Jeff Mao

Toiling for years as a truck-driving production assistant on the New York commercial filmmaking scene, New York University graduate Chairman Mao needed direction. An aspiring DJ, his addiction to acquiring wax had depleted his bank account. But in 1992, his chance meeting with an ambitious young publishing entrepreneur/film intern named Sacha Jenkins introduced an absurd solution to these fiscal woes—entering the world of music journalism! Mao began
contributing to Jenkins’ Beat Down magazine in exchange for complimentary promotional copies of hip hop records. He couldn’t believe his luck.

Mao eventually exploited this writing scam so well that he actually began earning rent money with his new vocation. While becoming a fundamental cog within Jenkins’ and partner Elliot Wilson’s next publishing foray, ego trip, Mao enlightened Rolling Stone, Spin, Entertainment Weekly and Vibe with his critical musings. Amongst his most noteworthy assignments: his guest editorship for Rap Pages’ acclaimed DJ Issue in April of 1996 and his profile of The Notorious B.I.G. in April of 1997 for the cover of The Source shortly before the rapper’s untimely death.

Currently ego trip’s Editor-in-Chief and a Vibe Writer-at-Large, Mao still can’t believe he possesses a job that doesn’t require him to sweep floors and chauffeur ad agency assholes. When not clocking long-but-gratifying hours at et’s NYC HQ, he can be found in a record store near you digging for archival additions to his now 20,000-piece strong record library.

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Ego Trip's

Sacha Jenkins, Elliot Wilson, Jeff Mao, Gabe Alvarez, and Brent Rollins
St. Martin's Griffin

Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists is more popular than racism!  Hip hop is huge, and it's time someone wrote it all down. And got it all right. With over 25...

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