Published on September 24th, 2019 | by Landon Buford0
Sports and Entertainment Journalist Terrell Thomas Shares How He Got His Start in the Industry
Terrell Thomas is a sports and entertainment journalist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. The media veteran coverages Atlanta’s professional teams such as the Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Dream, Braves, and Atlanta United FC. He has also covered some of the industries most significant events such as the Superbowl in the Atlanta last season between the England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams, the All-Star game in Charlotte this past NBA season and countless others in the music industry as a correspond for Hip Hop Since 1987 and These Urban Times.
That is where he is today, but it didn’t start that way says, Thomas. He would begin his career in the entertainment business by taking a job at a national non-profit “The League of Young Voters.” During his time with the platform, he was able to learn how to prepare articles and the art of reporting. He was able to travel across the country, spreading the importance of voting and having political knowledge with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Chuck Creekmur, and other prominent figures.
A year later, he would look to branch out of his own and met Brandon Wyche, who the founder of the website HipHopSince1987.com. After figuring out each other goals the two started building the hip hop platform with Interview featuring Nipsey Hussle, Metro Boomin, K Camp, 2 Chainz, the Street Execs, Ludacris, Big Krit, Zaytoven, Kevin Durant, Trae Young, Vince Carter, Angel McCoughtry, Kobe Bryant, Lonzo Ball, and LeBron James to name a few. His work has also been featured on ESPN, Bleacher Report and numerous other publications.
The Sports and entertainment journalist recently spoke to The Hype Magazine his opportunity to interview the late Nipsey Hussle and Bankroll Fresh, and much more.
Can talk about how you were able to transition into Music Journalism?
I came into the journalism world covering music. I did a podcast back in 2008 (Get Lifted) were I interviewed up and coming artist and also discussed current political events. From there I started doing writing with a non-profit (The League of Young Voters) in 2010 and HipHopSince1987 in 2011.
You have media credentials with the Atlanta Hawks, Braves, Falcons, Dream, and Atlanta United FC. Was it difficult to transition into sports journalism for music?
It was very hard to transition into the sports industry just because of how it is set up. In the sports world you need some type of degree or to work for a major brand. I had neither. It was hard but the relationship I built helped me to grow in the field quickly.
You have interviewed some of the best athletes and Entertainers in the business. Is there any difference in your preparation when you are preparing to interview athletes and entertainers?
No, there isn’t a difference in my pregame game plan before interviewing athletes or entertainers. I try to make sure I have all the information I need to make the interview informative. No major difference in preparation.
Who do you feel taught you the most during their interview with you and why?
I would say either Nipsey Hussle or David Banner. They both seem to be in tune with the World in a way that many just aren’t. That third eye knowledge. We would discuss entertainment of course, but the conversations on life and community meant more and taught me more.
View this post on Instagram
✊🏽 #pressplay: “I love being from an HBCU” Influence is the key yo life. A few months ago, I spoke with @stephenasmith on attending a #HBCU, today @espn & @firsttake are celebrating #HBCUweek (Link in BIO) • • • #blackpride #hbcupride #hbcu #stephenasmith #espn #historicallyblackcollegesanduniversities #raisingthebar #makingmoves #firsttake #espn #theseurbantimes #gamechanger
You have also done some freelance work with ESPN in the past. Can describe how that opportunity presented itself?
Yes, a wonderful lady named Keri Potts. Keri does PR at ESPN and she has helped me get into rooms and places that my resume shouldn’t have had me in yet. She saw something in me and my reporting style and opened her doors for me. After that, it was all about making the best of the relationships I made via her. Keri is a very dope woman and she probably doesn’t realize her impact on me and my career.
You have also started your own brand These Urban Times. Where do you see that being in the next five years?
5 years from now I see us being one of the biggest media/ consulting companies in sports and entertainment. I have a few things in the works that will provide big opportunities for young journalists in the sports and entertainment field.
You were one of the ones that were fortunate enough to interview the late Nipsey Hussle. Can you share with us what that energy was like in the room?
Man, those moments are unforgettable. Nipsey understood life and what he means to build for your community. Almost every time Nip was in Atlanta we would link. He was the type to see me do a big interview with an artist or big athlete and he would text me or call me like ‘I see you homie, keep grindin”. Those things meant so much. My G Bankroll Fresh would send me those messages too.
Nipsey taught me a lot, he was certainly ahead of his time.
View this post on Instagram
🌚📚🎬 #tbt “I bleed Philadelphia! So to see our city right now being celebrated on so many different levels is amazing because I know where we come from” . Prayers up for a speed recovery to Kevin Hart. Recently, I spoke w/ @kevinhart4real on his film @nightschool ,how the entertainment culture is growing in Philadelphia, the @Sixers, @philadelphiaeagles & More on HHS1987.com (🎥 by @dannydigitall) • • • #nightschool #phillysupportphilly #northphilly #pressplay #phillysfinest #215 #kevinhart #fortheculture #phillyblogger #hiphopsince1987 #philadelphia #theseurbantimes #video #videooftheday #hollywood #blackexcellence #newsflash #celebrity #exclusive #2019 #throwback #godsplan #thelife #knowyourworth
Where do you think your Eagles will finish this season?
I’m hoping my Eagles finish 12-4 with a top 2 seed in the NFC. The fan in me wants the Eagles in the Super Bowl. The journalist in me believes they need Jalen Ramsey or help in the secondary to really do so. I see the Eagles facing the Chiefs in SB LIV in Miami. Carson Wentz 33 touchdown passes.
View this post on Instagram
🏀❄️ #pressplay: ”I thought we had a great draft” Had a chance to sit down with @atlhawks star @traeyoung at the #ludadayweekend 🏀 game. We spoke on his off-season workouts, the new additions on the @atlhawks, #vincecarter returning to the Hawks & more. Full Interview dropping today (🎥 @dannydigitall) • • • • #nba #traeyoung #truetoatlanta #thursday #basketball #sportsclip #icetrae #atlantahawksnation #truetothis #atl #atlanta #blackexcellence #striveforgreatness #coldasice #ballislife #ludacris #theseurbantimes
Where would like to see Trae Young improve heading into this upcoming season?
I think Trae Young so have won the rookie of the year award, but I understand Luka did his thing too. I saw so much growth in Trae during his rookie season. As he moves into his sophomore season in the NBA, I want to see him improve from three and average over 23 points and 12 assists. He has the talent to be in the discussion to be an all-star in the East as well. I hope to see him take those steps.
Is there anyone that you are still looking forward to interviewing and why?
Yes. I would love to interview Jay Z and Will Smith. I respect how those two men shaped their careers and how they handle themselves as family men. Two of the greatest minds in business and entertainment. I would love to interview them.
What your advice for upcoming Entertainment Journalists and Sports Journalists?
Stay true to your craft. Do your research. Don’t take no for an answer. Follow your heart and mind and stay true to telling the truth in your reporting.Tweet