Hustle is an understatement. One of the best to ever do it, a role model indeed empowered, and empowering—Angela Yee does it all. In many situations, you may find yourself asking, “What would Ang do?” No different than the mass calling in, writing, and listening to Yee give her best advice weekly during her famous segment, “Ask Yee.” The popular media personality holds down the fort as the only female host of Nationally Syndicated “Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club” alongside DJ Envy and Charlamagne Tha God, which is always something new and adventurous in itself. Interviewing tons and tons of celebs on the regular, the threesome always dominates the mic and gives it to the people raw and uncut. They’ve made a #1 name in radio being filterless and no holds barred, also relatable to listeners; reaching over 50 plus markets around the country and on REVOLT daily. Angela is no different in her solo endeavors; “Lip Service” is back and better than ever. Ang speaks candidly and sexually confident and fluid with co-hosts GiGi Maguire and Stephanie Santiago. With a background in marketing and the music industry, a degree from Wesleyan University majoring in English, juggling some artist management for a while, and a brand that is continuously growing; Yee is a powerhouse and built to last. Angela Yee is non-apologetic about her boss moves; so much under her belt: a recent juice bar, new endeavors on the way, and multiple brands she represents, Yee wears it well, wouldn’t you say?
Sit back, relax, and read all about the “Angela Yee” below as we shared many laughs; she speaks about how she balances all that she has going on, giving back, and key advice and tips on homeownership:
PYNK: Walk us through a typical day in the life of Angela Yee from start to finish.
Angela Yee: I think every day is different. The only thing that’s the same is I always get up at four o’clock in the morning. I get ready to go to work. I get to work. I get makeup for about 15-20 minutes, because we’re on REVOLT also, always have to be aware that we’re on television. We do our show, then after the show whatever interviews we have to do, we do the interviews. Then, like today, I went to this juice bar because I have a juice bar in Brooklyn. We try to at least go there for a little bit whenever I’m in town. I was looking at real estate because I’m building a restaurant in Brooklyn also. We went to go look at some properties. Now I’m on my way to a dinner. Every day is something different. Tomorrow I’ve got to host this charity event in Brooklyn. I have Lip Service, so some days I have to my podcast. It’s just every day is like running from here … I’m always just kind of running from one place to another.
PYNK: Speaking of the juice bar real quick, since you did mention that, why was that important for you to invest in that brand, and also the community in that way?
Angela Yee: I think it’s important because I know when I first started juicing was because I wake up so early every day, and sometimes you just kind of run out of energy. So it really is important what you put inside your body to make sure that you can keep going. It was something that for me, every morning … I’m not really a big breakfast first, and sometimes if I eat too much in the morning, I get really full and sleepy. It just kind of like messes up my day. Every morning I would have some green tea, and then I would always have a juice. It kept me really even, and it kept my attitude much better. It kept me awake. It didn’t make me get sleepy. It was something that I was doing every day, and then I had Envy start doing it also because he was eating donuts and drinking soda every morning. Things like that, it really does take a toll on you, especially as you get older and your metabolism slows down.
I just thought, for me, when I was at home in Brooklyn, I couldn’t really find a lot of good places that I wanted to go to get juices. I’m like, “Where am I supposed to go when I need this?” So that’s why I was like, “You know what? I really want to do this.” I knew Styles P and Jadakiss had done there’s in the Bronx and Yonkers, so I made sure I went to go visit it just to see what it was like. I loved the fact that they were doing something positive and using their platforms in neighborhoods that needed it. I went to go to their juice bar, and then I sat down to meet with Styles P, and that’s how it happened.
PYNK: What is your morning routine, like your beauty regimen? What do you do every morning that you can’t do without?
Angela Yee: Every morning? I know sometimes guys don’t shower in the morning, but I definitely have to shower every morning. I always use a berry Sanso exfoliant on my face. Only because I have makeup on every day, so I think it’s really important to me to make sure I clean that.
PYNK: Back to the juice, because I just thought about it, what’s your favorite juice? I know you drink the wheat grass shots.
Angela Yee: My favorite one is called the G5. That has kale, spinach, green apples, and bananas, and then I always add ginger in it also.
PYNK: Okay. I like ginger. I love juices.
Angela Yee: Me too. I love ginger. I always drink mine really spicy. I like a lot of ginger. Ginger is an acquired taste because some people hate it. Yeah, it’s funny because I don’t have any fruits and vegetables in my house now, because I go to the juice bar like every day.
