Meet Crisis M. Banks, Akron’s 28-year-old media mogul

by Jimmy Smooth

It wouldn’t be fair to put Crisis M. Banks in just one lane. For those who may not be familiar with Crisis, allow me to introduce you to the 28-year-old Akron media mogul in the making. You might find him doing his own podcast, Hrs Of Crisis, working with Akron-based clothing company Purple Plane, or doing what he is the most passionate about, which is hosting.

This past summer, Crisis hosted the Ohio Entertainment Awards, and he unofficially received “host of the year” from the Ohio Entertainment staff, Ohio`s hip-hop community and social media — and with the world we live in that’s all it takes. I didn’t attend the Ohio Entertainment Awards, but I did get the chance to see video clips. From his humor, hyperactive-but-chill energy, and last but not least, his ability to connect with the people in the audience on the spot, I personally feel Crisis deserves to be host of the year.

I had the opportunity to catch up with Crisis at Mustard Seed in Highland Square and it went like this.

JS: Out of all the things you do, from hosting to fashion to podcasting, which one is your passion and why?

CB: Hosting. Everything started with hosting. Me doing parties turned into me doing fashion, radio and the podcast. If I had to pick only one it would be hosting. It is my first love and always will be.

JS: You have hosted a lot of parties and different events over the years. Do you have one you would consider a favorite?

CB: There are a few. You gotta give it up to Twerk Fest. That was the first time I hosted in front of hundreds of people from wall to wall and it was just great vibes. Then there was the Ohio Entertainment Awards I just did. It was for DeSean Box, who is no longer with us, and I felt like I owed him to give him my all while doing that show. Everybody just vibed out with me and showed love. It was dope. I think those are the top two. But everything I do, I just try to make it a great experience.

JS: How did your podcast, “Hrs Of Crisis,” begin?

CB: It all started back in 2015. Hrs Of Crisis originally started out as a radio show under Ear Kandy Radio. As time went on it evolved into a podcast. I like the structure of podcast a little more than radio. I have had the opportunity to interview a lot of people, such as Kelt Crenshaw from Eighty81, as well as Eric and Jeff Rosenthal from ItsTheReal podcast out of New York, and that is just to name a few. I have also had a great support team from the jump, like my brothers from another, Tru and Tylon, who are my partners over at Purple Plane Clothing Company.       

JS: Were you the first person to do a hip-hop podcast in Akron?

CB: I don’t know if it was me, I can’t own that one… but I can say that I am one of the leaders of doing a podcast in the city. I don’t know if I was the first. But I do know I am one of the originators, and to be honest I don’t know too many people that are doing podcasts in Akron. We have got people doing radio, but podcasting, as you know, is a little different from radio.

JS: Why did you think the Branding Basics event was a good idea?

CB: It all started with a thought based upon wanting to spread knowledge, and if I could make this into an event, I was sure it would be great. It ultimately turned into a passion because I do enjoy dropping gems and I do enjoy people flourishing off some of the knowledge I have. I feel like this is something that has to be done for the culture, especially in Akron, and I think if you are trying to get away from just working a 9 to 5, you should attend the next Branding Basics.

JS: What’s next for Crisis?   

CB: The next thing for me is figuring out how to expand my brand. I love hosting, but I also want to take broadcasting somewhere else, whether it is TV, get a VH1 or BET deal, something on that level. I want to eventually become a late night show host. I just want to become that guy. I look up to Ellen DeGeneres. I am trying to be on her level. But I am going to continue to take minor steps, host parties, keep doing Branding Basics and doing my podcast, and try to keep things going and take it to the highest level I possibly can.

JS: Why are you inspired by Ellen DeGeneres?

CB: She defines what I consider cool. She can host anything.

Jimmy Smooth is the former co-host of Hey Young World, an event planner and promoter and an Ohio Media School graduate.

Photos used with permission from Crisis M. Banks.