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I remember the first time I met Jinx The Juvy.  He was a young kid with a record deal at Def Jam, he had a lot of promise as a rapper but very little as a human being.  He was a kid (not unlike many I know) who grew up with a tough attitude in a tough neighborhood.  When he and his cousin came to visit me in my office, he was no more than 15 years old, they had both just been shot for selling drugs in the wrong project hallway.  The conversation we had was honest, direct and straightforward. He told me that he expected to be dead in a year.  His chances for survuival were pretty slim.  No one in his family had ever graduated from high school.  I wanted him to not just finish high school, but graduate from college.

He spit some rhymes and told me about his dreams of being a ‘hit.’  I could never take his dream away from him, but he needed to go to school. I told him that if he wanted to really survive, he needed a lot more than just the rap game. I would mentor him, but he had to promise me that he would go back to high school  He promised.

Today 6 years later after being shot 3 additional times and a lil jail, he’s graduating from college.  He’s a good kid and I call him my son.

I asked him to write something for this blog as well.  His response is below.

-Russell Simmons

Coming from me having a mentor could be the difference between living and dying. Me personally being mentored by Russell saved my life. Not to say 2 day or tommorrow I can’t walk in the middle of the street and get hit by a car but I feel like if a ni**a knew better they do better. I know everybody wasnt bless to have him as a mentor or be exposed to different things like me but being mentored by someone shouldn’t come from how much the mentor can do for you finacially but how much they can help you mentally. If a mawfu**a is installed with the right characteristics, morals and ambition its likely for them to have more motivation then the average ni**a. I know for a fact I’m more prepared mentally for obsticals I’m gonna face as a young business man because of him. That’s what mentorship is all about preparing you and reminding you of what’s important. From day one 16 shots, walking on crutches in Russ’ office homie embraced me like a son at a time period when I felt at my lowest point and nobody was there for me he was to give me the guidance and discipline my real father never gave me. Some criticize our father son relationship but I don’t give a damn! When I got dropped from defjam it wasn’t his money that kept me pursuing my rap career it was the daily conversations we had and early emails reminding me to get off my ass aint nothing promised or gone come in my lap. Every million dollar company Big homie every built wasn’t an instant success. If you read my pop’s book ‘ DO YOU ‘ in one them chapters you will hear him elaborate on how the only failure is a quitter. I live by that statement and all those chasing their dreams like me should do the same. If it wasn’t for mentors like my pop it wouldn’t be ni**as like me here changing the future. Shouts to all those mentoring shorties coming up. One love Jinx!

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