PYNK: Really? You can do that because you don’t have to pay for it.
Angela Yee: Yeah, I guess. You know what I realized? First of all, we made a conscious effort to make sure that it’s really inexpensive, because they start at five dollars, and there’s only one that’s eight dollars, so it goes from five to eight. Most of them are around between five and seven dollars. We wanted to make sure that it’s really affordable for people. I know sometimes if things are healthy, they’re so expensive, but this isn’t crazy. But you’re right, I get it free.
PYNK: Yeah, exactly right, so you don’t have to pay for it! Speaking of everything that you have going on, how do you balance it all with all the ventures, and the brands that you represent, the parties and events and stuff. How do you balance it all?
Angela Yee:I just try to make sure that I always take some days off. I’m not the type of person that will say like, “Oh, no sleep. I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” I definitely am like, “Okay, I worked all day and night three days in a row, so for these next two days all I’m doing is going to work in the morning and then I’m goin to chill.”. I make a very conscious effort to do that. Some weekends I’ll be like, “Okay, this weekend I’m off. Don’t book anything for me this weekend just because I want to make sure that …” You definitely always have to recharge. I make sure I take a long weekend. If I go somewhere for work, I might stay a extra two days and say, “Okay, I got booked for a party. I’m going to just stay out here and relax for two days,” because every now and then you need to do that. One of my main things I always say is always give yourself something to look forward to. That means that … I have a vacation that I’m going on at the end of July with my friend from high school for her birthday. We’re going to Bermuda. I’ve never been to Bermuda before. That’s just something that every day I’m like, “Man, I can’t wait to go to Bermuda.”
PYNK: What’s your favorite thing to do? Out of everything that you do, what is … as far as radio and every aspect of your career, if you had to choose, what are you most passionate about?
Angela Yee: My favorite thing to do is, I love to read. I have my book club, and that’s always been my favorite thing to do since I was young, one of my favorite activities.
PYNK: Tell us about the book club.
Angela Yee: I read all the time. The people are always asking me like, “Oh, what’s a good book to read,” and I always recommend books to people. But not a lot of my friends read. I just feel like it’s something that is so valuable. I learn so much just from reading books about other people’s lives. I’m not really into self-help books so much, but I really love autobiographies and biographies. Or anything that’s like … That, to me, has the biggest lessons in life. I just like to hear people’s stories. Those are the kind of movies I like to watch, like real life true stories. Ever since I was young, that’s something that I’ve always enjoyed doing. I was like, “I want to start a book club.” I’ve been wanting to do it for quite some time, but then this young lady that I know, she used to work at a marketing company and then she hit me up one day and told me she was at Simon and Schuster at Atria books. She sent me a whole package of books, and then I just had a thought. I was like, “You know, I really want to do this book club. It would be great if we could partner up on it.” I told her. I was like, “Yeah, I would love if we could just do this book club together. I think it would be a great thing.” They were really, really excited about it, and very supportive. They gave me my own page on Simon and Schuster, and they give me free books to give away to the people that join the book club. They’ve been really great about it. They had the author call in last time, and they’re going to have one of the authors come in actually, to the actual book club and sit down and answer questions. I tell people all the time, “Even if you didn’t read the book, we can have a great discussion about what’s in it.” Right now we’re doing Kevin Hart’s book, “I Can’t Make This Up.” Kevin Hart in it, it’s life lessons. He just has so many great things to talk about. He just talked about his perspective on life, and it’s all about how you look at things. He even says he was an accident. He said, “Now you could look at that like, oh your parents didn’t want you, or you could look at it like I was a blessing because I was unexpected kind of thing.” So, it is true, I feel like a lot of things that we do in our life is all about perspective. He talks about mistakes that he made. But I think even just bringing those things up to people, like anybody can relate to those. Even if you didn’t read the whole book, or if you didn’t read any of it, it will make you want to read it. It’s a great story about a person that you know, and now you get to learn how they got to where they got to.
PYNK: I know that you were also working on your own book at one point, your own book project. Can you tell us anything about that at this point?
