-Hop (SOHH) Awards, sponsored by MTV. This coverage also spread to gospel music, where his alliance with Gaylord Entertainment’s Musicforce.com culminated in interviews with gospel luminaries Donnie McClurkin, George Duke, Andraé Crouch, Tonéx, and Take 6.
Jelani’s words have been highlighted or featured in The Huffington Post, Christianity Today, OregonLive, UrbanFaith, and The Portland Tribune. Currently, he writes variety columns for Off the Page and Cov Magazine.