Alisha Sweatt graduated from Winthrop University in 2018, with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communication and a minor in German. She was born in Stuttgart, Germany, and moved to Columbia, South Carolina shortly after. Growing up as the oldest child of three in a single mother household in the Northeast side of Columbia, Alisha realized early on that if she wanted anything in life she had to work hard for it, because it was indeed, a hard knock life. She graduated from Ridge View High School in 2014 and went to study Mass Communications at Winthrop University. While at Winthrop she joined THE Xi Beta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, INC., worked as an intern in the Marketing and Communications office in the Athletics Department, presented more than 7 Hip Hop Makes Me Feel programs throughout the Carolinas, and chartered the Hip Hop Matters Club at Winthrop University. She is currently working on new projects in collaboration with Respect Magazine and is writing a lesson plan book for teachers on how to use Hip Hop in the classroom. Alisha enjoys listening to new music, cooking, and traveling to different cities in the United States.
"Keep it positive, but never let em play u" - Dom Kennedy
What are you passionate about and at what point/incident in your life did you recognize this passion is the key to your true path?
"Growing up I was always around music, especially Hip Hop. My father had a studio inside of our home that he built himself and I remember being so young watching him make beats and just consume all of his time into the music. It was amazing to watch. So, naturally, I always had a love for Hip Hop because that was what I was around all day everyday, since I was a baby. I've always wanted to be DJ but when my dreams were crushed by a fellow classmate, I decided to give up on my dreams. It was not till I was a freshman in college at Winthrop University, that I decided to rededicate my life to Hip Hop the way my father did. Because my father passed away, Hip Hop was a way for me to connect with him. I decided my junior year to start a foundation that focused on influencing a positive image of Hip Hop and educate others about the fundamentals of Hip Hop and many other topics. I work so hard to improve the image of Hip Hop because it is something that I fell in love with as a child and I hate the way some people perceive it. My father would have never introduced me to Hip Hop if it was not going to influence me in a positive way."
How do you use your passion to illuminate change in the world?
"I believe that Hip Hop changes the world in a way that people do not recognize. So I use my passion to educate people about the POSITIVE changes that Hip Hop has already done. Hip Hop gives us a voice and expresses tough feelings that we experience in our communities, it is our way to relate to each other. It also has given us opportunities that we could have only dreamed about. What if we had no Hip Hop? We wouldn't have Jay Z and without Jay Z we probably wouldn't have had Kanye in the fashion that we did, we wouldn't have Roc Nation, and so on. I use my influence to change the way people talk about Hip Hop."
If you could leave one lasting impression on others what would it be and why?
"If I could leave one lasting impression on others, I would hope that people would remember me as someone who is passionate about Hip Hop and our communities and has a big heart. I do not care about being famous or anything like that. I just want people to look back and think that I was a dope individual who came from nothing and worked for everything she had."