Interviewer Yamaris Polanco in collaboration with writer: Mary Lucas
LEVEL21 ANGELA YEE EXCLUSIVE CONTINUED: WHAT’S NEXT FOR YEE!
Angela Yee is a multi-talented businesswoman and a powerful and successful radio host. Yee is carving out her own lane in media with her podcast Lip Service. Originally from East Flatbush, Brooklyn, she attributes her ability to thrive in a male-dominated industry to taking the high road. As one of the three co-hosts of the extremely popular morning radio show, The Breakfast Club, on NYC’s highly rated Power 105.1, Yee shares with Level21’s host, Yamaris Polanco, how she handles feeling unheard and shut down during interviews, and coping with being a woman in a male-dominated industry.
THE WAY HER SCHEDULE IS SET UP…
Yamaris: First Off, Angela, Thank you! I know it’s been crazy to try to get you on the phone since your schedule is so hectic.
Angela: Yeah, It’s been crazy for me lately.
Yamaris: I know, well, thank you so much. In that case, how in the world do you stay in control of the balance of your schedule, with it being hectic?
Angela: I have to prioritize all the time. I have to see what needs to get done, immediately and also, if I have a bunch of different priorities, I try to get the easiest thing done first, and I try to get to things as early as possible in the day because when the day starts winding down, I’m exhausted.
Yamaris: Correct. So, do you ever put anything off, like I need a day to myself or anything, or are you more of like ‘it’s gotta get done’ let’s get to it?
Angela: When I bought my house, I wanted everything right away. Do you know how people will do things gradually? No. I got all the furniture that I wanted so that when I moved in, everything was here. I wanted my backyard done. I will try to do everything all at once right away.
HOME SWEET HOME…
Yamaris: Would you ever see a reason to ever leave Brooklyn and where would you live?
Angela: I think about that because I don’t really want to leave Brooklyn, but again you never know. If there’s an opportunity somewhere else for whatever, wherever, and I feel like it’s a good opportunity, I can see myself doing that, but I feel like I always have a place here, so I do have my two-family brownstones here. I just bought a condo in Williamsburg too. I look at it like if I ever have to leave, I will always have a condo here. Do you know what I mean? I just know that I always have a home in Brooklyn, no matter what.
Yamaris: Home is where the heart is. You also have your juice bar that is your staple in your city. Do you plan on opening any more locations?
Angela: I feel like, I would love to be able to franchise it so that it wouldn’t be as hands-on for me having to deal with the juice bar. I was there yesterday, and I think when I’m there a lot, there are a lot of issues that go on with the personalities, and it is hard for me because when you have a lot of priorities too, I want to make sure I’m there. I can’t imagine opening another one and not being there and not being seen. With that being said, I think that in order to do it, there would have to be a partner.
Yamaris: So do you have a favorite item on the menu at the juice bar?
Angela: I always like the G-5, that’s my favorite thing. They call it the Yee- 5 now. It’s Kale, Spinach, Banana, Green Apple, and I always add ginger to it.
CHARLOTTE’S MUSIC SCENE…
Yamaris: Oooo ginger. I’m going to have to try that one! So, talking about Charlotte, that’s actually where we are based. You’ve been here a lot in the past few years. This is where we met you, and Da Baby has brought a lot of motivation to our city since he’s from Charlotte. There’s truly a new energy and wave that’s going on since then because he’s opened up that platform for a lot of Charlotte artists. What are your thoughts and advice for artists coming from Charlotte wanting to have that type of breakout here?
Angela: I think with Da Baby out here, I remember when I met him, it was a long time ago too. He was doing an event with the radio station, and everybody has to realize that there has to be a buildup; it wasn’t overnight. Sometimes people get discouraged when things don’t pop immediately but I remember the Program Director saying ‘he is the biggest artist in our city, he is really hot right now.’ He was really proud and happy about that and it’s important to understand his steps, right? And it’s not an overnight success. Other people might have seen him and said ‘damn he just flew up out of nowhere,’ but they didn’t see the five years of him doing shows that weren’t going to be as lit as they are now.
And please work on your show. Because a lot of artists work in the studio but don’t think about what it is like when they perform, and that’s so important because that can make people become fans when they had no idea who you were before. So you have to be ready to jump on stage and perform. While you’re going to the studio, singing songs and networking, make sure you work on your presence.
Yamaris: Correct! To have a good presence, that’s really good. Because a lot of us feel like it’s hard to break out of Charlotte because the Carolinas, in general, a lot of people don’t know about us. What do you see that is kind of holding us back?
Angela: A lot of people come to the Carolinas all the time. You guys do have a lot of talent, and I feel like Da Baby is helping as far as making people realize all the challenges that are there. I think traveling and being at events is so important, just putting yourself out there. Sometimes people have to leave where they are from to blow up; it doesn’t even matter.
A WOMAN IN A MALE DOMINATED INDUSTRY…
Yamaris: You seem to be the voice of reason between two men, Charlamagne and DJ Envy. When do you feel the need to step in as that voice when situations are getting out of hand during an interview, especially with you being the only female?
Angela: Yeah, you know it’s difficult because I feel like a lot of times what I say just gets shut down and people aren’t supportive of me, and I might have a whole different opinion on things and it happens all the time.
