Karen Civil is truly an innovative, millennial genius. Not only is she one of the most recognizable forces in entertainment, but is a distinguished trendsetter in global marketing and content creation. She has developed a powerful influence in culture and bridged the gap between brand powerhouses and mainstream artists over the years. From cultivating online communities for The Backstreet Boys as a teen to shaping artists’ and celebrity brands like Funkmaster Flex through digital media strategies, she has made herself the “go-to” for all things in the digital space for the hip-hop and entertainment industry. Her reputation has served as a launching pad for her own digital platform for exclusive interviews, entertainment news and artist growth, KarenCivil.com.
In 2010, Civil landed an opportunity with Lil Wayne– launching and managing his weezythanxyou.com, which not only sustained the rapper’s popularity in his absence but also helped land his seventh studio album Rebirth at No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Top Rap Albums Billboard charts. Her achievements with Lil Wayne led to an extensive position at Beats By Dre. There she worked for six years as Digital Marketing Director and cemented the company’s digital reach to over seven million. Later, she leveraged her marketing savvy and ability to connect with multicultural audiences into unprecedented brand partnerships with Carol’s Daughter, Forbes, New Era and CoverGirl.
The common quote with “with much success, comes much responsibility,” is very true and Civil takes that on with pride as she has expanded her philanthropic outreach under her Live Civil imprint. Through boundless passion and resources, Karen Civil has become a humanitarian for charitable causes that specifically benefit children, women of color and Haiti, where she founded the Live Civil school and playground in 2015 for her 30th birthday. To further build awareness of the Live Civil brand and to provide everyday tools for empowerment and entrepreneurship, Karen self-published her first book, Be You & Live Civil: Tools for Unlocking Your Potential & Living Your Purpose. The motivational guide has sold over 300,000 copies and spawned a 40-city tour across the globe.
Today, the prominent businesswoman has helped shape careers, curate experiences and emphasize the digital impact for Nipsey Hussle, YG, Jeezy, Nicki Minaj, Dave East, Andre Berto, Pusha T and Nick Cannon. Along with her undeniable influence in entertainment, her reach has expanded into the political sphere as she became an integral part of the social media marketing campaign and official rally host for 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Through Karen Civil’s unceasing achievements, and professional leadership she has truly become a Powerful Woman within the industry. We were very excited to connect with her for a moment as we celebrate Women’s History Month to ask her a few questions:
AllHipHop: Could you in one sentence, explain what your job entails?
Karen Civil: Curating and leveraging new brand partnerships for clients as well as for myself.
AllHipHop: What’s the most enjoyable part of the job and your duties?
Karen Civil: Being able to be my own boss and understanding the importance of creating new revenue streams and opportunities for employees.
AllHipHop: What is the hardest part?
Karen Civil: Time restraint… My family understands that my career comes first but it still leaves me a bit emotional when I’m not able to spend as much time with them and be there for certain milestones.
AllHipHop: Who inspired you to become a leader and boss in the industry?
Karen Civil: I have a council of great friends that are my peers that I look to for guidance, pertaining to my career: Sickamore, Steve Carless, Neil Dominique, David Ali & Wayno Clark. I call them my band of Brothers.
AllHipHop: The million dollar question, how do you balance work and personal life?
Karen Civil: Definitely having great time management skills.
AllHipHop: What does it mean to you to be one of the Top Powerful Women in the hip-hop and entertainment industry?
Karen Civil: I mean it’s definitely humbling to be seen as such, but to me, it’s continuing to secure your place in the industry, as well as leveraging your status to help continue cultivating it and break barriers for women of color.