We had the good fortune of connecting with Kim Dankoor and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kim, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
Ten years ago I decided to travel back and forth from Arnhem (the Netherlands, Europe) to Atlanta (United States). The people that I have met there truly inspired me to pursue a career as an (independent) Hip Hop scholar and interviewer. Atlanta is the current hip hop capital of the United States so I was able to do important research (which also helped me with my entrepreneurship in the Netherlands) and in interview celebrities and music artists. The boldness of entrepreneurship and the bravery of keep trying new things are important aspects that I have learned during my time in Atlanta.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am an (independent) Hip Hop scholar and interviewer. I always have had a huge love for Hip Hop culture and knew that I wanted to ‘do something’ with Hip Hop. I have always loved conducting research and giving lectures so when I discovered that there is still a lot of ‘Hip Hop research’ that needs to be done, I decided to pursue my PhD in ‘Hip Hop and sociology’. This also led to different academic projects such as supervising Hip Hop bachelor and master students and lecturing at different Dutch and U.S. universities. I also try to be in the Hip Hop community as much as possible as I am a Hip Hop fan first and an academic second. I think what sets me apart is that I combine academics with media and practice. I regularly interview rap artists and producers and I develop Hip Hop-based projects for different communities. I am really excited about the ways I am able to be part of both worlds (academics and Hip Hop) and creating projects that involve researchers and artists and everyone in between. I am also excited about my starting international career. I have been going back and forth from Arnhem to Atlanta, but I have also started working with an UK research bureau. The founder is also a Hip Hop fan (with a PhD) and the Hip Hop values are an important part of his company. Meeting like minded people across national borders is truly a blessing! Pursuing a PhD while working on my own projects isn’t easy but my passion keeps me going. Besides, the encouragement of both other academics and people from the Hip Hop community keeps me going as well. What really helps me is making a list of tasks that I need to do everyday. In this way everything stays ‘small and doable’ and not so overwhelming. I have also learned that exercising is really great for your mental health. The kettlebell is my best friend!
I want the world to know that I have an unique brand that works well internationally! I am able to relate to different types of groups and I am not afraid to push the envelope. My latest research is on the gatekeepers’ role of strip club dancers because I really want to give them a voice in academia.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am going to focus on Atlanta for now. I would take my friends to the national center of Civil Rights and I would give them a tour of the HBCU’s in Atlanta (Morehouse, Spellman, Clark). I would also take them to the trap museum and have a few drinks at the trap bar. For dinner I would definitely take them to the restaurant Gun Show on Edgewood. Thereafter, we would chill in the Edgewood area and visit the place where artist Big Gipp sells his Gipp Goodies. There is often good music, food and the creative people over there are amazing! The next day we would walk the beltline with some good coffee or tea and visit the clubs where some of the artists and producers I have interviewed are performing (such as Taylor Girlz, Lil Donald, Drummaboy, and James Worthy). The last day we would do some community work (giving back makes you happy) and at night we would visit the most popular strip club in Atlanta, namely Magic City. Perhaps for research purposes ; ), but also because you need to visit this club when you are in Atlanta. It is part of the whole experience!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Hip Hop culture as a whole and the people who are part of it. They taught me to make anything out of nothing and to be bold, brave and not to be concerned with ‘fitting in’.

Website: www.kimbykim.com

Instagram: realest_reporter_kd

Linkedin: Kim Dankoor

Twitter: @KIM_BYKIM

Facebook: @kimbykim_nlusa

Youtube: @realest_reporter_kd

Image Credits
teamwayta Joyce van Doorn

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