Karen Civil

Karen Civil (born November 8, 1984) is an American social media and digital media marketing strategist.[4] She gained attention for creating and running Weezythanxyou.com,[5][6][7] a website where the rapper Lil Wayne published letters to his fans while he was incarcerated at Rikers Island.[8][9]

Karen Civil
Karen Civil.jpg
Born (1984-11-08) November 8, 1984 (age 36)[1][2]
New York City, U.S.[3]
Alma materUnion County College
OccupationDigital marketing strategist, entrepreneur, author
OrganizationKarenCivil.com, Live Civil & Always Civil enterprise[3]

Early lifeEdit

Civil grew up in a Haitian-American family in Elizabeth, New Jersey.[10] She attended Elizabeth High School, then Union County College in New Jersey.[5][11]


Civil began her media career in college, developing fan sites for actor J. D. Williams and The Backstreet Boys;[12] the Backstreet Boys site came in third in a national competition[13] and the Williams site put Civil in touch with the actor after Williams' lawyer sought her out.[14] After graduating from high school, Civil entered community college but left to take an internship at radio station Hot 97 with DJ Funkmaster Flex in 2002,[15] where she worked as a staff assistant;[13] she also began working with The Diplomats to develop e-commerce for the group.[14] Civil later moved to Asylum Records,[12] then in 2008 founded her own website karencivil.com[15] and a marketing agency, Always Civil Enterprise, focused on digital strategy in the hip-hop industry.[16][17][3]

In 2010 worked with rapper Lil Wayne to develop Weezythanxyou.com,[5][14][6][7] so that the rapper could publish letters to his fans while he was incarcerated at Rikers Island.[8][9] From 2011 to 2015, she worked with Beats by Dre as digital marketing manager.[18][19][20]

Civil has become a public speaker, hosting events at universities, media outlets like BET,[21][22] and women empowerment conferences and panels.

In November 2015, Civil self-published a self-help book,[23] Be You & Live Civil: Tools for Unlocking Your Potential & Living Your Purpose.[24] Organized into four chapters called "Understanding Motivation," "Self Motivation," "Positive Attitude" and "Living Civil", Civil describes her approach to her career path.[25]

In 2016, Civil became involved in music producing, co-producing a Wale song featuring Lil Wayne.[26]

Civil served as an associate producer of the 2016 documentary film The Last Ride: A Philadelphia Story[27] about Kyrell "Rell" Tyrel and bike culture.[28]

Civil has spoken as a host for Hillary Clinton sponsored Democratic rallies.[12] In 2016, BuzzFeed found tweets from 2009 by Civil that used anti-gay and anti-Jewish slurs.[29] The Clinton campaign responded that they had no control over the speech of non-campaign staff.[29]

In 2015 she partnered with non-profit Sow a Seed to begin building a playground in Haiti,[30][13] and for Christmas in 2015 she worked with Lil Wayne and Andre Berto to donate clothes, toys and books to 500 students at her Live Civil School.[31] In April 2017, Civil opened her Live Civil Computer Lab at the House Of Hope Orphanage in Haiti and donated 20 computers to the children.[32] In August 2017, Civil worked with shoe company K-Swiss to produce a line of shoes.[33] Civil had, as of December 2017, hosted an event called "Karen Civil Day" three times.[34]

In May 2018, it was announced that Karen Civil would host the series Good Looking Out on Complex Networks. Its stated premise is to "give millennial entrepreneurs an opportunity to receive advice from experts in their respective fields." The series aired on May 9, 2018 and had six episodes in its first season.[35] In December 2019, she cited Los Angeles as being a source of inspiration for her work.[36]

Civil collaborated with Nipsey Hussle, Samiel Asghedom, and Steve-O the "Marathon Clothing" smartstore.[37] She was very involved in planning the April 2019 memorial service for Nipsey Hussle[38] and read the letter from former president Barack Obama that praised the rapper for his work in the community:

While most folks look at the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and see only gangs, bullets, and despair, Nipsey saw potential.[39]


