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BlackMen Digital Interview: Trading Places with Angela Yee

Tuesday 4th, November 2014


By: Essence Gant


Before Power 105.1’s “The Breakfast Club” became a nationally syndicated urban radio show, they’d already caught the ears of pop culture lovers around the world, thanks to blogs and YouTube. The three very different but equally entertaining hosts are undoubtedly atop the ranks of A.M’s on-air elite—even higher than their pioneering archrivals who reside “where hip-hop lives.” The show’s success can be credited to multiple elements, like their range of comical to profound interviews, but the personalities are probably the bulk of why so many listeners tune in.


DJ Envy is obviously responsible for the spins, but he—with his lavish cars, chains and cribs—is also living testament to the rewards that come after the grind. Although controversial and hilarious, Charlamagne Tha God (a.k.a. the one who coined the phrase “vintage vagina” for sexy women 40 years plus) can be quite insightful on matters of the culture, and very fearless in his approach to ask guests the questions others wouldn’t dare murmur.  And lastly, Angela Yee is the voice of reason, the most prepared during interviews, and apparently the smartest as she often manages to shade her co-hosts with funny shots that go right over their heads. So, when it was time to sit and talk with one of the three, we obviously went with Yee because she’s the prettiest. We traded places with the brainy beauty and did all the asking. Here’s what she had to say!


BM: You have a career in a male-dominated industry and people always talk about the struggle for women working that arena, but what are some of the advantages of being a female urban radio show host?
AY : It’s much easier for me to get meetings because a lot of times people would much rather be out with a female than with a guy. I think women are a lot more organized, too. A lot of guys that I work with are a little bit of a mess, and I think as a woman we’re a lot more detail-oriented, a lot more organized. And I feel like when I interview people, I get to ask [personal] questions that may sound weird coming from a guy.


BM: Who was your most memorable interview with in your whole radio career?
AY: I would probably say the Ray J interview. A lot of what he said was just very unexpected, and we didn’t know that was going to happen. I heard a rumor that there was a fight, and we managed to get him on the phone. I just thought he was going to clear it up and say something like, “No, that didn’t really happen.” Instead, he just went off!


BM: How do you keep your energy? You obviously have the early morning radio show, and a lot of times you have to host events and parties at night.
AY: Whenever I can get a full night’s sleep, I do that. I make sure I take my vitamins; I make sure I workout; I make sure in the mornings when I come to work I drink green tea; I have fruit. I just make sure that I eat in a way that’s going to make me maintain my energy throughout the day. I balance it out. I know that if I’m going to be out all night one night, then the next night I have to make sure that my schedule is not as crazy.


BM: You’ve mentioned on the show a few times that you hit the gym, so is it important to you for a guy you’re dating to be just as in shape?
AY: It does matter a lot to me, a person that is healthy and cares. And not to say I can’t help, because I know for some people it’s not a priority, but if I’m dating someone I’m always like, “Okay, what did you eat today? I don’t want you to be fatigued,” or, “If you don’t feel well let me get you some vitamins.” Just whatever I can do to help. You know, I think it’s important to improve any situation, just like I would hope anybody I date would try to make sure certain things about my life are better. But it is true that I like people who care about their appearance, and work out, and care about their health.


BM: You’re currently producing a film called Brooklyn Bred, so tell us a little bit about that.
AY: Tionna [Smalls] is a friend of mine, and she had written this script a while ago and gave it to me. It was her first time writing a movie script, and I went to school for writing. I had read a lot of scripts in the past, and I could see everything playing out in my head as I read it. When she asked me to come on board as a producer I thought it would be a great idea. I just appreciate the fact that she wanted to involve me in it, and I’m really excited! People have been coming up to me on the street asking about the movie.


BM: You do radio, now you produce, and you host events. How crucial is it to have multiple hustles? 
AY: I think it’s always important to be expanding what it is you do. I feel radio is the base of what I do, but I feel like I do a lot of things around that. To me, it’s kind of like if you’re not always progressing and doing different things, then I just get bored. With radio, it’s always exciting and different every day. I’m comfortable with what it is I’m doing now, so I feel like it’s time for me to take it to the next level in other things. And all that you do outside of work is really just to help you with what your main goal is. Everything I do outside of work kind of adds onto what I have going on at work.


BM: Speaking of work, you, DJ Envy and Charlamagne have such a sibling-like chemistry. They’re always on the show telling guests you’re single, you just bought a house, and basically trying to hook you up with everybody. If you were to date someone right now what are the top three qualities he would have to have?
He would have to have a good sense of humor, he would have to be ambitious, and he would have to be intelligent; of course. I can’t deal with someone who isn’t intelligent.


BM: Between Envy and Charlamagne, who would you most likely trust to hook you up on a blind date?
AY: Envy! Definitely not Charlamagne! [Laughs.]


BM: On the show you guys play the game “F*ck, Marry, Kill,” so between Envy, Charlamagne and fellow station host DJ Prostyle, who would you “F*ck, Marry, Kill”?
AY: Oh my gosh! I’d have to kill like all of them. I promise you, I would die. I can’t even imagine. [Laughs.] It’s like asking me about my brother, my father, and my uncle. You know how some people will say, “That’s like my brother,” but they’ve slept with him before? That’s so not me! That’s just disgusting, and I’m sure it would disgust them, too. [Laughs.]


BM: Before we wrap it up, you’re one of the most well-known radio personalities, and not even in just urban culture, but in pop culture, too. Did you always envision that level of career success, and what do you attribute it all to?
AY: I always knew I would be successful because everything I’ve ever done in life I’ve always done to the best of my ability. I know that if you are intelligent, talented and hard-working—I mean that’s just it. Whatever I don’t know, I learn. That’s always been how I’ve gotten as far as I’ve gotten in life. I did know I would be successful, but I just didn’t know what I would be. I thought maybe a successful writer, or a huge marketing executive, but I ended up doing radio. I didn’t know anything about it. I just walked right into it and made sure I learned everything I could possibly learn about it.