Nakia McIntyre Nakia McIntyre

Women in Hip-Hop: Kia McIntyre Shares Her Secrets to Self Made Success

Kia McIntyre

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”.

Nakia McIntyre

 Did you go to college? If not, do you think it would’ve made your journey easier?
 I went to college for three years and got a good job in what I was going to school for which was Health Administration. If I had finished school, I don’t think it would have made a big impact on anything. I went to one business class and that only helped me get an investment deal. Everything else was trial and error. And trust me, we had a lot of errors in the beginning. If I would have been more educated on what it took to start a publication, I would have saved myself a lot of time and money.

How did you end up working with Warner Brothers Records?
The Mixx and Warner always worked closely together because we would cover a lot of their events and do features on their artists. Over the years, I built a good business relationship with someone who worked in the marketing department. When an opportunity came, I was asked if it would be something that I would be interested in. I was willing to take on the opportunity without even getting paid just because I wanted to add it to my resume, but they informed me that this would be a paid job and that made everything even better. I had a couple of conference calls and proposed a couple of marketing plans to them. I come up with creative marketing strategies for the hip-hop and pop accounts. Part of the deal was that I could bring The Mixx team on to help with research, which made things a lot easier.

Would you say you're "built" for the industry? What did you have to readjust about yourself to move forward? 
I’m built for it now. If you would have asked me several years ago, I would’ve said “No”. There’s been plenty of mornings where I woke up and wanted to quit. I had to keep pushing myself. I had to become somewhat of a bitch because you have to have a backbone working in this industry. There are literally no days off when working. None. And if you don’t find that balance in your life, you’ll mess around and have a nervous breakdown. This gets overwhelming.

Nakia McIntyre

Is there camaraderie between other women in your same position? 
With me, personally, no. I have personal relationships and respect other “industry women”, but none of which are in the same field as me. This industry is really a male-driven industry and I felt that if I could succeed doing the same things that men were doing and do it the right way, then I won. I was always the girl who wanted to sit at the round table with the men. I like that whole “Boss” feel.

My objective is to get money and live good. I don’t have time for anything else. However, when I do see young women who are passionate about living out their dreams, I will reach out to them and do whatever I can to help them. Especially those who have a child(ren). Because I know exactly what they are going through and I wish I would’ve had someone to help me out like that during my struggle.

What's the biggest mistake you see young women make in the industry? 
Taking the “by any means necessary” route. Success is not an overnight thing. It takes years if you do it the right way. If you do it the wrong way, you’ll fall just as quick as you made it to the top. You have to be patient, even when you get discouraged.

Are you currently dating? What are your rules?
Dealing with men can really get you off focus sometimes. Am I currently dating? Let’s just say, I’m not accepting any applications [laughs].  I’m content with where I’m at right now. When you find someone who compliments you rather than just a supplement, then you might want to hold on to it. It’s even better when that person was there before Nakia became Kia. One thing that I have learned is that I’m not exempt from bullshit, so I just take it day by day and live life. I used to think that I would want to date in the industry because our lives would be parallel. We would understand the lifestyle. But, no, I want no parts of the industry dating game. I’m a regular girl, I like regular guys, except (NBA player) Thomas Robinson [laughs].

Nakia McIntyre

What are the biggest mistakes you see "amateur" entrepreneurs making?
1. Thinking that just because they went into business, people owe them something. Though your idea, product or service might be exactly what your customers need, its up to you to seek them out.

2. Taking days off.

3. Being afraid to ask for help.

4. Rushing the product or cutting corners.

5. Not setting realistic goals for a company.

What are five things every aspiring business woman should have?

1. Nice corporate attire including one bad ass pair of heels.

2. A purse big enough to carry everything you need.

3. At least three genuine friends. Every woman needs a good support system.

4. The bible app. Gotta keep the faith for all the bad days.

5. Sunglasses for the days you have bags under your eyes from lack of sleep. No days off!!


What are five networking tips: 

 1.When dealing with men, keep it friendly and keep it moving.