Civil won a 2009 Black Web Award from Essence magazine.[40][41] In 2010, the staff of MTV News thanked her for contributions she made to their urban journalism.[42] In 2012, Civil was named to the Ebony Power 100 list.[43] On September 15, 2015, Civil was a guest speaker at the White House "Champions of Change" event honoring young women and their contributions to their communities.[44] She has been compared to Oprah Winfrey for her influence in the rap industry.[14] Black Enterprise named Civil "social influencer of the year."[45][year missing] In 2014, Civil was honored at both the 2014 BET Awards and the Salute 2014 Dinner.[46] LA Weekly writer Mara Shalhoup wrote an article discussing Civil's various accomplishments, particularly her work with campaigning for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election and her social media work.[47] She was awarded the Key to the City from the city of Elizabeth, making her the youngest (and fourth) recipient of that key.[48] In 2017, she was named “Social Influencer of the Year” by Black Enterprise.[49]

Civil has been outspoken about women's rights in the workplace and in hip hop. Appearing on the Scoop B Radio podcast in 2017, Civil told Brandon Scoop B Robinson that she's glad that the me-too movement was created, because it shows that women are not going to take it.[50]

She has been featured on the radio show The Breakfast Club.[51]


  1. ^ Press, ed. (November 10, 2014). "Karen Civil - The Dope Mag Interview". Pure Dope Magazine. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  2. ^ Twitter (@KarenCivil) "Thank you for birthday wishes.."
  3. ^ a b c Hall, Mia. "Karen Civil shares challenges of being a black woman in entertainment". NBC News. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  4. ^ Ju, Shirley (January 15, 2020). "Civil Endeavors: Local Media Maven Karen Civil is No Cookie-Cutter Exec". LA Weekly. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c Thomas, Datwon. "Karen Civil: Supreme Clientele". OZY.com. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Hip-Hop Blogger Karen Civil Comments On The Making Of WeezyThanxYou". MTV News. November 9, 2010. Retrieved December 29, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Hurt, John (September 11, 2014). "Karen Civil Speaks: Branding, Kanye, Oprah Comparisons, & Woman Empowerment". The Source. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Johnson, Cherise (October 3, 2016). "Lil Wayne Looks Back On Verse He Recorded For Drake From Rikers Island". HipHopDX. Retrieved December 29, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Concepcion, Mariel (November 30, 2010). "Kanye West's 'G.O.O.D. Music Fridays' Inspires Other Artists". Billboard. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
  10. ^ Jackson, Charreah K. (July 26, 2017). "Karen Civil On How To Embrace Your Inner Philanthropist and Give Back". Essence. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  11. ^ Blackwell, Ashley. "Karen Civil Receives Key To The City of Elizabeth, NJ During 'Live Civil Day'", Parle magazine, June 28, 2017. Accessed November 2, 2019. "Civil later paid a visit to her alma mater, Elizabeth High School, on June 23rd, and gave a powerful commencement speech."
  12. ^ a b c Marikar, Sheila. "The Woman Making Hillary Clinton Cool". The New Yorker. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  13. ^ a b c Michelle, Sidnee. "From Media Maven To Philanthropist, Karen Civil Builds The LiveCivil Playground In Haiti". Forbes. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
  14. ^ a b c d Weiss, Jeff (January 6, 2014). "Karen Civil Hustles Hard". XXL (152). Retrieved December 26, 2016.
  15. ^ a b "Black History Month Spotlight: Karen Civil". Vibe. February 19, 2014. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
  16. ^ "Young Leaders: Karen Civil Talks Fighting Female Stereotypes in the Hip-Hop & Media Industries". Black Enterprise. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
  17. ^ "Beyond the bling: Karen Civil advises rap stars and the rest of us". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
  18. ^ "Hip-Hop Blogger Karen Civil Heading To Beats By Dre, Sources Say". Billboard.com. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  19. ^ White, Omari (January 27, 2017). "Karen Civil Talks About Early Days Working At Beats By Dre". The Source. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  20. ^ Shalhoup, Mara (May 3, 2017). "Social Media Guru Karen Civil Helps Hip-Hop's Biggest Names Get Bigger". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  21. ^ Caslin, Yvette (June 28, 2016). "Karen Civil rocks curly tresses, hosts post BET Awards dinner with Jeezy". RollingOut.com. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  22. ^ "Jeezy & Karen Civil Host Star-Studded Post BET Awards Dinner". The Source. June 28, 2016. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  23. ^ "Digital Media Entrepreneur Karen Civil Discusses New Book 'Be You, Live Civil'". Vibe. December 4, 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  24. ^ "Entrepreneur Karen Civil Is Touring the Country to Deliver Positivity". The Huffington Post. October 15, 2014. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
