3 Lessons From “My Voice: A Memoir”: Angie Martinez
Women in Radio, Entry # 2 “My Voice” Angie Martinez
You don’t need to be a Hip Hop enthusiast to know who Angie Martinez is. The Puerto Rican New Yorker who worked her way up from intern to Radio Legend at Hot 97, has not only conducted some of the biggest and greatest interviews in Hip Hop history, but she also put out an album, co-wrote a healthy, Latin cuisine cookbook, and has managed to create a lane for young woman of color to not only have their voice heard on the airwaves, but respected. Angie Martinez’s journey is inspiring for women and men of all backgrounds who strive to be the best in their careers and in life. This entry of “Women in Radio” is my three lessons for career and life from Angie Martinez’s Memoir, My Voice: A Memoir.
1. Get Still and Go Within
When speaking about her infamous interview with Tupac during the height of the West Coast VS. East Coast beef, Angie tells us that although everyone wanted to hear the interview, help her edit it, and give opinions about what she should or should not release, ultimately Angie decided to disregard and ignore their opinions, and sit alone in stillness, and eventually, edit the interview on her own.
“I’m a person who likes to get quiet. And then once I’ve kind of figured it out, I may pick people’s brains about how to do it. Nobody else is going to have to deal with the repercussions but me.” (My Voice: A Memoir, Angie Martinez).
Angie emphasizes this need for stillness throughout the book, whether it be in the middle of the East Coast VS. West Coast feud, when making decisions about jumping into unfamiliar territories as an artist, or being slandered by artists or disgruntled listeners.
Key Note: Go within. It sounds obvious, but don’t forget that only YOU have to live your life, YOU have to deal with the consequences of your decisions, so make sure your final decision always comes from within.
2. Jump at the Opportunity, Even if it was Unexpected
Angie had no plans or desire to create an album or be a rapper, but when famed MC, KRS-One, suggested she rap on one of his tracks, she could not turn him down. She was admittedly nervous. She tried to not only talk herself out of it, but also KRS-One, however, she went through with it and made it out alive. In fact, the feature led her to the opportunity to appear on Lil Kim’s Ladies’ Night track, perform on the MTV Awards, and eventually, create her own album. Although Angie didn’t continue her career as a rapper, she accredits it to making her a better interviewer. Knowing the ins and outs of making an album, Angie is able to relate and ask stronger questions when interviewing artists.
The book begins with Angie writing us on her last day at Hot 97. It is a momentous occasion filled with emotion. With crying co-workers, texts of shock from celebrity friends, and social media in shambles, Angie has just announced that she is leaving Hot 97, and the next day the announcement will be made that she is joining Power 105.1, the competing station. What do we learn from this? A successful career and even a full life is not complete without taking risks.
Key Note: Don’t live your life in fear! Even if the opportunity doesn’t grant you the expected or common result, it can still enhance your life in other ways. Every risk is an opportunity for expansion!
3. Authenticity is KEY.
From figuring out interviewing and learning to host radio on the job and on the air, to breaking down announcing the death of Tupac Shakur, to crying on the local news when asked to explain the impact of Notorious BIG’s death on the Hip Hop community, to opening up the airwaves for an outpour of emotion on 9/11, Angie has earned her name as “The Voice of New York” through raw and utter authenticity. Trending before social media, Angie’s success is not built on image and fluff, but on authenticity, skill, and drive. In a day and age where careers are built on selfies and filters, Angie Martinez is a role model for creating not only a career but a life built on being true to yourself and others.
As the late Tupac Shakur wrote:
2 Angie Martinez
4 Being true when false behavior was fashionable
4 Never dirtying my name on the air
4 Being what is so hard to find
Key Note: The win is sweeter when you win as yourself.
Angie Martinez’s Memoir, My Voice: A Memoir, is available at major book retailers, as well as http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-voice-angie-martinez/1123112079 . Paperbacks are available for pre-order, but not physically available until March 7th, 2017.