2. Exchange business cards as often as possible.

3. Always follow-up.

4. Have a 30-second elevator pitch to drop when you meet people.

5. Be confident in everything you do.

Photo credits:
Staci Marie - Photographer (@StaciMariePhoto)
Pink - Makeup Artist (@PinkerzdoO)
Heather Leigh - Wardrobe Stylists (@__TheGlory)
Roni Gentry - Hair Stylist (@eyecandy_4U)

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Singers Adrienne Bailon (L) and Kiely Williams of the 'Cheetah Girls' pose for photos around Mercedes Benz Fashion Week held at Smashbox Studios on October 18, 2007 in Culver City, California.
Katy Winn/Getty Images for IMG

Kiely Williams Explains Fallout With Adrienne Bailon Houghton And Alleged Fight With Raven-Symonè

Our current isolated way of life has given some plenty of time for reflection like Kiely Williams of the former girl group 3LW and The Cheetah Girls (ask your kids). The tales of both successful groups have been told time after time by fans in YouTube documentaries and members of each collective but Williams has decided to share her side of the story.

Williams hopped on Live Monday (March 30) where she discussed her former friendship with The Real co-host Adrienne Bailon Houghton and the infamous chicken throwing fight with actress/singer Naturi Naughton. The mother of one didn't pinpoint exactly why she fell out with Houghton but did point out how she wouldn't be interested in appearing on her talk show.

"I don't think Adrienne wants to have live TV with me," Williams said. "'Cause she's gon' have to say, 'Yes Kiely, I did pretend to be your best friend. Now, I am not.' You were either lying then or you're lying now. You either were my best friend and now you're just not claiming me or you were pretending [to be my best friend."

The two remained friends after Naughton was kicked out of 3LW, the platinum-selling group known for 2000s pop hits like "No More (Baby I'ma Do Right)" and "Playas Gon' Play." Williams and Houghton were eventually picked to be apart of The Cheetah Girls with then-Disney darling Raven-Symonè and dancer Sabrina Bryan.

Williams went on to discuss her fight with Naughton, which she denies had anything to do with her skin color. With her mother near, Williams claimed Naughton called her a b***h, leading to the fight. While she didn't clear up the chicken throwing, she stated how she was "going for her neck" and was holding food and her baby sister in the process.

Apologies aren't on the horizon either. “I don’t feel like I have anything to make amends for, especially as it relates to Adrienne,” Kiely said. “As far as Naturi goes, if there was ever a reason to apologize, all of that has kind of been overshadowed by the literal lies and really ugly stuff that she said about my mom and my sister. So, no. Not interested in that. I’m sorry.”

Moving onto The Cheetah Girls, Williams also denied claims she got into fights with Raven-Symonè on the set of The Cheetah Girls films and never outed her as a teen. The rumor about Symonè and Williams was reportedly started by Symonè's former co-star Orlando Brown.

Symonè has often shared positive memories about The Cheetah Girls and their reign but did imply during an episode of The View how co-star Lynn Whitfield kept her from losing her cool on set.

On a lighter note, Symonè, Houghton and Naughton have kept in contact with Naughton and Houghton putting their differences aside during an appearance on The Real. 

Symonè and Houghton also reunited at the Women's March in Los Angeles in January. During Bailon's performance at the event, the two briefly performed the Cheetah Girls' classic, "Together We Can."

Willaims also shared some stories about the making of the group's hits. Check out her Live below.

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Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Kelis Announces ‘Cooked With Cannabis’ Show Will Premiere On Netflix

Kelis is taking her chef talents to Netflix. The musician will host a food competition show titled Cooked With Cannabis that’ll premiere on the very-fitting April 20 (4/20). According to NME, the show will span six episodes and be co-hosted by chef Leather Storrs.

Describing the opportunity as a “dream come true” since she’s a major supporter of the streaming service, Kelis took to Instagram to share how cannabis and cooking is one of her many creative passions. “As a chef, I was intrigued by the food and as an everyday person, I was interested in how powerful this topic is in today’s society,” the mother-of-two writes. “In this country, many things have been used systemically to oppress groups of people, but this is so culturally important for us to learn and grow together.”

Each episode will place three chefs against each other as they craft three-course meals with cannabis as the central ingredient. Each episode’s winner takes home $10,000. Guests will play an integral role in who takes home the cash prize. Too $hort, and El-P are just a few of this season's guests.


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I'm really excited to announce my new show, Cooked with Cannabis on @Netflix!! Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love my Netflix, so this is a dream come true. Interestingly, this was one of those things that I didn't go looking for, it kind of came to me. As a chef, I was intrigued by the food and as an everyday person, I was interested in how powerful this topic is in today's society. In this country, many things have been used systematically to oppress groups of people, but this is so culturally important for us to learn and grow together. I hope you all will tune in, it's definitely going to be a good time! We launch on 4/20! XO, Kelis

A post shared by Kelis (@kelis) on Mar 18, 2020 at 7:57am PDT

In a previous Lenny Letter profile, Kelis shared she comes from a line of culinary influences beginning with her mother who owned a catering service. In 2008, the “Milkshake” singer sought to refine her cooking skills by enrolling in the Le Cordon Bleu school. Receiving a certificate as a trained saucier, the New York native put her expertise to the test during pop-up restaurants in her native city, created a hot sauce line, and co-owns a sustainable farm in Quindio, Colombia.

