If female MC's are rare, a female DJ is a unicorn. However, there are exceptions and DJ K Mean of Mean Girls Media is living proof. Rarely do we get to hear the female perspective of the entertainment industry, so TCOHH sat down with the St. Louis, MO native to get her take on everything from what motivated her to pursue a career in the industry to the impact hip-hop has had on the world.
TCOHH: Could you introduce yourself to The College Of Hip Hop's audience.
K. M: I'm K. Mean, brand, promotional, marketing, & project management specialist for my company Mean Girlz Media based in St. Louis. Occasionally, I DJ radio, events & mixtapes too.
TCOHH: What initially attracted you to the entertainment industry?
K. M: I don't know of one specific thing but for as long as I can remember I've loved music and was organizing childhood family performances with my siblings and cousins. One day while in high school I looked up jobs and roles in entertainment and decided to specialize in A&R. Being that isn't as prominent anymore, I've been able to diversify by teaching myself about the business from interning on a street team to having the first music blog covering St. Louis hip hop. Through travel and relationship building I've been able to carve out a niche and continually build my company.
TCOHH: What are your views on the current state of the entertainment industry?
K. M: I believe the business is still alive but that too many people are cutting corners. Everything is rushed and the end products show it. It's similar to the difference in when a product is first released as opposed to when it's made quicker and cheaper as demand rises. It makes business sense but the art suffers.
TCOHH: What is your ideal of success and why?
K. M: I think success is relative. Not only to the person but also to the place the person is in their life. Success at 21 is not the same as someone at 35. Success for me is not static so it's hard to pinpoint because I continually move the goal line. But I guess the simplest answer is, Peace. If I'm able to sleep soundly without any worry, I've succeeded.
TCOHH: What advice would you give a young executive looking to enter the entertainment industry?
K. M: Keep Going. Be Patient. All They Can Say Is No. Money isn't the only thing that matters. Learn Balance. Take Risks.
TCOHH: How do you feel under education or miss education has hurt artist with in urban entertainment?
K. M: Urban entertainment is not much worse off than other demographics as far as business knowledge goes. It just seems worse because the products aren't as widely accepted so there's less money and the flaws are easier to see. In both cases, sometimes the bad business is a lesson. Our problem is that urban acts rarely learn the lesson and repeat the cycle.
TCOHH: How do you feel hip hop culture has impacted the world on a positive and negative level?
K. M: The culture has been able to give a real voice to disenfranchised people worldwide. I don't think the negative impact is a result of hip hop. The culture is a response to the circumstances of the people. Once the circumstances change, so will the culture. Every part of Hip Hop is about rebellious expression. It's blamed for things that it did not create only because those stories are reaching people that are not born in it.
TCOHH: How do you feel about how women are treated and portrayed in the industry?
K. M: I am indifferent. I do think I am often underestimated and overlooked because of my sex and low key demeanor but I also think that you get from people the energy you give. Many women make the mistake of starting off a certain way and then are upset when they can't shake that public perception. Regardless of sex I strongly believe in working hard, remaining consistent, and staying the course.