Top listeners:

skip_previous skip_next
00:00 00:00
playlist_play chevron_left
  • cover play_arrow

    HYFIN Connecting The Culture

  • play_arrow

    Rhythm Lab Radio Redefining the Urban Sound

  • play_arrow

    Discovering her past: Element uncovers her roots through African Ancestry DNA testing Tarik Moody


Milwaukee’s Black creative ‘brain drain’ with SistaStrings and Emmitt James

todayFebruary 21, 2023

share close
Samer Ghani / Monique and Chauntee Ross got their start as SistaStrings in Milwaukee but saw their careers take off after moving to Nashville.

HYFIN Program Director Tarik Moody is back with co-host Reggie Jackson and journalist/HYFIN Production Manager Kim Shine for another season of Radio Milwaukee’s award-winning podcast, By Every Measure. Over six episodes, the trio will explore systemic racism, from its roots to its solutions.

We begin season two with a two-part exploration of Black “brain drain” as Milwaukee struggles to retain creative, innovative members of the community. Episode one examines the creative side of the equation as we ask: Is there a glass ceiling for Black creatives in Milwaukee?

To find out, the team talks to SistaStrings, the musical duo of Monique and Chauntee Ross, who grew up in Milwaukee before relocating to Nashville. In less than two years following the move, they made connections with national artists and in 2022 alone played some of the most influential stages in the United States, including Madison Square Garden, Austin City Limits and NPR’s Tiny Desk. They share their take on whether success would have been possible without leaving Milwaukee.

Milwaukee artist Emmitt James had an opposite path; he talks to Tarik about his plans to leave Los Angeles and move back to his hometown after finding considerable success as an independent artist on the West Coast.

Listen to this episode using the player at the top of the page and then get ready for episode two, which continues our examination of Black brain drain by talking to leaders of young professional organizations Fuel Milwaukee and Social X MKE. What are their hopes for the city? How do they feel about its current leadership? Subscribe to the podcast and find out.

By Every Measure season two is supported by the Argosy Foundation.

Here’s what we’re covering in the weeks ahead:

  • Episode 1 — Black Brain Drain, Part 1, with nationally touring musicians SistaStrings, and musician and poet Emmitt James.
  • Episode 2 — Black Brain Drain, Part 2 (Feb. 28), with Cory Joe Biddle, executive director of Fuel Milwaukee; and Ranell Washington, vice president of Social X MKE. 
  • Episode 3 — Black Birth Outcomes (March 7) with certified nurse midwife LuVerda Martin of Aurora Health Care and Geraud Blanks of Milwaukee Film.
  • Episode 4 — Housing (March 14) with Kevin Newell of Royal Capital.
  • Episode 5 — Critical Race Theory (March 21) with Anne Bonds of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 
  • Episode 6 — Generational Wealth (March 28) with Greg Wesley of the Medical College of Wisconsin and Ken Robertson of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

Written by: HYFIN

Rate it

Who we are

HYFIN is a media movement from Radio Milwaukee.

Milwaukee’s only Urban Alternative radio station features the full spectrum of Black music beyond R&B and Hip-Hop plus Milwaukee music. HYFIN connects the culture with the latest Black culture news, podcasts and more. Listen to best hip hop & R&B, dance, Afrobeats and more!


Our radio is always online!
Listen now completely free!

Get your tickets now for just $10 in advance or $15 at the door and join us at 220 East Pittsburgh on May 10th.