I knew hip hop would play a huge role in my life from the first moment I was introduced to the culture watching older b-boys and b-girls express the art at the teen club on the military base. The dj would let me hide under his table because preteens we not allowed. I never forgot how he looked out for me… that gesture influenced me to pay it forward from those days forward… to be a voice, create lanes, push the culture, provide opportunity and reach back whenever possible.
It’s been an amazing journey. Highlights include interning at the legendary Tuff City Records, taking the culture from the streets to cyberspace by creating several of the first hip hop sites ever. EVER… platforms that allowed me to meet, interview, seek knowledge, words of encouragment from or simply be in the presence of my idols, legends like Chuck D, RUN DMC, Biz Markie, Big Daddy Kane, Mr Wiggles, Slick Rick, Dana Dane, Roxanne Shante, Eric B, Leaders of the New School, Ghost, Raekwon, RZA, Frukwan, Shyheim, Erick Sermon, Mos Def David Banner and Evil D… to launch b-gyrl.com, the first hip hop site for women in hip hop and connect with my sistas in rhyme like Bahamdia, MC Lyte, Asia One and the Original Spinderella. Platforms that help break TI, Jeezy, Pitbull, Yung Joc, Plies, Nappy Roots, Nelly, Chingy and others and were recognized by a who’s who of tech, entertainment and hip hop from Microsoft to Entertainment Weekly to The Source.
None of which would have been possible without invaluable knowledge and experience that came from paying dues: hosting one of St. Louis’ first music video shows and college hip hop radio shows… getting venues to give hip hop a chance by allowing artists to perform by producing St. Louis’ first live hip hop show at The Red Sea in the Loop, the first hip hop fest, HEAD FEST (4 days/3 nights) over 20 years ago… opening ‘The Warehouse’, one of the first hip hop head owned and operated venues… creating opportunities, elevating, creating a means for both creatives and those behind the scenes to gather experience and perfect their craft while paving a foundation for those coming behind me.
Those are just some of the highlights. Its been an amazing journey despite the sacrifice, hard lessons, haters, backstabbers, those who sabotaged or wouldn’t support, being taken for granted, underappreciated and having to walk many paths alone.
I wouldn’t change anything.