Jayson Rodriguez

Covering hip-hop, R&B and popular culture for over a decade, Jayson Rodriguez, former senior writer for MTV News, has interviewed some of the biggest names in music during his career, including Drake, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Katy Perry, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre.

In 2007, his sit down with Jay-Z earned him recognition by MTV as one of the 10 best interviews of the year, where his work was highlighted among peers Sway Calloway, John Norris and Suchin Pak.

Rodriguez also exercised his talents beyond news gathering, writing for television (2009's "Chris Brown: The Interview") and various media outlets, including Billboard, Complex and Rolling Stone ("Drake's Big Break").

From May 2011 to December 2012, he served on the staff of XXL magazine as its executive editor, where across 12 issues he penned four cover stories, supervised the editorial, art and online staff and contributed to the company's digital strategy.

In addition, Rodriguez launched his own company, Smarty Art, LLC, that produces original content via digital (podcasts, video) and traditional (publishing, TV) means and has consulted with brands on strategy (eOne Music) and influencer activations (ESPN, PlayStation/Sony USA).

Rodriguez graduated from the University of Delaware with a B.A. in English and obtained his master's in journalism from N.Y.U.

He currently resides in Brooklyn, New York and still thinks Biggie Smalls is the illest.