Like the other day we did the Forest Whitaker interview and I was horrified by some of the things being said in it and I’m like ‘okay let’s move on’, like dude that’s enough. I thought that was inappropriate and other people might disagree with me and we just have different levels of what we feel is appropriate and what isn’t. I know who I am. I’m always really big on not changing based on how other people act, like oh he did this to me so I’m going to do this to him. I rather just take the high road. I’m a take the high road type of person and you know…everybody else is not like that. And believe me, it’s much harder to stay quiet and ignore people trolling you than it is to go off on them. But people want to see you mad and want to see you act out of character. You can never give anyone that control over you.
A lot of times I do wish I had more support and I do wish when certain things happen and I express my opinions about it…it’s heard…sometimes you feel like, “Somebody…anybody please, have my back a little bit!” And it’s hard when you are the only person and you speak on things and everybody’s like ‘oh it sounds fine to me’.
Yamaris: So, has that ever discouraged you? Have you ever had thoughts like…it’s time for me to leave?
Angela: I think that sometimes everybody feels like that at their job. Ideally we should be comfortable…like I’m very comfortable in knowing that if things don’t work out at one place I’ll be okay. I have lots of other businesses going and I have other investments. I also have great relationships, and I work really hard which people are aware of behind the scenes so I feel like people would be excited if I said ‘hey I want to come work with y’all’. Right now I’m on this Lip Service tour and I literally booked all the rooms and flights for 5 people, booked most of the guests for the shows (and I love that so many managers, publicists, labels, artist reps, and artists themselves were so supportive), did my morning show from different cities every day, organized the topics, and dealt with all my other businesses. I seriously need a week to unwind after all this! And even in between shows I did appearances for MLB at Complex Con and Own Every Piece in Houston, along with press.
With all that being said, I can’t imagine people who know me saying ‘ahhh no we’ll pass on that’. I just think there is a lot of opportunity available when people know you are on it on it like that. I feel confident in that.
I also acknowledge people want to push you to the point where you want to leave and you have to be resilient and know you won’t give an outside person that satisfaction. It’s cliché but true that there’s no greater revenge than your own success and happiness. I sleep well at night.
Before our exclusive with Angela there was a turn of events. Charlamagne Tha God’s viral interview with Gucci Mane, has created tension with the friendship and work relationship between Charlamagne and Angela Yee. After Charlamagne and Gucci’s interview, where the rapper claimed he was banned from the radio show because of Yee, Gucci also called her a “B*tch”, explaining he would then “see” DJ Envy. We had the opportunity to ask Angela about her relationship with Charlamagne and DJ Envy, as well as, her feelings about Gucci Mane.
GUCCI MANE & THE BREAKFAST CLUB…
Yamaris: So true, speaking on that DJ envy spoke about loyalty and team when it comes to (Rap Artist) Gucci Mane, people are curious about your thoughts about the ongoing situation with Gucci.
Angela: What I think about that is a couple of different things. It’s funny that you say that, I was looking at all these old tapes and all this old stuff from interviews that I’ve done. So I have everything. Sometimes people might hear a clip. Like, I look at this clip of Tank that’s been circulating, and people hear a little snippet of something and think ‘oh my god.’ It’s like you’ve got to put things in context and hear the whole thing. Do you know what I mean?
So, with that being said, a lot of people don’t know me before the first season of The Breakfast Club. They just know me from there. They might not even know about Lip Service. They probably don’t know I had my own show called The Morning After on Sirius. It’s fine because it wasn’t like I was super popular back then. I got to where I am because of all the great interviews and things that happened at Sirius. But that platform wasn’t as big as the platform we have now, and I was a lot newer back then. And a lot of the stuff that we did was on a show called The Morning After. We did interviews with men and women about relationships, sex, intimacy. I have so many throwback interviews I’ve never done anything with. This really inspired me to document some of that. Out of every situation you can always find an upside.
I do feel that because I take the high road all the time and don’t say what’s on my mind or attack back, it makes people feel like they can do crazy things because they think ‘oh she’s not going to say anything’. I’m a woman, so it automatically makes me an easier target, number one, when someone is trying to do a publicity stunt and then look at it like well, Angela’s going to do nothing.
So to be clear I think he was upset that, I don’t know if he thought he was banned or whatever but he was never banned from The Breakfast Club. I don’t even know where that came from, and I guess album time comes around and you think you’re banned and you’re like let me go at the girl. And I really feel like that’s what happened. And then there was that video clip that was on my page and was posted that was a small piece of a larger interview and people are running with it.
It’s like dude, if you heard any of the interviews that I used to do on “The Morning After” or if you listen to Lip Service now you know what those conversations are like. I’ve honestly never had an artist think because we talked about sex during an interview that I wanted them. And I’ve never felt like an artist wanted me because we discussed sex. Mature adults should be able to have those conversations and have fun with it. Men ask all kinds of questions and have fun discussing sex all the time, like Howard Stern made a living doing, and somehow that’s okay.
No matter what happens, no matter what happens to you, you can always get something good out of it. At the least, it’s great material for my book.
Ending the interview on a positive note is exactly why Angela’s spirit and her passion for changing the narrative in the entertainment industry inspires young women to make moves and create changes for the future. Women in entertainment have always respected and admired Yee’s professionalism in every situation. This year has been no different. You can find more information on Angela Yee’s upcoming events and tours via her Instagram @Angelayee, or catch her every morning on the world’s most dangerous morning show, The Breakfast Club.