Katoria "Toots" Mitchell aka "The Godmother of Hip Hop.......
"Envision a woman who embodies the lyrical force of Lauryn Hill and the entrepreneurial skills of Queen Latifah — that would be the fiery combo of Katoria "Toots" Mitchell"* Writer, producer and performance artist, Toots rules the arts scene in Atlanta, Georgia. With her passion for community, education and music, she is now expanding beyond The Big Peach. "Whatever a man sow, he shall also reap," is a life philosophy that Toots approaches in every journey, whether it's as a published poet, hosting her own radio show or speaking to youth at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Toots had her first taste of fame in a Snickers commercial at only five years old. However, she found her creative outlet through poetry. “I just felt free whenever my pen touched the paper” explained Toots. Her freedom resonated when at only eight years old she was published in The Anthology Book of Poetry by Young Americans. By the time she was 14, Toots transformed poetry into rap, teaming with then Universal Records artist Jason “Camoflauge” Johnson, who passed away in 2003. Her song Cool which she appeared under the group name KVII hit #10 on the Urban charts for 5 weeks beating out Future and Tinashe.
Building a name for herself in the Atlanta arts scene, Toots participated in a 2003 charity basketball game at Morris Brown College with Champ Bailey of the Washington Redskins and Michael Vick who was then part of the Atlanta Falcons. But it was conquering BET's 106 & Park at Savannah State University in 2005 that gave Toots her big break. With the memory of Camoflauge in her spirit, Toots knew the moment was hers, "I just remembered seeing my challenger and I remembered I had only one chance to shine— I put my soul into it." Toots was crowned the Homecoming Freestyle Champion.
Toots brought her talents on the road for the two-year run of the Addicted 2 Hip-Hop tour which featured artsit such as Sevyn Streeter, Dee-One, Spodee, Tez McClain, and Shad Da God. She opened for 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, and Young Dro. By 2011, the female MC reinvented her stage act as an online radio show, also titled Addicted 2 Hip-Hop, under N8tion. In addition, she hosted a series of open mic showcases and promoted industry events for rappers like Trina.
Toots has never forgotten her community. She founded her own pro-literacy non profit organization Toots for Books where she encourages literacy through summer camps, essay contest and scholarship programs. She is currently a member of the Women's Veteran's Affairs, an advocacy organization for women who served their country.
In other ways of giving back to her community, Toots spoke at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Tenth Annual Savannah Business Awards, stressing the importance of authenticity via art. "Charity is the only reason we are here ," she stresses. "I have been so blessed and I want to pass that onto others."
Toots cannot be boxed into one label as a rapper, producer or servant of her community. She rolls all of her passions into one. She is an artist to watch, a hip-hop intellectual, future mogul, rooted in her community as a leader and role model. Truly a prolific artist, Toots is undoubtedly fearless and unapologetically bold.
* - Clay Cane "jounalist of BET Networks"