Angela Yee: Well, I was working on a fictional book. It was going to be really fun. I was inspired by books like The Devil Wears Prada, about the industry that she works in and all the crazy things that happen behind the scenes. My friend Aliya S. King, she wrote this book called Platinum, so I like things that are … That would kind be a based on a true story type of book, but really fun, that incorporates a lot of different things with social media, with blogs, with radio, all the things that I’m familiar with. That was kind of the plan. Reality TV to show people what goes on behind the scenes, and this business that they might not have any idea about it. People watch reality TV and think it’s real. People don’t understand how in the media the stories can be twisted to make you look at things a certain way. The average person just reads something, sees something on TV, and they believe it, and they don’t know everything. It’s kind of like a Wag The Dog, if you saw that movie, that type of thing. I just thought it would be kind of a fun little story. How people’s friendships can get ruined in this business so easily also.
PYNK: How does it feel to be the only woman of the world’s most dangerous radio show, of course the Breakfast Club? I’m sure there’s never a dull day. How does it feel to be alongside Envy and Charlamagne every day, the only woman, but standing your ground and holding it down?
Angela Yee: You know, it’s really great. I feel like a lot of times they are a lot more sensitive than I am. It’s funny, because I feel like this, people only know … I feel like men, being around them in the room, first of all, I feel like I know so much about just men period. I also feel like men, I learned, gossip way more than women do. People would be surprised if they could hear certain things that go on. It’s funny to me, but it’s a great experience. I’ve been used to being the only woman in a lot of different situations I’ve been in. When I worked at Sirius, when I first started, I was the only woman on the whole station. It was always me in the room, like when I did the morning show, I was always the only woman. I never had any women around me with that. I’m kind of used to it. In a way, I feel like it makes me a little bit more not as sensitive as I should be to certain things just because I’m so used to guy talk around me that I kind of zone out and tune them out a lot. It’s just things.
PYNK: I know you mentioned Lip Service briefly too. I know that’s back and it’s been back for awhile now, which I was so excited when you brought it back. I was like, “Oh my God, yes she did.” It’s like back and better than ever. What made you bring it back, and why was it time?
Angela Yee: You know what, I had been wanting to do it for awhile. When I first started on the morning show, I had intended to kind of keep my Lip Service show on Sirius, but it didn’t really work out that way because I think they were kind of mad that I left, to be honest. They were like, “All right, bye.” I was like, “All right, fine.” I wanted to go do my thing. It kind of was a point into me to really try to master what we were doing on the Breakfast Club and give it my full attention. But now that I feel like we have our groove going … A lot of people like Lip Service. Artists really enjoy doing it, and people really enjoy listening to it. I kind of needed a break from being around the guys all the time, and having to listen to their point of view and what they have to say. They really don’t have a understanding about what women go through. It was interesting because we had one situation where if a guy says something negative about you, and then the guys you work with joke about it, they don’t understand the impact that that has because they’ve never been a woman in this business. They don’t even understand that someone making a joke can be taken so seriously, and then you get dragged, and then it just affects you so much. It’s a good thing that I have tough skin because they say things all the time that if people really took it seriously and listened to it and believe it, it could be really hurtful and harmful to you. Guys just never understand that.
They’re like, “It’s just a joke.” But to me, it’s just a joke, but to a million people listening, they’re like, “She’s bugging.” People really want to call you a ho and a thot and say negative things about you. They want to do that. Nobody wants to be like, “Oh my God, she’s so great.” People are very, in general I think, are always searching for something negative so they can be like, “Aha. I told you.” That’s just something that I’ve always been aware of. That’s why I really don’t drag other women, or talk negatively. Even when somebody has something negative to say about me, I feel like that’s more of a reflection on you than it is on me. Because I really mind my business, so if you in general are a negative person and you have negative things to say about other people, that’s more you showing the type of person that you are, than showing the type of person that I am.
PYNK: With the Lip Service as well, you’re very comfortable and speaking about your sexuality, which you always have been and there’s nothing in the world wrong with that, but how did you become so comfortable in your sexuality? For the women that may feel … They may feel a certain way inside and they want to say those things, but they don’t because they’re afraid they’re going to get looked at the wrong way, what do you say to those women as well?
Angela Yee: I think that it’s probably from me being around guys so much and having so many guy friends, and how they talk. I kind of talk like one of the guys, but from a woman’s point of view. That’s what it is. I’ve never felt like I had to be ashamed of being a sexual person, or what it is that I do, or what it is that I don’t do, because at the end of the day, I have a lot of girlfriends. Me and my friends talk about the craziest stuff. Our conversations used to be so funny, because I was like, “Man, we need to just put this on the radio to show these guys how it really goes down.” Right now all these … I think guys have this view of you like, “Oh, you’re supposed to be so sweet and innocent and nice and if you say this, you’re a ho, and if you do this …” No, that’s not true, because if you’re having sex with me, I’m having sex. So if that makes me a ho, then you’re fucking a ho, period.
