|More Than A Hip-Hop Radio DJ - Wendy Williams|
|Written by Robert ID1482|
|Saturday, 04 June 2005 13:20|
Hip-hop culture has many celebrities who we all know and admire. And of course there are those we can’t figure out why they are where they are. And then there are those ‘elite’ few who have rose to their position thru hard work and knowledge of their chosen field.
In the hip-hop and rap radio area there are the DJ’s that are well known and each of their shows are as different as the personality who leads them.
As far as female DJ’s, Wendy Williams is among the ‘elite’ in her field. She is a strong black female who has more than ‘good looks’ going for her. She is educated, outspoken and has been in the communications industry for almost 20 years and her radio show is syndicated in over 10 different markets. And did I forget she knows her stuff.
Not only a radio personality she is also a New York Times best selling author, has a TV show on VH-1 and now she is bringing the fire in her new venture, a CD release titled ‘Wendy Williams Brings The Heat, Vol. 1’ to be released June 28th on Virgin Records.
We had a chance to catch up with Wendy Williams to ask about the new project and to get a little insight to who Wendy Williams really is.
The CD covers different genre’s of music from hip-hop to rap to R&B to inspirational. These are the songs that Wendy hand picked for her project. The CD is really a reflection of music that Wendy ‘feels’.
The artists that Wendy has put together for this CD project is in itself amazing but also is the woman behind this project.
Wendy Williams has supported so many and have always supported her fans, so now it is time to support Wendy and check out her latest project , ‘Wendy Williams Brings The Heat, Vol. 1’ to be released June 28th on Virgin Records. And she also reveals that there is another book coming in the fall, her third.
ThugLifeArmy.com would like to ''thank'' Wendy Williams for making time to speak with us. She is a very busy person and finding time for this just shows her commitment to her fans and to all who are interested in her projects. If you are among the lucky people who can get Wendy on the radio check her out. If not check out VH-1 or get one of her books. But if you get this CD you will have an understanding of the music that this lady enjoys when she is just ‘Wendy Williams’ and the world is not watching.
Robert – Thank you for taking time to do this. We know you’re busy.
Wendy – Thank you for taking interest in my project.
Robert – I know you were born in New Jersey – how did you end up in Boston as an intern?
Wendy – Well I went to college in Boston. And the way I ended up in Boston is that my big sister went to Tufts, so that was really my introduction to ya know, visiting my big sister on campus and seeing college life. Seeing all the great schools around, really assessing the town in which I would go to college; not just the school itself. And while I do not have the academic prowess to get into Harvard or MIT or Tufts, I was able to get into BC, BU, and Northeastern; like that. I did go to Northeastern and graduated from there. And I love the idea of going to school in a college town, more options for cute boys, yeah.
Robert – And then you got an intern job right after school?
Wendy – Yeah, I got my internship myself. Northeastern was a co-oping school, which means that they find you an internship and it’s 5 years. What they did was pretty much neglected communications majors. They got a lot of internships for the business majors and the other majors but not communications majors. So I went out and got my own internship.
I walked into Kiss 108, and it wasn’t even for credit, and it was only supposed to be for 3 months, like 3 days a week; but I did it for like a year 5 days a week. And thoroughly I have to say out of all my experiences in Boston, that was probably the most beneficial experience to prepare me for the rest of my life. Working for Matt Siegel, ya know it’s not just working for any morning show; I worked for a high glamour, highly paid, highly visible morning show.
Robert – So is that how you got to the point you are now?
Wendy – That’s not how I got to the point. They really didn’t help me do anything esthetically, I mean, Matt doesn’t even answer or return calls at this particular point. I don’t know if he forgot who I am, even though thru that job I was able to parlay it. I gave the Dynasty and Dallas updates; Dynasty and Dallas were big at that time. I would answer the telephones taking down contest information and request and stuff, but when I used to bring him his contest sheets, I’d always make sure the mic was open.
And I have always had a little flair for being a little bit different than the rest and he would make a comment; ‘Wendy when do you have time to do your nails like that?’, and the mic would be open. So I saddle up to the mic and let them know exactly where. ‘I was doing my nails last night while I was Dynasty’, and that’s how it all turned out.
But I was working at the time at my college radio station as well. I mean I was proactive in my own career as well as proactive in getting my own internship and getting my own first job. I did my internship strictly thru observation. They never really took the time to actually teach me anything and I grew not to expect it, cause their busy. It wasn’t like I was interning for a cut rate radio station or a cut rate show; I mean that was high energy. Kiss 108 in the morning, I mean Matt still rings the most bells in Boston. So I didn’t expect them to take time to teach me like how to run the board. Oh yeah your going to trust me to run the board on a top flight radio show; no way I’m an intern.
Robert - The CD you have coming ‘Wendy Williams Brings the Heat, Vol. 1’ is set to hit stores on June 28th on Virgin Records – how hard was it for you to come up with that line up of artists
Wendy – Well I knew my favorites, as far as coming up with people that I’d like to be on it, that wasn’t difficult. The difficult part was ‘Are they going to accept or are they going to reject’. Are they going to remember that time that I talked about them back in 1998, even though we squashed it, are they still salty whatever.
