(AllHipHop Features) Candice Williams also known as "Ms. Drama" is a TV/Media personality from New York. She has worked as a media personality and reporter for over 10 years - with on-air experience in television, hosting an internationally syndicated radio show on SiriusXM, and providing multiple segments for local and national stations and networks.
As a journalist, Candice has worked for notable news outlets like WSB-TV in Atlanta, Clear Channel New York, and Emmis Communications. Her work and pop culture commentary has and been featured on VH1, MTV, Nickelodeon, NY1, The Huffington Post, The Village Voice, Ok! TV, E! News, and more.
In 2013, she was hired as the lead personality for VH1's "The Gossip Game" where she was positioned as the central media personality of “Ms. Drama”.
In 2015 she hosted a daily entertainment news show on the Business and Employment News Network, an online network, where she interviewed entertainers, entrepreneurs, celebrities, athletes and the like.
In 2016, Candice was hired at ABC News, in their ABC Radio division, as their Urban Reporter and producer. There she covers black entertainment, interviews accomplished TV/Film stars and musicians, and serves as an entertainment reporter to national and syndicated stations.
AllHipHop: A lot of people don't even remember you as Ms. Drama. Can you talk about that persona and what you accomplished as Ms. Drama. What's the difference between Drama and Candice?
The “Ms. Drama” persona was initially created as a way to brand my content and interviews. Since I was working independently when I started and wanted to stand out from other bloggers doing similar things, I decided to create a persona that would be intriguing and subversive at the same time. That way, Hip-Hop fans would know what to expect with the “Ms. Drama” brand. Ms. Drama offers thoughtful, intelligent, and direct interviews that are heavily mixed with humor.
Meanwhile, Candice is the everyday woman. She is the business, the boss, the go-getter, the sister, the friend, the lover (never the hater) and the woman on the go.
AllHipHop:Talk about your background a bit. Where are you from originally and how did you become so passionate about music?
I was born in Long Island, New York, but grew up for the most part in Northern Virginia. My appreciation for music, specifically Hip-Hop, really began when I went to Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. There, I was introduced to a wide range of music, culture and talent that laid the foundation for my true love of music. It continued to grow and mature when I came to New York for grad school at NYU.
AllHipHop: Now , you and I had a short stint on a reality show called the Gossip Game. You were one of the stars. How was that experience for you?
Being cast on Vh1’s "The Gossip Game" was bittersweet. I never sought out to be on that show—or reality TV for that matter-- so when I was asked to join, I didn’t really know what to expect. However, it was a chance to reach a larger audience, so I thought it would lead to more opportunities and business. However, that wasn’t necessarily the case for me. Instead, those opportunities came much later and from my own ambitions and pursuits.
Although I would say being on "The Gossip Game" wasn’t necessarily the most pleasant experience, I don’t regret being on the show. I learned a lot from the experience, even without a real resolution—or reunion—which would have been nice to have had. Frankly, I hope all those women are doing well, and in some way, shape or form, living their best life.
AllHipHop: Now you are at ABC/Disney working the film and TV beat. Talk about your job now.
I’m currently the urban reporter and producer for ABC News in their ABC Radio division. My job is to cover Black entertainment as it relates to television, film and music for our national affiliates and stations. My day consists of writing timely stories on Black entertainment, interviewing celebrity talent in studio (and at Good Morning America), and talking to radio stations on-air about entertainment news and gossip and major award shows. I also help out with live coverage and breaking news on our ABC News stations and annually cover national events such as Essence and American Black Film Festival.
My interviews are featured on ABCNews.com (video and write ups), as well as often syndicated nationally on our station’s websites.
AllHipHop: At this point you are a vet. What are you thoughts on the game of media now?
Media has evolved and it’s still evolving. We used to get our news solely from TV, radio, or print publications. Now it’s mostly online and primarily from social media. I can’t recall any of my peers telling me they waiting for a news report to air to get the scoop. We are in a social media age and for those looking to get into this business, they need to be well versed in it.
AllHipHop: What do you feel is the highlight of your career thus far?
It would be easy for met to list some of my most exciting interviews-- from Oscar winners like Denzel Washington, Jordan Peele, and Regina King, to the accomplished cast of Black Panther– as my most cherished highlights, but honestly—creating Ms. Drama has been the highlight of my career.
I have taken my “Ms. Drama” brand and brought it all the way to ABC News. I remember when a program director told me I wouldn’t go far with my Ms. Drama moniker-- but here I am today, using my own creation and taking it to the highest levels of journalism.
AllHipHop: What’s the most enjoyable part of the job and your duties?
The most enjoyable part has been having talent respect my work and share their feedback. It never gets old hearing that “you know your stuff,” or “this was the best interview I’ve had thus far.” That means a lot to me as someone who takes her craft seriously.
I love what I do as a journalist and media personality, so interviewing talent and breaking exciting entertainment news are usually the best parts.
AllHipHop: What is the hardest part?
The hardest part of what I do is dealing with the industry politics. Those that work in this space understand that this is a part of the business. So booking interviews, dealing with cancellations and unexpected events are always challenging and most times frustrating. Also, since I work in a corporate setting and for a large company, there is less anonymity and opportunity to have a voice in your work.
Although I still keep the Ms. Drama moniker, there are certain stories I cannot write and certain rules I must adhere to as an employee. Working in corporate can be a struggle for anyone who has had the freedom of working independently.
AllHipHop: Can you describe a moment of adversity personal and in your career?
I would refer to the instances when others have tried to minimize my accomplishments and/or derail my career because they only thought I was a blogger or someone with an insignificant platform. Thankfully, I stayed consistent and persistent and never gave up or gave in to the negativity.
AllHipHop: What keeps you from giving up?
My faith and belief that I am called for a greater purpose.
AllHipHop: Who inspired you to become a leader?
A leader is some who challenge the status quo, be consistent, and produce results. I didn’t intend to be a leader, but the work I put in and my perseverance provided me those leadership opportunities.
AllHipHop: How do you balance work, and personal life?
I definitely work hard, but I balance it out by praying hard and setting boundaries when I know I need a break to focus on my personal life. It’s important to be unafraid and to say to “no.”
AllHipHop: What do you like to do for fun?
I love to travel internationally, hang out with friends, relax when I can, and simply live my best life.
AllHipHop: Final words?
Nothing is promised, so work to make sure every day counts.