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Karen Civil Talks With ‘The New Yorker’ About Her Work With Hillary Clinton

The New Yorker attributes Karen Civil for being the woman who is making Hillary Clinton cool, and rightfully so.

Civil has been with the Democratic nominee throughout the entire campaign in efforts to reach the millennials of The United States Of America. Chatting with The New Yorker, Civil expresses her way of marketing and says that she likes to take people out of their element. With Hillary, she says, “We’ve got to do something funny. We’ve got to do something different, even when we take pictures.”

Whether it’s her and Hillary borrowing Dj Khaled’s “How’s Business?” joke on her Snapchat, or them brushing their shoulders off together like Jay-Z in the early 2000’s, to putting together concerts with artists like Pusha T to get millennials more involved and registered to vote, there isn’t much Civil hasn’t done to help push the Clinton campaign forward.

Civil wears many hats and one of them is creating innovative marketing campaigns for hip-hop artists and companies she has worked with such as Beats By Dre, Nipsey Hussle, Jeezy, and YG just to name a few. Growing up as a shy Haitian girl in Elizabeth, New Jersey, she took a liking for the internet and built fan Web sites for the Backstreet Boys and J. D. Williams, an actor on “The Wire.” After dropping out of college, she interned for the legendary Hot 97 radio station in  New York City. She then went on to work at Asylum Records and this is where she decided that she wanted to build her own brand.

“I wanted it to be a girl’s point of view of hip-hop, not about personal lives or gossip but about the music: who produced it, when they recorded it.” – Karen Civil

In 2008 she launched her website which featured flip-camera and Macbook interviews with up-and-coming rap stars like Drake and Nicki Minaj. Two years after the launch of her website, Beats by Dre asked her to move to L.A. and help its marketing department. Beats is now a client of her marketing agency, Always Civil Enterprises. A couple of years later in 2014, the television host Terrence Jenkins invited Civil to a holiday party at the White House.

“I wanted to take home a plate, but when Barack started his talk he said, ‘Make sure you don’t take the china or silverware. So I took a napkin and a macaroon.” – Karen Civil

Last year, Civil spoke at a White House event for young women activists and got on the radar of De’Ara Balenger, the Clinton campaign’s director of engagement. Balenger invited Civil to critique the campaign’s social-media presence. Civil’s social media analysis reported that Clintons old Instagram tagline, “Pantsuit Aficionado” was cool but Clinton’s overall swag had some work to do to become hipper and up to date and in September 2015, Balenger hired Civil to help make Clinton cooler and it worked.

Hip-hop and R&B stars have shown up and showed out to support Clinton. Usher attended the October 2015 rally that Civil organized in Atlanta, Georgia. The rapper Freeway who had been diagnosed with kidney failure spoke about affordable health care, telling the crowd “We gonna get it poppin’ for Hillary. Civil even helped put Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, on stage with the rapper Pusha T, which was pretty cool.

“It’s really about continuing the legacy that Obama started. I know we still deal with racism and being divided, but he makes you feel like this is one nation, with his demeanor, his swag. It’s like there’s never going to be another them. But I want somebody to keep that momentum going.” – Karen Civil

Read her full story with the NewYorker.com



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