B Jenkins – Borrowed Time EP
B Jenkins celebrates life and faith with “Borrowed Time”. Flows are immaculate throughout as B Jenkins rides the beat with true style. Highly articulate these songs explore many of the issues that define the world today, of those willing to help each other, to work together to try and create something better. Arrangements nicely merge elements of electro, dance, and hip hop with a real ear for deeply effective sampling.
“Forever Ft. King Jazzy” opens the collection off on a high note. Serving as an ode to all those whose infinite patience with a person can change their life, the lyrics focus on how exactly their help can transform a life making them realize what they need to do to find salvation. On “Twisted Ft. Brittany White” the lyrics dwell on the idea of how twisted society can become, in how it can control people moving them away from their deeply held core beliefs. With this song B Jenkins explores origins and how they are often manipulated by others for maximum effect. By far the highlight of the collection is the energetic “They Don’t Know”. Hard-hitting beats and heavy bass helps propel the song forward. “Changes” closes the collection on a high note. Nicely teasing out a sample the song has an elegance to it as B Jenkins gives credit to those who helped him along the way.
With a true sense of style and purpose, B Jenkins creates a compelling collection with “Borrowed Time”.
Brandon Jenkins has always been passionate about his music. But in recent years, his life has been inspired by a new passion that he says has utterly consumed and transformed him: his relationship with God.
As a 12-year-old in Michigan, Jenkins was mesmerized the very first time he experienced rap music.
“I was really inspired by the fact that it was rhythm and poetry,” Jenkins said. “It was so different from any other music I’d heard.”
Jenkins had always loved writing, so the idea of creating powerful lyrics within music appealed to him. He released his first album when he was only 16.
Just a few years and a few albums later, Jenkins had songs on several Top 40 Michigan stations and had performed or collaborated with multitudes of famous artists such as Astray, Drew32, and Bizarre (of Eminem’s group D12). He graduated from high school a semester early and was well on his way to fame in the music industry.
However, in 2011 Jenkins’ world was shaken when his close friend Carly was murdered. When he attended her funeral, he was blown away by her brother’s words on grace and forgiveness in the midst of despair.
“Seeing a young girl tragically taken just flipped my world,” Jenkins said. “Her brother talked about forgiveness even though his sister had just been murdered. I was very blown away by that. It was at that moment I realized there was greater significance to life.”
Following Jenkins’ revelation, he left the music industry for good and accepted Christ into his heart and life on October 15, 2011.
Although he faced confusion from the music industry, he also found opposition from his new Christian community. Jenkins wrote a song in honor of his friend Carly and wanted to perform it at local youth rallies, but since his old songs were vulgar, many churches were apprehensive about him.
Eventually, he decided to move to Texas and start a new chapter in his life. Jenkins began working at The Boys and Girls Club of Rockwall and volunteering with youth at a local church.
“Moving to Texas was the best thing for me,” Jenkins said. “I was able to get away from everything that ever haunted me and really become Brandon again and enjoy my life with God for the first time ever.”
After a few months in Texas, opportunities to share his faith opened up everywhere for Jenkins. He spoke about the way God turned his life around at churches, youth groups, prisons, and even opened up dialogue with the kids at Boys and Girls Club. His experiences prompted him to write new lyrics about truth and purpose rather than the vulgarity of the past. Jenkins explained that conversations with the kids served as his muse for his latest album “Borrowed Time,” released this May.
“The inspiration behind this album was these kids,” Jenkins said. “These kids don’t have a filter: they are just asking honest questions. Hip-hop and Christian music are alike in that they have no safe zones in what they are willing to say, but at opposite ends of the spectrum. I really enjoy that, because at 26 I feel the total opposite of when I was 18 putting out music.”
Jenkins’ new album broaches sensitive topics, such homosexuality and abortion. Jenkins said he drew from his experiences in the past before he dedicated his life to serving God when he wrote lyrics about the pain and brokenness in the world. But above all, the meaning behind his music is to find purpose and make the right choices in spite of a twisted world. Jenkins said these new themes are in stark contrast to those of his old music.
“I was trying to be accepted by the world, so I sang to fit their bill,” Jenkins said. “It was like music being made by a puppet.”
Now, instead of pursuing fame and fortune, Jenkins is giving his new album away for free. At his release party in May, he gave away over 100 CDs in conjunction with his new project “Steady Purpose: 1,000 Souls.” From May 1-November 1 Jenkins’ goal is to get his album into the hands of 1,000 Souls. He is selling t-shirts to cover the cost of printing and distributing materials for the album. His organization’s website, steadypurpose.com, launched on June 15 this year.
Jenkins said his dreams for Steady Purpose extend beyond simply creating music.
His short-term goal is to tour regionally in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas speaking to youth and organizations about how to find their “steady purpose” or calling in life. Beyond that, he has his sights set on creating a book and a movie documenting his journey.
“I think that I will always use music as one of my outlets, but I see it being one piece in the arsenal,” Jenkins said. “What I want to do with people on an individual basis has to be more than just music. I want people to think, ‘he went through that—I can get through this.’”