#AHHPowerfulWomen: Janeé Bolden From Hip-Hop To Bossip Boss


(AllHipHop Features) Janeé Bolden has been all over and finally settled as one of the quiet game changers in media. She was born in Alabama and raised in Brookline, MA and Iowa City Iowa. Janeé launched her stellar career after getting her higher education in English and Africana Studies and later her M.F.A in Creative Writing from NYU. Janee is the Managing Editor at Bossip, “the premier destination for African American popular culture and entertainment.” Prior to her work at Bossip, Janeé wrote extensively in Hip-Hop for SOHH.com, XXL Magazine and The Source among other publications. Lets get to know her a bit better.

AllHipHop: Explain what you’re job entails.

Janeé Bolden: As Managing Editor of Bossip I have my hand in a lot of things. The primary function is managing the homepage content on a daily basis, making sure we are providing a good balance of news, entertainment, exclusive content, comedy and culture. I manage our full-time staff, which is fairly small — the editorial team is only seven people, but I also have to vet freelancers and manage them as well. My role also involves a lot of meetings and emails. Y’all know how that goes right?

AllHipHop: What’s the most enjoyable part of the job and your duties?

Janeé Bolden: The most enjoyable part is the people. I work with some of the funniest people on the planet. I am a free spirited artsy chick to the fullest so I treasure being around other creatives.

AllHipHop: What is the hardest part?

Janeé Bolden: The hardest part of the job is you can’t please everybody. That and the work never ends. I haven’t had a real weekend off since … sorry I have no idea. It has probably been years.

AllHipHop: What advice to you have to offer people that want to be where you are or aspire to make it in the business?

Janeé Bolden: Personal relationships are the key to life. Treat everyone like you would like to be treated no matter what they can do for you. It will pay off for you. TRUST.

AllHipHop: Can you describe a moment of adversity personal and in your career?

Janeé Bolden:
The lowest point had to be early 09 when the recession was in full swing. Freelance budgets were cut to smithereens. My paychecks were cut in half and then quartered. It was at that point that I knew my carefree freelance life was not going to work any longer and I went looking for a full time gig. It took over six months before I interviewed at Bossip and it felt like home from my first day.

AllHipHop: How do you feel about the state of media and how you fit it? Everything is shifting.

Janeé Bolden:
We already experienced the shift from print to web and are now seeing digital really give way to social media. We had to step up our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts and we will continue to do so.

AllHipHop: How do you balance work, and personal life? Does it all meld together?

Janeé Bolden: Work and personal definitely crisscrosses, in the sense that a lot of events I attend are essentially for work but also still provide some great entertainment. Balance comes because I learned to demand it. Sometimes I have to say no, draw the line, turn off my phone, take a hot bath, light some candles and have a glass of wine. The brain works best when you give it a rest.

AllHipHop: You have gone viral on a number of occasions. How does that feel to ask those question of artists that travel all over the world and into other media outlets.

Janeé Bolden: It’s overwhelming. The funny thing is I still have been able to maintain a low profile. I just ask the questions that speak to me. It really isn’t about me though it’s about the culture. I figured that out a long time ago.

AllHipHop: On the national scene, you have been featured in commercials. What other plans do you have?

Janeé Bolden:
The commercial was a combination of having the career credentials they were looking for and having on camera experience. I used to dread being on camera but I have come to embrace it. I don’t have specific plans I can share but I am continuing to embrace opportunities that come my way as life presents them.

AllHipHop: Final words?

Janeé Bolden: Always be true to yourself. Listen to your gut. And live life to the fullest. You only get one.

AllHipHop: Thanks, Janeé. Continued success!

Photo Credit: Savannah Meiners