This past weekend, Atlanta’s A3C Hip-Hop Festival celebrated its 10th anniversary. The five-day citywide festival brought together a panel of highly-esteemed female influencers to get down to business about women in hip-hop. Moderated by Janeé Bolden of bossip.com, the Ladies First: Women in Hip-Hop panel had arguably the largest crowd of attendees of all the educational seminars in the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
DTP’s COO Aiysha Obafemi, Shanti Das, industry executive and author of The Hip Hop Professional, Grand Hustle’s Hannah Kang, Karen Civil, Mizay Entertainment’s Deb Antney, and platinum artist Da Brat all sat before hundreds of young women and men to tell their unapologetic truth about finding and fighting for success as women in the music industry.
Da Brat opened the floor sharing her hip-hop experience, while Deb Antney quickly livened up the show due to being “messed up,” but made up for it greatly by staying at the conference for hours after to speak to everyone who pined for her attention. Karen Civil’s impact on young women in the industry was more than evident as the majority of Q&A was directed towards her. At still a young age, Civil has made great strides in the male-dominated hip-hop industry. The panelists all came from different backgrounds which became evident when topics such as dressing appropriately and dealing with other women in the industry were addressed.
Take a look at some our favorite quotes from the Ladies First panel.
Aiysha – “Hip-hop is part of music and I grew up around music. My parents were musicians. From the time I could walk and talk, music was my life. From touring and having family members who are in music, I’ve been doing this for years. Professionally since 1990, but it’s apart of my life.”
Shanti Das – “I didn’t have a lot of female role models, unfortunately. One person, Dee Dee Murray, who ran Organized Noize gave me my first job at Capitol Records. She’s the only one who really took me under her wing … I dealt with a lot of cattiness when I first moved over to Columbia Records in 2001. The women who worked under me had a breakfast meeting to figure out how to get me fired … As a woman you have to have confidence in this industry.”
Deb Antney – “I think it becomes a problem when people start telling you what to wear. I don’t think that someone should tell me I can’t wear something because I might look a certain way in it. That’s the problem with women. It’s a major problem that we start the bull—-. It’s not about what you wear on your body, but what you bring to the table.”
Hannah Kang – “Understand that it’s always a hustle. This is a 24-7 business. From the time you get up, the same people you party with are the same people you do business with. So you got to be consistent.”
Photo Credit: Thaddaeus McAdams