Civil Disobedience


By Chris Patterson /

K aren Civil is not your typical blogger. Her procurement of a position at multimillion dollar headphone juggernaut Beats by Dr. Dre, access to hip hop’s luminous power players, and upward sense of direction set her apart for the Starbucks blogger wasteland years ago. By changing keystrokes into keys to success her will to achieve in a supremely masculinity driven business seems nearly indomitable. A beauty that was hard-bitten by the music bug but has never recorded an album or sang a note still managed to become your favorite rapper’s favorite writer.

What was the one moment when you realized that you were a big deal?
I think it would be the MTV M.V.P. nomination or accolade that I was given, because I really wasn’t expecting that, that wasn’t something that they had spoken with me about at all. Someone tweeted me and said “congratulations” and I was like “for what?” And that’s when they told me that MTV named me Hip Hop MVP of 2010. It’s great when your peers  acknowledge you, but when a platform like MTV, something that I have been watching since a child does it, is in and of itself incredible.

Your first memory of hip hop
I remember the first time that I saw the Biggie Smalls “One More Chance” video. Growing up we listened to all different types of music in our house, but my mother really pushed country music and R&B, you know, like Whitney Houston type of stuff. So, I finally got a TV in my room and the first thing that I saw on it was the Biggie Smalls video on MTV and I was just like “who is this guy?” It was just like the whole feel of it and Brooklyn and I had never been to a house party. It  looked like so much fun and I couldn’t wait to grow up and have that look and hang with my friends like that. I was  mesmerized by it.

How close have you come to having a music video moment like that in real life?
It’s crazy because I had a moment like that when Lil’ Wayne celebrated his birthday in September. It felt like the Biggie video because nothing was roped off and everyone just partied together. Their was a pool, a skating area, a stage, places to eat food, it was just so nice because you turn around and there’s Cee-lo [Green] doing some hookah and then Paris Hilton turning it up. It was just a great moment. Everywhere you turned it was just a different type of celebrity, but you were all having a good time.

Toughest moment in your career so far
Sometimes it’s weird the things people say to you being a female and you have to think “would you say that to me if I was a male?” Having an opinion some people don’t know how to articulate themselves and say ok let me discuss my opinion with her. They choose not to have a discussion with me or open up dialogue. They just say things like “this bitch doesn’t know what she is talking about.” You wouldn’t speak to a Shaheem Reid like that. You wouldn’t speak to a Brian Miller like that. I just want the same respect that you would give a male, but at the same time I realize that I can’t make  everyone respect me. It’s unfortunate that people automatically classify you as a bitch or a hoe. Maybe I just worked  extremely hard to get to where I am.

Your favorite interview
I loved Wiz Khalifa because he’s just so honest and he has such a great spirit. If you are in his presence he just has such a real humbling nice spirit. He’s not BSing you, he’s giving you honesty and having a good time with it.

Your worst…

Yelawolf was a little bit hard. He’s not really open to having long discussions let’s just say it like that.

What’s up next?
I am really excited about this book that I have been working on for a very long time that I want to put out. It has nothing to do with hip hop. We get so lost in our everyday lives with things happening that I wanted to put together a book of affirmations and positive quotes for people to continuously keep with them for life, love and work. Just so that they know things will be alright. It’s called Live Civil 101 Positive Affirmations and I am in the process of finalizing that now. And then my company Civil Enterprise is a strategic digital marketing company that teaches people how to build their online presence. Although we are a small company, we were able to secure some great people like Mary J. Blige, Young Jeezy, of course Lil’ Wayne, Mountain Dew under the Weezy project, and Funkmaster Flex. I’m just really excited about what we have in the future.

Check out all her interviews, pics, and more at

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