Angela Yee is a force to be reckoned with, a powerful success in radio, in business and in life. Yee has come a long way from her roots in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. She attributes her rise and ability to thrive in an industry run and populated almost exclusively by men to hard work and knowing her self-worth. One of the co-hosts of the popular morning radio show, The Breakfast Club, on NYC’s highly rated Power 105.1, Yee never imagined she’d be such a success, and have the things she has today, like a house.
“As far as I can remember, starting in kindergarten, I wanted to be a writer. I went to Wesleyan University and majored in English,” Yee says, “but I also grew up as a music lover and I would listen to the radio with headphones on for hours at a time. I even got turntables and DJ’ed for a couple of years when I got out of college.”
Perseverance Pays Off
A summer internship at Wu-Tang Management led to a full-time position for Yee. She became the assistant to the CEO. And just like that, Yee’s chosen career path changed completely. At 21, Yee oversaw payroll, attended meetings at other record companies with her boss, and put together benefits, like a free fair that offered health information, rides and a concert. Yee’s mother, who often worked seven days a week, was her inspiration for working so hard.
“I was always the first one in and the last one to leave. Every time my boss called, I was there. He told me when I’m not in the office, you’re me. I loved the job and networked non-stop. It’s so important to go to events, meet the people you’re talking to on the phone. Show support, don’t just hang with your friends put yourself out there” Yee says.
The hard work – and the networking — paid off. When Yee learned Eminem would have his own channel on Sirius radio, Yee called Eminem’s manager to see if she could get an “introduction” from him with Sirius – for a job in marketing maybe. Yee had met Eminem’s manager when she helped launch the Shady Limited Clothing Line. To her surprise, he mentioned an opening for an on- air talent in one of the new shows and suggested Yee audition for the job. Yee had found her calling.
Taking it To the Next Level
After six successful years with Sirius, and two of her own shows on the air, Yee walked away, for a job at Power 105.1, a local NYC radio station. Yee felt under-appreciated by the men, and only men, in leadership at Sirius. They weren’t treating her fairly or respecting hip hop.
“They thought they made me, but it was my hard work that made things happen. I had offers over the years so I knew I’d be ok, but leaving Sirius was scary nonetheless. All I can say is, if you feel like it’s not working out for you, then you have to be really great at what you do, know your self-worth, and have great relationships so at the end of the day, if you have to walk away you can” says Yee.
Things weren’t always as easy as it might seem for Yee. She got into serious debt in college when she maxed out several credit cards and stopped paying any of the bills. Yee spent years paying off the debt and rebuilding her credit only to run into trouble again when she was managing a new rapper and maxed her credit card again. That was the last time. Today, Yee checks her bank account every day, she pays off her credit cards in full every month and she invests. She owns a home and a juice bar/hang out spot in Brooklyn and three houses in Detroit.
Yee, newly inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame with co-hosts DJ Envy and Charlamagne tha God, also is the host of “Established with Angela Yee,” a new celebrity interview series streaming on Fox Soul. Yee previously worked with Fox Soul, hosting the four-part limited series “Motown Countdown with iHeartRadio’s Angela Yee.” Her new focuses on pivotal career moments and milestones of the interviewee.
Yee says, “So much of being successful is about building relationships, true relationships. Treat everybody equally, know people’s names, show them you care. I’m a good person, I want to do well, but I want others to do well too. I like to make money, but I like to use it to help people. I believe If you put out great vibes, you will get back great vibes.”