2022 Innovator Award Winner

Young Alumnae Graduate | Honors

Tahisha Charles, MA’20

Founder, Miixtapechiick

Tahisha Charles Miixtapechiick

Tahisha Charles is Building a Community, One ‘Miixtape’ at a Time

by Molly Callahan   |   November 12, 2022

In an effort to bridge the gap between online platforms that only cater to mainstream talent and emerging local talent, Tahisha Charles created Miixtapechiick. This site is the only woman-owned journalism platform in Massachusetts, and it shines a light on local talent from the state and helps musical artists build their fanbases.

While other teenagers were making top-eight lists of their best friends on MySpace, Tahisha Charles was using it to do something else entirely. As young as 13 years old, Charles would make fan forums for musicians and artists such as Nicki Minaj, Janae Aiko, Omarion, Ciara, and more.

Charles would track news updates about the artists and share pop culture tips with a community of fans she helped to coalesce. It was a way to stay in the know about some of her favorite musicians.

During her junior year of high school, MySpace lost its cache, and Charles migrated her work to Twitter. “It was a great way to connect with the artists I followed, but not as good for letting people know what was going on,” Charles says.

She started writing for blogs and other online news and entertainment sites, and started to gain some clout in the field. Charles worked with digital media strategist Karen Civil, who is known for creating and running a website that enabled rapper Lil Wayne to write to his fans while he was incarcerated at Rikers Island.

Charles also wrote prolifically under the moniker “Miixtapechiick” for HipHop87, a music news and entertainment site with a huge audience in the Philadelphia area.

Then, she graduated from high school. Charles, whose early music-writing career was beginning to take off, searched for a place where she could really make a name for herself; where she could get the kind of recognition she deserved for her tireless coverage of local and national artists, but struggled to find one that fit.

So, she made her own site.

Charles, who graduated from Northeastern University in 2020 with a master’s degree in journalism, created Miixtapechiick.com to be the go-to source for national music news, as well as coverage of Boston’s local hip hop and rap scene.

Her biggest hit to date came in 2013, when Charles happened to be online in the early hours of December 13. Beyoncé dropped her self-titled album without any formal announcement or fanfare, taking fans and critics alike by surprise.

“Nobody was really online when it dropped,” Charles says. “But I was. I blogged about it and posted something really quick to my site.” The post took off.

More than 4 million people clicked on it, she says. “It was incredible. It absolutely did numbers,” Charles recalls.

“I have a big heart, and I’m always looking for ways to help people.”

—Tahisha Charles, Founder, Miixtapechiick

“I have a big heart, and I’m always looking for ways to help people.”

—Tahisha Charles, Founder, Miixtapechiick

Unfortunately, the post isn’t online anymore—a hiccup with her website a few years later caused Charles to lose everything. She rebounded and rebuilt the site, but her record-smashing post about Beyoncé’s record-breaking album was lost to the internet ether.

Still, Charles pressed on, and now, she hopes to make Miixtapechiick a home for other up-and-coming arts and music writers. For her work, Charles was recognized with a 2022 Innovator Award, a competition hosted by Northeastern’s Women Who Empower that drew more than 100 entries this year.

“Tahisha is an amazing example of a woman trying to help Black artists, whose work is underrepresented in traditional media outlets,” says Betsy Ludwig, executive director of women’s entrepreneurship at Northeastern, and a member of the Women Who Empower team.

“Ventures are successful not just because of financial capital, but more importantly, because of human network capital,” she says. “Our organization seeks to not only bring money and validation to these kinds of ventures but also be able to leverage the power of the Northeastern network to ensure the success of our young entrepreneurs.”

What’s next for Miixtapechiick? Charles plans to expand the site’s coverage to include other cities and states, and eventually to hire full-time writing staff.

For Charles, it all comes back to helping others. Whether it’s the local artists she works with, or the students she hopes to someday employ, it’s about giving back.

“I have a big heart, and I’m always looking for ways to help people,” she says. “At the end of the day, I feel fulfilled when I can accomplish that.”