  25. ^ "Want To Carve Your Own Path? Karen Civil Urges You To 'Be Your Own Superhero'". MTV News. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
  26. ^ Cosse, Shaq (August 3, 2016). "Media Maven Karen Civil Produced A Song On Wale's 'SHiNE' Feat. Lil Wayne". The Source. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
  27. ^ ""The Last Ride: A Philadelphia Story" Sheds Light On The Inner City Bike Life". The Shade Room. May 5, 2016. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
  28. ^ Gregg, Cherri. "Philly's Underground Dirt Bike Community Exposed In New Documentary". Retrieved December 25, 2016.
  29. ^ a b "Emcee Of African-Americans For Hillary Event Used Anti-Gay Slurs On Twitter". BuzzFeed. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
  30. ^ Daniels, Jamisha (March 3, 2016). "Digital Divas To Watch: Karen Civil". The Source. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  31. ^ "Lil Wayne And Karen Civil Give Back To Haiti For The Holidays". Vibe. December 21, 2015. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
  32. ^ "Karen Civil Opens New Computer Lab For Haitian Orphanage". Vibe.com. April 11, 2017. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  33. ^ "K-SWISS TAPS KAREN CIVIL FOR NEW SHOE CAMPAIGN". The Nottingham Group. August 13, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  34. ^ Robinson, Brandon (December 13, 2017). "Scoop B: Karen Civil hosts 3rd annual Karen Civil Day & explains Barclays Center, Angela Yee snafu". Respect. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  35. ^ "Complex Networks Announces New Show 'Good Looking Out' Hosted by Karen Civil". Complex. May 7, 2018. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  36. ^ Rhodes, Brianna (December 18, 2019). "Influencers from NYC, LA, ATL and The Chi Reflect On Black Excellence With A New Video Series for AT&T". Blavity. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  37. ^ Lyle, Ashley (June 22, 2017). "Nipsey Hussle Explains His Marathon Clothing 'Smart' Store on Crenshaw: 'The Goal Is to Be an Urban Sanrio'". Billboard. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  38. ^ LANDRUM Jr, JONATHAN (March 30, 2020). "Nipsey Hussle's legacy endures a year after his death". ABC 33/40. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  39. ^ Trammell, Kendall (April 11, 2019). "Read Barack Obama's touching tribute to Nipsey Hussle". CNN. Archived from the original on April 12, 2019. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  40. ^ "2009 Black Web Awards". Essence.com. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  41. ^ "Black Blogger Month: Karen Civil". Black Enterprise. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  42. ^ "To Our 2010 Hip-Hop MVPs: A RapFix Salute!". MTV News. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  43. ^ "EBONY Reveals 2012 Power 100!". Ebony. November 1, 2012. Retrieved December 25, 2016.
  44. ^ Abdi, Asha (September 14, 2015). "White House Honors "Champions of Change" Young Women". Black Star News. Retrieved December 28, 2016.
  45. ^ "Karen Civil Receives "Social Influencer of the Year" From Black Enterprise". ELMNT13. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  46. ^ Imani, Kia (June 30, 2014). "Civil Living: Karen Civil Honored During 2014 BET Awards Weeekend". Live Civil. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  47. ^ Shalhoup, Mara (May 3, 2017). "Social Media Guru Karen Civil Helps Hip-Hop's Biggest Names Get Bigger". LA Weekly. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  48. ^ Davis, Judith. "Karen Civil Receives the "Key to the City" of Elizabeth, NJ". Mogul. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  49. ^ "Karen Civil Receives "Social Influencer of the Year" From Black Enterprise". ELMNT13. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  50. ^ "Scoop B: In wake of Matt Lauer & Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment allegations, strategist Karen Civil shares importance of women using their voice". TMZ. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  51. ^ Civil, Karen (June 27, 2017). "Karen Civil Talks 'Live Civil Day', Nicki Minaj & Continuing To Progress In All Ways". Retrieved August 17, 2018.

External linksEdit