(AllHipHop Features) Learning how hard Angela Yee has worked to navigate her way through the entertainment industry is nothing short of inspiring. As one of three on the dynamic nationally syndicated radio show, “The Breakfast Club,” she owns her expertise, integrity, and womanhood within the industry.
Angela spent the majority of her free time as a child writing short, fictional stories and reading every novel she could get her hands on. When Angela graduated from Poly Prep in Brooklyn, she headed to Wesleyan University, where she graduated with a BA in English. After college, she utilized the relationships she secured through various internships at MTV, TVT Records, and Wu-Tang Management to obtain employment as an assistant to the CEO of Wu-Tang Corporation. Angela gained valuable experience dealing with multiple labels, artists, lawyers, accountants, and organizing special events.
Angela realized she had a knack for marketing, and spent the next five years working with internet startups, Nile Rodgers’ record distribution label, clothing brands, and launching Eminem’s clothing line Shady Limited. Yee decided her ideal position would be merging her love of marketing with her love of music, and that was when her industry relationships and stellar work reputation placed her in a position to get hired at Sirius Satellite Radio. While looking for job opportunities online, she saw the company was hiring in their marketing department and immediately called Paul Rosenberg, the head of Shady Records. She knew they were launching Shade 45 at Sirius and he would be able to at least get her an interview.
Never the type of person to wait for an opportunity, she soon pitched her own weekly nighttime show called “Lip Service,” which became an instant success. The show was the only female-hosted program on Shade 45 and allowed guests to engage in intimate conversations that were a refreshing contrast from the typical interviews with a promotional agenda. Soon enough, Angela took over the morning show as the main host and created “The Morning After with Angela Yee.”
Angela continued to grind tirelessly at Shade 45, providing a platform for unsigned artists with her segment “Don’t Quit Your Day Job,” where artists like Drake, Machine Gun Kelly, and Big Krit were showcased before signing to major labels. She conducted standout interviews with Eminem, Nicki Minaj, Chris Rock, Birdman, 50 Cent, TI, and Wiz Khalifa among many others. Her talent and work ethic did not go unnoticed, and she was the only Sirius XM personality mentioned in the 2009 “The Source” Power 30 issue. Several radio stations in different markets began contacting Angela Yee and she soon decided to take a risk and leave her home of six years at Shade 45 for the station that was the underdog in radio’s number one market: New York City’s Power 105.1.
The Breakfast Club was formed in December 2010 with DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and Charlamagne and for the past three years the show has been the number one radio program in “The Source” Power 30 issue, and in 2014 the New York State Broadcasters Association awarded “The Breakfast Club” with the 2014 OUTSTANDING ON-AIR BROADCAST PERSONALITY OR TEAM award. Currently, the show is syndicated in over 30 markets weekday mornings and over 70 markets on the weekend where listeners can hear Angela Yee’s Rumor Report, her advice segment “Ask Yee,” and current events with “Front Page News.”
Angela also continues to expand her brand with her popular podcast “Angela Yee’s Lip Service” and freelance writing with Vibe Magazine, YRB Magazine, and her own website www.teamyee.tv. She has received a WEEN Mission Award, the “Shirley Chisholm Woman of Distinction” Award and donates her time and efforts to speaking at schools and on educational panels, working with Coats for Kids, Dress for Success, Makeover Your MS, Children Making Strides Against Pediatric Cancer, The Bowery Mission, and various other charitable organizations.
From her humble beginnings booking studio time and running payroll for Wu-Tang Management, to working with Eminem at Shady Limited, she’s packed her resume’ with targeted experiences that made her extremely marketable, with hosting successful radio shows, managing clients such as GZA and Jay Electronica and cultivating a voice in the music and Hip-Hop industry.
Angela took some time to connect with AllHipHop to discuss her journey, the importance of having a backup plan and the life of being a woman in radio and in the hip-hop and entertainment world:
AllHipHop: How would you describe being a woman in the hip-hop industry?
Angela Yee: I mean, as a woman, when people walk the room, they will give everyone a pound but not say anything to you. They won’t automatically think you’re an executive in the first impression. That’s typically how it is but you maintain yourself, build great relationships and hustle.
AllHipHop: In situations like that, what keeps you from giving up?
Angela Yee: I’ve never felt like giving up and have always had a strong foundation. But what kept me mostly from giving up was that I knew I always had a backup plan. With that, you can do anything and to have that security was key.
AllHipHop: That’s real, because not only do you work in radio, you’ve done marketing, writing, distribution right?
Angela Yee: Yes, and you get put in different situations that can be opportunities and if you get your foot in the door, you got to bust the door wide open.
AllHipHop: How do you find balance in work, personal life, health, etc.?
Angela Yee: You have to find a way to find that balance. I always put work before everything, but I had to learn to find that time to be balanced.
AllHipHop: As women, we sometimes deal with certain scrutiny if we have children, or are married or serious relationships, but still living within the industry. How can we combat that stigma?
Angela Yee: I think the biggest thing to remember especially being a woman in the industry is that you have to be with someone that understands what you do, and RESPECTS what you do. Both parties need to feel comfortable and not worrying about what others think about it. If you’re happy, be happy.
AllHipHop: Women that have inspired you on your journey?
Angela Yee: Well definitely Angie Martinez. When I first met her I was so excited. Now she works with me. I think she realizes how important she is to me. She is very humble which is refreshing in this industry because people get so jaded sometimes. Next would be my best friend Santi Gold, she lived across the hall from me in college. She was always the one to decide on something and then do it and I would be the one to just sit and think about it. She definitely inspires me. And last I would say Yara Shahidi as another woman because she’s, young and very aware of what’s going on in the world around her. She’s brave enough to express herself in ways that may cause people to attack her at times but she’s still outspoken.
AllHipHop: Where do you find inspiration?
Angela Yee: I find inspiration every day. I think every day you should be inspired by something.
AllHipHop: Any last thoughts you have to share with the wonderful women reading?
Angela Yee: Yes, I just want to share that we really need to be able to help each other and understand we are not each other’s competition. Sometimes it may not even be us, but other people put us against each other and we get caught up in negative things. It’s a nice feeling not to be negative, focus on the positive and inspire each other. Understand that sometimes you have to say “NO.” Be aware of yourself, and prioritize. You got to sleep!