Turns out everybody on the album, my wish list was answered for this round. And if this album is successful there will be a Vol. 2, and I get another whole slew of artists.
M.O.P., they’ve been my favorites since ya know ‘back in the day’. Mobb Deep same thing. Jaheim, I’ve loved him since I first heard his voice. Jadakiss he is definitely in my top 5 favorite rappers of all time. Brooke Valentine is my label mate and a very sweet girl. Marques Houston everybody’s watched him since he first came out with ‘Immature/IMx and ‘Sister, Sister’ the show with the twins. Nas, how prolific definitely one of my top 5 favorite MC’s of all time, I mean he weaves a tale like no other. Ya know there is always something inspirational learned from his music as well. Mario Winans, ya know I wanted a song with some sort of inspiration like that. Some sort of Mario Winans type feel. Anthony Hamilton who I love is not on the CD, but I am just giving you examples of that type of feel that I wanted.
This album is a reflection of the music that I love in my regular life, and I like everything from gritty hip-hop to a little inspirational music and everything in between.
Amerie, I was the first radio station in the country to play her first single ‘Why Don’t We Fall In Love’. So we have always had a special relationship since then.
So I mean there is a little ‘tale’ about every artist on here.
Renegade Foxxx ya know, I’ve always felt he deserves a little more, like he’s an underground artist who needs to see the light of day. Marley Marl produced the track. Love Marley, he’s a legend. Ya know Prodigy is on there; from Mobb Deep; WTF Mobb Deep –great.
Robert: Keith, (the co-admin. of the site) lives in New York and listens to your show. He heard you a couple months back call out the names and issue the warnings to all the record execs about your CD. You warned a couple that you had dirt on them if they didn''t cooperate, ya know.
Wendy – Well I don’t think I said it exactly like that but ya know yeah, your f’n right. I’ve been in this business for almost 20 years ya know, and I’m not expecting the world to bow down to my feet but God knows I’ve put enough people on. I’ve supported enough acts that have gone platinum and gold, and I’ve made enough people money and now it’s time for some favors to be returned.
Robert – Did you get everybody that you wanted?
Wendy – Well, I got everybody that I wanted but everybody couldn’t fit on the CD. I got everybody that I wanted, I am extremely proud of this product. My next go around, if this Vol.1 is successful, I’ll be calling all new slew of people. And I expect co-operation. And I don’t mean to sound like the lady mafia or anything like that, cause I by no means am like that or throwing threats. But ya know I’ve been a ‘one man band’ for the majority of my career; everything scotch taped and piece mealed together. And but for the grace of God and the fans here I am standing strong and tall and really successful with a few different projects going on.
The first one being radio, and I’m a double New York Times Best Seller and ya know when my show come on VH-1 they do real well for the ratings – that’s all due to the fans.
But it’s time for the artists and the record executives and what not to come along. People have been putting out compilations CD’s, I’m not the first ‘jock’ to put out a compilation CD. I happen to be the first female jock to put out a compilation CD, but other people have gotten co-operation, and they haven’t been in the ‘game’ half as long, but they don’t ring half the bells that I do. So where is my just due?
And so on June 28th I hope that the people that follow the things that I do, I hope they really enjoy the CD. Virgin Records has been extraordinary thru this process.
Robert - How long did it take you to get the CD all together from when you first wanted to do it till it was pressed
Wendy – Three months.
Robert – That’s all?
Wendy – Yeah.
Robert – You got all those artists together in three months?
Wendy – It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t easy. I have a deep respect that I didn’t understand before of the process of putting together albums and how the artists do it.
Robert – I am surprised that you could get their schedules all together like that.
Wendy – Well you know it was difficult. All that was difficult. The scheduling and still holding down my own regular ‘9-5’ job, it was difficult.
Robert – This CD is this like what you would consider some of the best artists out today?
Wendy – Yeah, definitely.
Robert - There are a few exclusive tracks on this CD – is that because the artists have love for ya that they gave you exclusives?
Wendy – Yeah, 90% of this CD is ‘exclusives’ for my CD.
Robert - Do you have any favorites on the CD?
Wendy – Yeah, umm I love the Mario Winans song and I do spoken word on it. And I love Jadakiss and Jaheim. I love Nas and Amerie. I love the Dwele song. Marques Houston, I mean all of them on there. Black Rob is crazy, M.O.P. – I mean there is nothing on there I did not approve so I have a love for every single on there on the CD.
Robert - I see that Renegade Foxxx is on your CD. What are your thoughts on Foxxx?
Wendy – Well, I think that Renegade Foxxx has been around for awhile, grinding putting his work in. Ya know he did his colabo with Petey Pablo. He has colabo’d with a few other artists, he’s got a little ‘buzz’ in our home state of New Jersey and I got this and this is my chance to do right.
