Hip-Hop is a huge machine with a lot of parts to it. It takes many people to make sure that it progresses. Some people are better known than others but that does not mean they less important or have insignificant roles. Women in particular are often overlooked in Hip-Hop. Fact is, women have been pushing the Hip-Hop culture and business forward for years now. Some of the best managers, label executives, marketers, journalist and publicists are women. During the A3C Festival you will be able to hear from some of the women who make major contributions to Hip-Hop and the music industry in general.
Shanti Das is a woman of many talents, which has led to many accomplishments. A philanthropist, music industry executive, marketing consultant, entrepreneur, and author, Das has seen and done it all. After graduating from Syracuse University, she began working with L.A. Reid and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds at LaFace Records. She has produced marketing campaigns for Erykah Badu, Ashanti, Outkast, Goodie Mob, Usher, and Akon, just to name a few artists. She was the Executive Vice President of Urban Marketing and Artist Development at Universal Motown Records. Now she is the owner of Press Reset Entertainment, an “entertainment concierge service.” Das has over 20 years of knowledge when it comes to being one of the best at marketing music artists. In 2010, Das wrote a book, “The Hip-Hop Professional: A Woman’s Guide to Climbing the Ladder of Success in the Entertainment Business,” where she shares her experiences in the music industry as well as gives advice to ladies looking to enter the entertainment industry. Shanti Das will also be giving out gems at the Women at Work: Entrepreneurship in Hip-Hop at this year’s A3C Festival and Conference.
A major part of keeping Hip-Hop alive is documenting the many events that happen within the culture. There are many historians who document Hip-Hop via photos, videos, or written articles. Magazines like XXL have been able to keep up with the times. There iconic covers and stories are testaments to Hip-Hop’s vast history. Journalists like Miranda Johnson have been keeping magazines like XXL in the forefront of Hip-Hop publications. Miranda is currently a Features Editor at XXL and has done interviews with Ice Cube, Amber Rose, Chris Brown, Oprah, 50 Cent and others. She will be speaking at A3C’s, XXL’s The Break panel discussion.
When you are a big time celebrity, your life might be under the scope. That means any little mistake made is magnified, and big mistakes carry the weight of an atomic bomb. Publicists clean up the mess that their clients create and that takes a lot of skills. Publicists also help their clients become stars, by putting them in the right room, with the right people, at the right time. It’s an important job and Nicole Kasak knows exactly what it takes to be a great publicist. As the executive director of entertainment for a marketing agency, Agency99, and the owner Kasak Media, she would have to be. Kasak has helped many talented individuals start their careers in different industries such as, music, film, art, fashion, and more. She currently is the publicists for Young Jeezy’s label CTE World and rapper Zuse. Catch Nicole Kasak at the How to Reach Out to Media panel, sharing her best practices when it comes to contacting media outlets.
Dina Marto is a rising influencer and entrepreneur in the city of Atlanta. She is the founder of Twelve Studios, which opened in 2012 and has housed studio sessions for Nicki Minaj. Twelve Studios is considered the official headquarters of Maybach Music Group, by the boss himself, Rick Ross. Marto began her career at Oglethorpe University as a public relations major. There she volunteered to book acts to come to her school for events. She has booked artists like T.I, Cee-Lo,and Killer Mike to appear at Oglethorpe. Later, she would come in contact with L.A. Reid which led to a job for her at Island DefJam serving as A&R coordinator for Nas, Young Jeezy, LL Cool J, and other artists on the label. You may get a chance to speak with Dina Marto at this year’s A3C Festival & Conference during the Women in Hip-Hop Meetup. Don’t for get to hear her speak on a panel discussing mental health in Hip-Hop.
If anybody has the keys to success, these women do. There are lot more women who have significant roles in the music industry and are the unsung heroes. They are the grease that keep the gears of Hip-Hop turning. Come out this October to the A3C Festival & Conference to learn what it is they do and how they do it.