Women in Hip-Hop: Kia McIntyre Shares Her Secrets to Self Made Success
What did you aspire to be as a child? For many of us, it would be something conventional like doctor, lawyer or teacher. For Kia McIntyre, it was to be an English teacher. “Writing was always my strong suit and I figured that it would be the easiest job in the world for me. I think it would be cool to teach kids how to express themselves through creative writing.” Today, the 30-year old entrepreneur and single mother does a different kind of teaching. As Editor- in-Chief of The Mixx Magazine and Marketing Rep for Warner Brother Records’ Urban/Pop Division, Kia says her biggest accomplishments were achieved while wearing a pair of Chuck Taylors and a pair of jeans—proof that our talent don’t lie in our ASSets.
The reputation of women in hip-hop has long been plagued by images of big booty “video heauxs,” gold digger trophy wives and those who “sleep their way to the top.” The role of a female hip-hop executive is shrouded with mystery until now. Where do you start? Just how important is networking? And how do you avoid becoming a groupie? This Kentucky native answers it all.
How do you balance being a single mother and a career simultaneously?
I started the mag when my youngest was 2. She’s 7 now and the oldest is 14. I got criticized all the time by family members and others about how my priorities were all screwed up because of the lifestyle I was living. I would travel on the weekends, be on the scene at every party taking pictures, spent countless hours on the internet and used money to fund the mag when I could’ve spent it on something else. Sometimes I would feel guilty about it, but this was something that I was really passionate about and didn’t want to give up.
Now that the girls are older, they understand what I do and they love all the perks that come with. The key to everything is balance. I haven’t mastered it yet, but I’ve got a pretty good system going.
Kentucky’s hip hop scene isn’t popular. Was that part of your reason for starting The Mixx Magazine?
Yes and No. Before I started the magazine I wrote for a local hip hop magazine called KY Standup. When the owner decided that he no longer wanted to keep doing the mag, I rounded up a couple of people, got a business license and boom, we were back in business. I was working a 9 to 5 during this time and didn’t make enough to fund the whole thing so I had someone to help out with the printing costs. Besides providing an outlet for the small market of hip hop that we do have here, I provided myself an outlet to write. All I wanted to do was write. But when someone offered me a thousand dollars for the cover, I said, “There’s money to be made”.