Robert - I see you were in Foxxx’s video for ‘Anything You Want’ (Renegade Foxxx feat/ Petey Pablo and The Youngbloodz) – how did that hook up? Did you hook up with him or did he come at you?
Wendy – Naw, I’ve known Renegade Foxxx for a few years now. He is a friend of mine and a friend of the executive producers.
Robert - The Wendy Williams Experience book how did that do?
Wendy – It’s a New York Times Best Seller. That’s my second book. My first one was also a best seller. Actually I am in the process to wrap up my third book. The treatment has been done, ya know the book label, and everything is set. But when we turned in this project here, this CD, I had to make a choice to put this on hold. Ya know put the book on hold for a moment so I can devote attention to the CD. Attention to promoting it. Getting out and giving it ‘it’s shine’.
So right after I finish doing this, probably in the fall, I will start on the third book.
Robert - How is it for Wendy Williams to go to an industry party. I mean I know ya got those that love ya and those that hate ya, so how do you handle that situation at a get together?
Wendy – I mean it’s not; generally speaking what I’ve found in my career is that people that hate are cowards; from the artists on down. They might hate, you know, in their car or their house or what ever but people don’t step to me like that at parties. I mean, ya know if I want to go to an industry party, I’ll go to it. Whether it’s ya know M.O.P. or Mariah Carey.
But I got to tell you something, I mean I have been in the industry long enough that I don’t; I have ‘out grown’ the need to hit every industry function.
So I go to stuff that’s real special. People that have been good to me and things like that.
Robert – So let’s say you call out so & so, and a week later when you see so & so, is there love there or do they see it as that’s your job or do they take it personal?
Wendy – I don’t really know. I would say that there is probably indifference. I mean if I know I have just talked about somebody, I’m not going to try and go up and give them hugs at a party, we will keep it – it is what it is. And if they want to come and say something about it fine. Hopefully they will be saying something intelligent that I can then bring back to the radio. Like ‘No that’s not my 8th child, that’s my second child and my wife and I are very happily married’. Then I’ll take that back.
Robert - Why did you move on from Hot 97?
Wendy – I had the option of staying under terms I wasn’t interested in or leaving; and they didn’t want me to leave. I had to take them to court to get out of my contract. Then I had a ‘non-compete’ clause; which means that I couldn’t be on in New York. My ‘non-compete’ clause happened to have had like 9 months left on it. I did not just want to stay in New York and not work so I went to Philly, the next closest city, where I didn’t have to up-root my entire life but ya know a bit of it. And now, fortunately, I’m back in New York doing wonderfully and I’m syndicated in Philly.
Robert - How many stations are you syndicated on now?
Wendy – I’m syndicated on about 10 stations, including one that I just added yesterday which is a station in New Orleans; Q 93, which is number one for hip-hop and R&B. That is actually my second Louisiana station. I’m actually already in Shreveport. And my third one gets added next week, so then you can drive from one end of Louisiana to the other and check me out. I’m number 1 in the afternoons on Power 99 in Philly. I’m on in Harford, Conn. at Power 104.4, which is hip-hop and R&B. I’m on in Decatur Ill. at Hot 105.1. I work in Flint Mich. I work in Columbia, South Carolina at Power 103.9, another hip-hop and R&B. The BEAT in Shreveport is my station. Milwaukee I’m on and here in New York. Ya know its difficult syndicating an afternoon show, but I don’t have the schedule allotment anymore to be able to do mornings; nor is it my desire. Mornings are a lot easier to syndicate but ya know, I’ve chosen where I want to be, so now it is what it is.
Robert – Are you on an hour more in New York than you are in syndication?
Wendy – Yes, I do a bonus hour in New York. I’m on from 2 til 7 P.M. in New York. At 6 o’clock we stop syndication and it’s just an hour of local, no music or anything like that, and I love doing it. I wanted to do the extra hour since I got back to New York 3 and a half years ago but I’m finally getting it. That just started a few months ago.
Robert - Being the outspoken Queen of hip-hop do you like that title
Wendy – I never heard the title of the outspoken queen of hip-hop actually, I am the Queen of ALL media. That is the title that I love, that is the title I am trying to live up to. In order to be Queen of ALL media you have to be not just doing things but you have to be good at everything you do and THANK GOD because people have been supporting. I’m good at radio, at least they think so. I’m good at my VH-1, at least they think so. I’m good at books, at least they think so. And hopefully I’ll be good at CD’s. I like being well rounded but my feet are firmly cemented in radio; it’s my favorite of all. And I hope on June 28th this CD does well.
Robert – I know you have to go do your show and I appreciate you taking time to fill us in and keep us up on what’s going on. Best of luck with the CD and hope to talk again soon.
Wendy - Sure absolutely, thank you and have a good week-end.
See the tracklisting and cover art for Wendy's CD project HERE .
Available in stores June 28th, support those who support and contribute to hip-hop culture.
Visit Wendy's site HERE
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