Check out Lyssa Honey‘s interview with our very own Angela Yee.
Angela Yee is definitely one of my favourite on air personalities. If you live in the New York area, you hear her every morning on Power 105.1 on “The Breakfast Club”. If you have satellite radio, you’ve also heard her on Eminem’s Shade45 channel on shows like “Lip Service” as well as a co-host on Cipha Sounds show. I loved her on the radio, but after partying with her once – I knew she was one of the coolest people I would ever meet. I was so happy when she should that I could interview her & this was definitely one of my favourite interviews. Check it out after the jump…
Lyssa Honey: May you please introduce yourself for those who don’t know you?
Angela Yee: Angela Yee, I currently do the morning show on Power 105.1 in NYC with DJ Envy and Charlamagne Tha God. I was at Sirius for 6 years before starting at Power in December 2010.
Where are you from? What was your childhood like?
I grew up in East Flatbush in Brooklyn, and moved to South Orange, NJ when I was in 10th grade. My dad is Chinese and my mom is West Indian, but she’s an only child so family holidays are dominated by my Asian side. I grew up in a largely West-Indian populated neighborhood so that influenced my childhood. They played reggae all day on my block, and you could hear it coming through the walls day and night. I have an older brother also who I used to fight with every single day, but we became friends once we both graduated from college.
Growing up, what did you want your career to be?
I wanted to be a writer since I was in kindergarten and went to school with intentions of being an author and a photographer. But I also grew up as a music lover and I would listen to the radio with headphones on for hours at a time. I even got turntables and dj’ed for a couple of years when I got out of college. I still have serato and turntables at home.
I see you attended Wesleyan University, what was your major? How was your college experience?
I majored in English because I wanted to be a writer. College was fun freshman and sophomore year, but because Wesleyan is so small it got boring after that. I spent my junior year doing a teaching program where I went to classes at Bank Street College of Education while teaching 6th and 7th grade in Washington Heights. I’ve always felt like teaching was a rewarding job because you get to see the impact you have on kids’ lives immediately, and hopefully make a positive impact on their lives. At the same time, it’s mentally draining because some of these kids are so cruel to each other and you experience firsthand the hardships some of these students have at home.
Upon graduating college, what did you want to do with your degree?
At first, I got a job at a temp agency because I wanted to concentrate on writing and I wanted a job that I didn’t have to think about. But I hated it and I quit after 2 days and went to work at Wu-Tang. I already had interned there over the summer and they hired me right away.
I see you worked with Wu-Tang, what exactly did you do? How was that experience?
I was the assistant to the CEO, who was RZA’s brother Divine. It was the best job; I had my own office and used Divine’s office all the time because he was never there. I would be the first one a work every day and the last one to leave, but all of them are still like family to me until this day. I was in charge of payroll, attended meetings at Loud Records, Epic (for Razor Sharp), MCA, Geffen, and all the other labels Wu-Tang was affiliated with. I put together benefits, and Park Hill Day in Staten Island, which was a free fair with health information, rides, and a concert.
I started following your radio career on Shade 45 (Sirius) with your Lip Service show. I know you also had “The Morning After With Angela” & you co-hosted with Cipha Sounds, how did these shows differentiate?
When I first started I was Cipha’s co-host, so it was really his show but I had a lot of freedom on there to make my own segments and one of those segments was called “Slutted Out.” It was basically a way to let our listeners eavesdrop on the private conversations women have with each other. The segment turned out to be so popular that I got my own show, Lip Service. Lip Service was the first show I had that was completely mine, and it was also completely uncensored. We had some of the craziest guests, from a dominatrix who whipped her slave live on the air, to Max B running around with his penis out, to Yung Berg saying he doesn’t like “dark butts.”
How did you make the transition from satellite radio to Power 105.1? What’s different being on mainstream radio from satellite?
I think because I started off on satellite, I was always anti-fm radio. Then you realize that satellite radio has never really made someone into a star. Most of their talent came from fm radio, and the only way I would ever progress in my field was to leave. I don’t believe that satellite radio can really give you the support you need to take it to the next level. They have too many stations that take priority over a shade 45, or any of the urban stations for that matter. Power 105 definitely places great importance on its personalities succeeding. Maybe it’s because there’s a rating system, and we have to make sure advertisers spend money to keep us afloat. Either way, it’s been much better at Power as far as feeling like they want us to win. And obviously I’m a much more censored version of myself, but I do think my personality still comes through.
Can you tell me a little bit about your show on Power 105.1?
It’s me, DJ Envy and Charlamagne tha God. Envy is a little bit of an instigator, but he’s also the one who is into fashion, cars, and he’s in the clubs every night. Charlamagne is the wild card, you never know what he might say and he’s the most uncensored. I’m the voice of reason and the one with all the information.
How did you feel when The Source named you one of the top radio personalities in the country?
I was definitely surprised, but I was excited about it. I’m pretty sure the whole team will make the list this year. It’s great when people acknowledge how hard you work. We did everything ourselves on that show, with a small staff and our own camcorder.
If you weren’t doing radio, what would you want to do?
I still want to be a writer, so one day when my life slows down a little I can concentrate on that. That’s my dream, to be able to go to an island and be cut off from the world with my laptop and no internet connection or phone.
You are well known for your fierce shoe game, what are your absolute favourite pair of shoes?
Booties are my favorite! I have so many pairs, but my favorite are my leopard print Louboutin Daffodil booties. I could eat them.
What is the yee-pee?
That’s when you can’t hold it, and you have to pop a squat discreetly. I see men pee outside all the time, and when my friends and I go out it’s inevitable that one of us will demand that we pull over so she can go. That’s why I always have wet wipes and napkins in my car. It’s just part of life when you party a lot, and there’s no bathrooms open anywhere. But you do have to go somewhere with no traffic and hide.
Do you have any advice for those who want to be in your shoes one day?
Just amplify your personality. Don’t change yourself but be a bigger version of you. And make sure you stay on top of all the current events so you know what you’re talking about. Keep your mouth shut about things that can come back to you, and report the rumors but don’t be a part of them!
Anything else you’d like us to know?
You have to do things that scare you sometimes. There’s nothing more fun than facing a challenge and succeeding. And you won’t always be successful at everything you do, but you learn so much from your failures too. In everything!