scholar, visionary and music enthusiast are just a few words that describe YGP’s spotlight of the week. hailing from brooklyn, new york, natasha benjamin is a graduate from syracuse university where she double majored in political science and african-american studies and minored in public communications in the s.i. newhouse school of public communications. from the time she was a young girl, she has always had a love for hip-hop music. she remembers listening to hot 97 with her older sister and citing the lyrics religiously, as well taking dance classes as another way to express her love for the music and culture.
natasha noticed her love for hip-hop increase as she began taking classes in african-american studies during her time at syracuse. she was always sure to tie in her passion for the movement in her class assignments, as well as her travels abroad in london and paris and work in the mcnair scholars program. while at syracuse university, natasha was very active in campus life. an active member of delta sigma theta sorority, incorporated, she also served as the vice president of public relations for the black reign step team her senior year. she was the master mind behind the guerilla marketing tactics of the organization promoting their fifth annual spring showcase, increasing attendance and revenue.
although poli-sci and african american studies will always hold a special place in her heart, natasha has dreams of going into public relations in the music industry. this summer, she served as an intern for charged.FM, where she wrote daily posts about music artists of various genres. as an intern for charged.FM, she has had the opportunity to cover a number of musical events: from beyoncé’s free concert in central park to writing reviews of the BET awards to seeing a spontaneous los lonely boys performance in the city. she has started her own blog titled, beyond the lyrics where she gives her own unique perspective on today’s music scene. in the future, natasha wants to open her own music management and public relations firm that will expand across the pond to london, england.
before she can start business in londontown, natasha wants to obtain her master’s in music management and public relations at new york university at the start of 2012. in addition to achieving her personal goals, natasha is continuing her grandmother’s legacy in education by serving as the director of public relations for the ethline foster scholars program. founded in 2011, the program exposes under-serving high school students in new york city to intense academics & college life.
contrary to popular belief, natasha knows that hip hop is not dead. through the art of journalism and what she learned through her majors, she wants to re-establish the positive presence of hip-hop within the industry and bring the focus back to the fundamentals of the movement. natasha lives by a memorable quote from dr, martin luther king, jr. :
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”
as for what it means to be young, gifted and precise, natasha says that “it’s taking the necessary steps to create the change that we need in our society.”