In the Loop With: Radio Divas Angela Yee and K. Foxx
Rival morning show radio deejays duke it out on a TV set near you
It's sun up in the Big Apple, and you find yourself waking up to a morning radio show. If your show of choice follows the typical host format, your entertaining A.M. banter is being brought to you by two guys and the obligatory girl. Enjoy a side of Miguel and Alicia Keys with your coffee? Then this morning radio show most certainly plays the latest in hip-hop and R&B, and interviews the artists behind the hits, too. In New York, it would be utterly reasonable to guess that the listener is tuned into Hot 97's Morning Show or Power 105's Breakfast Club.
Familiar show formats are what has likely kept the stations neck-and-neck in audience numbers. As of 2011, Hot 97 had 3.314 million people tune in at any given point of the day during the average week, while Power 105 boasted a very close 3.211 million listeners. And, if unequivocally trouncing the competition is the goal, that razor thin divide of 103 thousand listeners is likely too close for comfort for the show's respective female hosts, K. Foxx and Angela Yee.
Now the dueling deejays are trading in their headphones for cameras to star in VH1's new show "The Gossip Game," a fast-paced reality series that follows female reporters trying to beat each other to the breaking news punch. As viewers will see, what could have stayed in the lane of friendly, professional competition has morphed into a not-so-friendly, on screen personal relationship. Yet, oddly enough, the radio, and now cable show competitors, may have more in common than they think. We spoke to the leading ladies of radio -- Yee at the advance screening of the premiere episode, and Foxx by phone -- to get their individual takes on success, talent and failure.
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How do you measure success?
Angela Yee: It's based on how happy I am. I'm at a point in my life where money is not the most important thing. I love that I can get up and enjoy what I do and be passionate about it and make money at the same time. Success to me is: what can I do that I get paid and enjoy?
K. Foxx: The obvious way would be financially, like how rich you are, but that's superficial. I would measure it by how wealthy I am, and that encompasses spending time with my family, my friends, traveling, going to plays, walking my dog. These are simple things that give me pleasure because you can have all the money in the world but be the most unhappy person.
Is success a measure of talent or tenacity?
Yee: It's a combination of both. There are a lot of people who are talented but they don't work hard, and if you don't work hard, you're never gonna get it. And I know people -- personally -- that aren't that talented, but they work so hard and they're so persistent that they'll make it happen.
Foxx: Both! Talent is probably only gonna get you in the door, but it's about who you know, your drive and your vision to make sure you knock down those doors. People may have the talent, but not have the drive, and can have excuses for days. And people who are less talented may have the motivation and all the tools they need.
Are you a dreamer, or are your feet planted firmly on the ground?
Yee: Very planted in realism. Too planted in realism. I feel like I need to be more of a dreamer.
Foxx: I have big goals and dreams and I'm never satisfied with one thing. One of my goals was to work full-time in radio -- so I know that my dreams can become a reality -- but you also have to be realistic in how you want to obtain those goals.
What is the greatest lesson you've learned from failure?
Yee: I have to stop holding on to things too long. Sometimes things aren't gonna work out and you have to trust your intuition.
Foxx: At this point in my career, everything that I have said I wanted to do, I have done, and that's a blessing. When I was working in Miami and I'd come home to New York to visit family and friends, they'd be like, 'We miss you! When are you coming back?' And I said, 'The only way that I'm coming back to New York is if I work for Hot 97.'
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What is the best advice you've never taken?
Yee: When I was younger, I left a job that I really liked a lot because I was getting more money somewhere else. And they told me when I was leaving, 'Are you sure you want to do this? Because you're doing so well.' And I should have taken that advice because I hated the next job -- even though I made more money.
Foxx: I'm not hard headed, if there's something that I want and I see somebody in a position to give me advice, I'm gonna take it. But when I was in North Carolina, just beginning my radio career, I was working a full-time job, going to school and also had an internship, so during the week it was just so hard for me to get to the station. I was there on the weekends working overnight, but was told, 'You gotta come around more. If people want to use you, you gotta be in the building. They gotta get to know you, like you, trust you.' And I was a little reluctant because I was tired; I was cranky; I was trying to finish exams and write papers. I fought it for a while, then I was like, 'I gotta do it,' and that's when things started to open up for me.
What is your vice?
Yee: I love having vices. Shoes are my vice. I always say -- and they always make fun of me at work -- that I'm not buying any more shoes, 'I have so many. I'm done with it!' But I just bought three pairs last weekend. It is unhealthy -- unhealthy for my wallet!
Foxx: I love to hang out with my friends and just be silly. I wouldn't say that's a vice, but I really just like to escape and go somewhere. I can't really do that working in radio and television because you have to be present. It's a constant battle where I'm like, 'I need a vacation, but damn I gotta wake up at 4:30 in the morning and work.' But I'm working this hard so that hopefully in a few years I can afford to be on a yacht in St. Tropez and still do what I like to do.
"The Gossip Game" airs Mondays at 9/8c on VH1!