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Cuz They Slay: How to Be a Female Boss in Hip-hop

Britni Mann
Posted by Britni Mann on Oct 7


Photo credit: Chris Clayborne for A3C Media Services

As a woman in Hip-hop, becoming a boss has its extreme challenges, but it also comes with great rewards.  The panelists of the Women at Work dropped some jewels on how to gain respect in this industry and to become the master of your own empire. Moderator, Shanti Das The Hip- Hop Professional, 25-year music vet and author, lead the conversation of the do’s and don’ts in Hip-hop as a woman.  Here are five things we learned about being a boss in Hip-hop.


Photo credit: Chris Clayborne for A3C Media Services

1. “A lot of people forget [that] being your own boss, is actually being your own boss,” said Amber Grimes, Founder of the Cardi Brand Agency, and label manager of K. Camp’s label 427.  As an entrepreneur there’s no one to keep your business going, but you.  Holding yourself accountable and keeping yourself motivated is the only way to keep pushing in this industry.

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2. “It’s better to not overcommit,” said Janeé Bolden, managing editor of Bossip.com on the idea of partnerships.  At some point in your career, there will come a time when you have to bring someone else on the team to help build your brand.  Perfect partnerships aren’t easy to find. Bolden advised the audience to test the waters with potential partners to make sure they have the right vision, work ethic and goals that will help take your company to a higher level.   There’s nothing wrong with testing the waters when it comes to someone having a hand in your brand.

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3. “Show them that you work and that you do what you say you can do,” said Diana Schweinbeck, manager of Sy Ari Da Kid, Maui Max and Damar Jackson. Respect is the number one aspect that must come first when you’re working in Hip-hop and it’s not easy to gain. Within the music industry in general, it’s so hard to tell the real from the fake and the intentions of the individuals most come across. Prove that you mean what you say and respect will come where it’s due.

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4. “Silence speaks volumes,” said Phillana Williams former VP of Urban Marketing at Arista Records and artist manager.  Let your work speak for yourself.  Williams spoke about how she may have not been the smartest person in the room, but that she always worked the hardest.  You don’t have to continue to tell people what you do to gain their respect.  Being a boss is more than just saying it, it’s about working harder than anyone else to get the job done.

Shanti_Das.jpgPhoto credit: Chris Clayborne for A3C Media Services

5. Shanti Das made it clear that you shouldn’t try to follow other’s path, but that you should create your own. “No you want to be the best you…create your own way,” explained DasDas spoke about how people always talk about how they want to be the next Diddy or the next Jay-Z.  She advised us to build ourselves up and have our own goals to strive to.

From ways to achieve goals to how to earn respect as a woman, these women taught us that it all depends on your work ethic and if you’re truly doing the things you say you do. The Women at Work Panel inspired us to begin our journey to become the next bosses in Hip-hop

Britni Mann

Written by Britni Mann

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