Karen Civil On How She Was Brought On Board To Make Hillary Clinton Cool

karen civil

Ballerific Woman, Karen Civil, was featured in The New Yorker for her work in the music industry, corporate world and now politics.


Earlier this year, Karen Civil signed on to work alongside Hillary Clinton. Since then, she’s been instrumental in helping the presidential candidate reach the youth in an impactful way.


“I like to take people out of their element,” Civil tells The New Yorker.  “With Hillary, I’ll say, ‘We’ve got to do something funny. We’ve got to do something different, even when we take pictures.’ We did the ‘dust your shoulders off’”—a visual reference to Jay Z’s “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”—“at the first rally I did for her in Atlanta.”

Karen Civil works as a social media marketer, but has expanded her reach far beyond her humble beginnings with Hot 97 and Funkmaster Flex. Working to bridge the gap between brands and consumers, Karen Civil has found her niche. She’s worked with everyone from Nicki Minaj to Beats by Dre and continues to add high profile names to her resume. Now she’s working alongside Hillary Clinton, thanks to a helpful boost from Terrence J.

In 2014, the television host 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.”

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. “From the outset, we were obsessed with Karen,” Balenger said. She invited Civil to critique the campaign’s social-media presence. The good: Clinton’s old Instagram tagline, “Pantsuit Aficionado.” The bad: Clinton’s general un-hipness.


Karen Civil was hired in September 2015 to make Hillary Clinton cooler. She quickly went to work. In October 2015, Usher attended Clinton’s rally in Atlanta.  At a campaign event in Philadelphia,  Freeway, who’d been diagnosed with kidney failure, spoke about affordable health care. Civil is responsible for introducing Pusha T to Hillary Clinton. Since then Play Cloth’s Hillary Clinton collaborations have been popping up on some of the most notable names in hip hop.

“It’s really about continuing the legacy that Obama started,” Civil said. “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.” She went on, “It’s, like, there’s never going to be another them. But I want somebody to keep that momentum going.”

You can read the entire interview HERE.

Congrats to Karen Civil on transcending hip hop and making the leap into politics.

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