Hip-hop mama

Out and about

From morning to night, Emerson Carter literally screamed nonstop, unable to tell his mom and dad what he needed.

Until one day. That day Candi Carter and Emerson were in the kitchen and she started beat boxing the ABCs. Emerson, she says, became mesmerized. Then she started making up hip-hop songs about bath time, bedtime and all the time in between."He would actually stop screaming,” the Oak Park mom says.

That summer, Carter, a producer for a nationally syndicated talk show, and her husband, Joseph, produced a video using the neighborhood kids dancing to her songs set to a hip-hop beat.

“It’s not a video for special needs kids, but it was inspired by my son who has special needs and my attempt to connect with him,” says Carter, 40, mom to Emerson, now 6, and a newborn, Lillian.

This month, her educational series of It’s Hip Hop, Baby! DVDs will be released nationwide by Rhino Entertainment, including All Your Child’s Favorites; Get Healthy, Get Fit; Things We Do Every Day; and Rockin’ Dance Party. Her CD,"Fruit,” will be re-issued with 15 more songs. Find out more at www.itshiphopbaby.com.

Biggest lesson learned:"Every mom wants the trick for helping your child learn.… I think that’s my a-ha moment, that you can teach kids through music and it is effective. And it’s fun. They like it. It’s like trick learning.”

Why this?:"I always felt like I had something bigger to give to the world and I always felt like it was something I could dream up. It really wasn’t—it ended up being something that evolved out of my own life.”

What would your girlfriends say about you?: They would call her the party girl."Life is way too short, especially when you hit 40. I feel like a Nike commercial. I just want to do it. I just want to do it. I just want to be able to impact people’s lives.”

One thing about her other parents need to know:"I think (the educational series) comes from a place that other moms can appreciate. I was trying to unlock the brilliance of my child and I think I have been able to do that for other people’s kids, too.”

Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Since 1984, the Chicago Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for Chicagoland families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.
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