“Food is revolutionary because it is the one and only international language. It’s the most human thing you can partake in,” she said in an interview with Bon Appetit. “We are the only species that cooks.”

This isn’t Kelis’ first foray into the reality-cooking television world. In 2014, she partnered with the Cooking Channel for Saucy and Sweet and published the "My Life on a Plate" cookbook a year later.

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Jeremy Allen

Volkswagen's Atlas Cross Sport Brings Adventure Back To Modern Road Trips

Crucial elements conjure a memorable road trip. For one, a definitive no-shuffle playlist has to hit all the right grooves. Breathtaking sights are a must and importantly, you need a reliable ride to bring it all together.

Before the coronavirus pandemic led to Canada’s closure of the border for non-citizens, VIBE took a trip to Vancouver, British Columbia, where we tested out Volkswagen’s Atlas Cross Sport along winding roads, rain and snow. Hailed as the “boldest SUV in the Volkswagen stable,” the vehicle is worth the hype as its upgrade puts a spin on the modern SUV with its sleek design, three rows of comfortable seating for the crew (or your groceries) and amazing speakers.

Fender Premium Audio is also provided on the SEL Premium trim. Their dedication to sound is thanks in part to the collaboration with Fender and Panasonic. With 12 speakers in total, the 480-watt 12-channel amplifier brings the sound to an arena-like level so when you need Siri, she’ll hear you loud and clear. Woofers are in each door with two wide-frequency speakers and a subwoofer in the rear.

“Pairing high design with the distinctive driving dynamics and value the brand is known for, the Atlas Cross Sport allows you to show up without showing off,” Scott Keogh, CEO, Volkswagen Group of America said in a press release. With a $30,425 starting price, consumers can get the best of both worlds in terms of style and substance. An all-wheel-drive SEL Premium R-Line is also under the $50,000 price tag.

But we know you have other questions. How was the ride? Did you meet Nardwuar? Do all Canadians have a sparkling patios accent like Drake?

Fortunately for you, we can answer two of those questions with confidence. While keeping a timestamp of the road trip, we enjoyed a few wild shenanigans, breathtaking views with the Atlas Cross Sport and plenty of songs you can add to your own road trip in the future.

Take a gander of our adventure below.


5:55 am MST: I wake up ready for the day but there’s only one thing on my mind–how does Mountain Time work? The curiosity makes me hit the snooze button.

6:00 am PDT: Okay, I’m awake and as it turns out, we’re on Pacific Daylight Time. Welp.

6:45 am PDT: Okay, I’m actually awake.

8:30 am PDT: I befriended some other adventurous spirits last night and we agree to take the trip to Whistler together. Emma and Kai will split the driving and I will supply the tunes.

8:45 am PDT: We get a look at our ride and the midnight blue Atlas Cross Sport is a vision, even with the morning dew across its bumper. We’re going to call him Lil Atlas. We were informed of the ride’s Car-Net Remote Access technology, which is offered at no additional charge for a solid five years. VW’s Car-Net also comes with a solid GPS signal and cellular connectivity.

8:50 am PDT: After snapping a few pics with Lil Atlas, we’re officially en route! Our stops include Horseshoe Bay Park, Porteau Cove, Shannon Falls and lastly, the Summit Lodge Boutique Hotel for our winter activities. Myself, Kai and Emma are all scheduled for bobsledding. My mind is filled with Cool Runnings clips and the instant regret of not bringing a swagged out bobsledding outfit.

9:15 am: I’m reading the room and we seem to be typical millennials– meaning we have extraordinary music taste and a strong appreciation of all genres.

Now Playing: Major Lazer’s “Particular” featuring Jidenna, Nasty C, Ice Prince and Patoranking and Shakira and Maluma’s “Clandestino.”

9:20 am PDT: The sights between Vancouver are so quaint and refreshing. It’s commendable to see so many local shops being embraced by residents. Horseshoe Bay Park is just as calming, despite the heavy overcast.

