If you have not already heard the name Jeff Lewis in the media space, you will surely become familiar very soon. After all, this entertainment writer, influencer and pop culture connoisseur has been around since 2009; and has been able to catapult his popular website ItsOnlyEntertainment.net into one of the premier sources for all things entertainment.
Originally from Harlem, the I.O.E CEO has plenty of credits to his name, having contributed to some of the most notable entertainment outlets prior to launching his own site, including TheUrbanDaily, Allhiphop.com, 4everBrandy.com and Global Grind. He has also been featured by MTV, Vibe, Hip Hop Wired, MediaTakeOut and other platforms for his hot takes and viral tweets on everything from music to politics.
“I got into pop culture and media by just kind of being on social media and seeing how people would react to the things I would say,” Lewis said. ” I would say something funny or respond to something that was trending and before I knew it, I was getting all of these retweets and replies. It got to the point where people would reach out and ask me for my POV on all kinds of topics.”
While his work for others is visible across the google search engine, since 2012, what Lewis has been able to do with ItsOnlyEntertainment is keep people entertained and informed in a way most sites and publications have been unable to. Perhaps some of that can be attributed to his unique background. He did not go to school for journalism or entertainment, but instead studied history when he was a student at Virginia State University. With most entertainment outlets thriving on the promotion of gossip, click-bait and often negative images of celebrities in the limelight, Lewis has focused on taking a far more balanced and substantive approach. Today, everyone seems purely focused on creating that viral moment, as opposed to maintaining the art of storytelling. His sentiment is that many sites, especially black celebrity-driven outlets, are doing a disservice to the culture.
“As far as black pop culture media, I don’t really feel like we’re improving,” he said. “For one, there are not many black-run publications around. I came from a time in 2009 where there were so many urban blogs on the market, but there are not that many now. The majority of the top sites that do exist focus heavily on gossip. They are great sites, but they have no balance. It’s gotten to the point where some of your own people don’t want to support you or do interviews with you because they think you are going to tear them down. Here at ItsOnlyEntertainment, our purpose is to glorify our people.”
Still, with that said, Lewis believes that the COVID-19 pandemic created an environment where not only his site, but other black platforms can thrive. He observed that due to the slow news cycle and writers being laid off or furloughed, major outlets struggled to find content while independent sites relied on their creativity to take advantage of a seemingly more level playing field.
“I think the pandemic proved that a lot of the smaller publications are actually just as powerful or even more powerful and influential than these major publications,” said Lewis. “People found new ways to entertain. They just stayed at home and did interviews and created conversation. We got to see the advantages of being independent.”
As ItsOnlyEntertainment continues its rise as an increasingly, Lewis is excited to continue the growth of his imprint, in addition to releasing merchandise and hosting signature events. The future looks mighty bright.
Follow Jeff Lewis on Instagram and Twitter at @JeffFromHarlem and check out the latest in celebrity news and updates at ItsOnlyEntertainment.com and @itsonlyentertainment on Instagram.
© 2021, Seth Barmash. All rights reserved.