Now Playing: A Kaytranada back-to-back session featuring his remix of Teedra Moses’ classic bop “Be Your Girl” and Bubba cut “10%” with Kali Uchis.

9:56 am PDT: The turn up to Roddy Ricch’s “The Box” is real...a bit too real.

10:08 am PDT: Kai’s super cool GoPro has fallen off the side of the car. Turns out this timestamp is a good idea as we used it to help backtrack our time on the highway. Yes, the GoPro fell off on the highway.

10:14 am PDT: As Emma turns Lil Atlas around, Kai and I scale the roads for the GoPro. Luckily for us, we were on the shoulder which means it fell on the side of the highway not the middle of it.

Now Playing: Silk City’s “Electricity” featuring Dua Lipa

I’m not sure if the melodic vocals are hurting or helping our search.

10:19 am: It helps, we found the GoPro!

10:28 am PDT: We’re feeling relieved and relaxed. Maybe it’s the heated seats or the notion that we didn’t lose a pricey gadget.

Now Playing: Beyoncé’s “Freedom” with Kendrick Lamar and Jorja Smith’s “On My Mind” with Preditah

10:40 am PDT: Pulling up to Porteau Cove looks like every mountain graphic tee I’ve ever seen, minus the wolf. With so much interior space, we’re able to pick up another media pal and take a few pics with Lil Atlas.

11:30 am PDT: After stocking up on some road trip essentials like wet wipes, vitamins and coffee (tea for me), we’re off to Shannon Falls.

11:45 am PDT: We arrive at Shannon Falls but we’re craving one more adventure before our bobsledding appointments.

12:04 pm PDT: Going off route was a great idea as we uncovered a forest dripping with moss and fresh air. As we get some shots of Lil Atlas, I feel inclined to hug a tree.

12:46 pm PDT: We’re back on the road and I miss an opportunity to play Gucci Mane and Drake’s “Back On Road.”

I. Had. One. Job.

12:50 pm PDT: There’s still some Drake love.

Now Playing: Drake and Future’s “Life Is Good,” Pop Smoke’s “Welcome To The Party”

1:00 pm PDT: We’re just a few minutes away from the Summit Lodge when we learn the tale of Hut Man. According to legend, there’s a man who has lived in a hut in Whistler and takes trips across town on foot. This is rather interesting but also a bummer as the roads get foggy by the minute.

1:04 pm PDT: As we ride up to Summit Lodge, we have an opportunity to take a trip back in time. I decided to take us to the early 2010s when everyone had EDM fever (including us) and a fascination with ombre hair.

Now Playing: “Clarity,” by Zedd, Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding’s “I Need Your Love,” Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child,” Krewella’s “Alive,” “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey and Cedric Gervais, and Major Lazer’s “Lean On” featuring MO and DJ Snake are in heavy rotation.

1:25 pm PDT: We depart from our good friend Lil Atlas. It was a long ride but we’re ready to chow down, specifically Kai.


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Breakfast of Champions here in Vancouver @olympics city🏅 fueling up before sliding down the bobsled with @teamcanada & @vw on the world’s fastest ice track! ❄️🇨🇦 #whistler #winterolympics #KaiEatsBC 📷 @desire_renee

A post shared by Kai | Fitness Fashion Travel (@kaieatsworld) on Mar 2, 2020 at 10:29am PST

3:02 pm PDT: We en route to Whistler’s Sliding Center, the world’s fastest track. Whistler played host for the 2010 Winter Games which means I’m 10% more athletic.


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A post shared by Whistler Sliding Centre (@slidingcentre) on Mar 15, 2020 at 1:58pm PDT

3:18 pm PDT: We get a quick lesson in bobsledding and we’re learning the basics.

Get big in the sled (hold on to the ropes and broaden your shoulders) Keep head low Keep head low

It’s about to go down...the slide that is.

4:15 pm PDT: There’s no bobbing around on the sleds. We sign on our permission forms and we’re ready to go. With my amethyst close, “Mortal” plays on a loop in my mind.

4:46 pm PDT: The slide was less than 50 seconds but was thrilling as I felt gravity keeping my butt to the sled. If I could compare it to anything, it would be Coney Island’s Cyclone roller coaster. I know I’m going to feel this in the morning.

While a very long day, Lil Atlas kept our minds at ease and the sound system kept our spirits high. Cheers to Lil Atlas and the chance of doing this again in the future.

Learn more about Volkswagen’s 2020 Atlas Cross Sport here.

Listen to the playlist below.

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