And such a double standard of guys will say negative things about a woman that they’ve had sex with, or that they would have sex with, and they call her names, but you’re participating too, so what makes you better than any woman? It was also for other women to feel comfortable. There’s so many women who have nobody to talk to. They want to discuss these things about sex, they want to know if certain they’re doing is weird, they want to know about trying different things, and they don’t have anybody to speak to. Let’s just make it fun, make it lighthearted, and make it normal. It’s normal.
PYNK: It’s nothing wrong with just saying what’s on your mind! We’re all human. It’s okay.
Angela Yee: Right, it’s not that serious.
PYNK: Right, exactly.
Angela Yee: We’ve all sucked a dick.
PYNK: Right. So it’s no secret that you’re bi-racial. West Indian, right? And I know Chinese. Is that right?
Angela Yee: Yes.
PYNK: Okay, just the other day, I know you supported the, I Am Immigrant, or I stand with Immigrants movement. Also, before that was the Red Nose Day. Why is it important to you personally to support these causes and also to support the youth, because I know you do a lot of giving back?
Angela Yee: I think for the, I Am, I Stand with Immigrants, let’s be real. Unless you’re a Native American, we’re all immigrants. We all came here from somewhere. It disgusts me when people have things to say about people who aren’t from this country without even knowing them and just passing judgment on somebody, having not met them. There’s people that were born in this country, that live here, that’s assholes. There’s people that had moved here that are incredible people, but you can’t just pass judgment based on where you were born. Nobody can help that. That’s not something that you made a decision about.
In particular, I was affected by this book that I read about the girl who escaped from Isis, and I talk about this book because I feel like with our president now, him trying to do the travel ban and ban people coming from Muslim countries to come here, I feel like you don’t understand that everybody who is a Muslim is not part of Isis. It’s such a small group of people, and those people who are Muslim are so affected or not even Muslim, but any other religion are so affected in their countries and their nations because Isis is a terror group. They’re tearing families apart, killing people, kidnapping young girls, raping them. To read a book like that, and hear this young girl saying, “Oh my God. I hope somebody from the United States comes and saves us.” What she went through, it was horrific. It was horrifying. I would hate to tell her, “You’re not allowed to come to this country. You have to stay where you are.”
I think that a lot of us here have been really fortunate, and you shouldn’t let the fact that you’re fortunate make you feel like you have no compassion for other people who don’t have your … raised in your situation.
PYNK: Right. That is true. That is very true. I also wanted to ask you on another note, I know you went from at one point before you owned your home, didn’t really know much about homeownership, had never owned a home before. What advice would you give to someone that’s interested, now that you know about owning a home and you have your own, what advice would you give to someone that’s interested in buying a home, and especially in NYC.
Angela Yee: I would say take your time. Do not rush to do anything until it feels right to you. I tell people all the time like, “You don’t have to only look for a home when you have the amount of money saved to buy the home. Start looking out. If you know in a few years from now you’re going to want to buy a house, you should start looking now because it’s going to take you a long time to find the perfect place.” Take your time, start looking way ahead of time. You don’t need to wait until, “Oh, I have all the money saved up,” just start. That way you can get a feel for the neighborhood, a feel for what you don’t want, a feel for how much things should cost. Sometimes people spend two or three years looking for the perfect situation, and it’s not easy. Don’t let anybody talk you into doing something, any realtor, because at the end of the day, most realtors want to make that sale. That’s how they make their money, so they’ll tell you anything. Make sure you bring in an independent third party that can come in and inspect your house on your behalf, and tell you what they really think before you do anything. And financially, one more thing I would say is just get pre-approved so you can know how much you qualify for, because I didn’t know how much I’d qualified for until I did that. I was like, “Okay, I can afford more than I thought I could.” That really made me get a more quality house. My house is worth about 40% more than what I paid for it already. And one more thing I was going to say, one more thing I was going to say. If you’re buying a house for the first time, you don’t have to look at it like this is the house I’m going to live in forever for the rest of my life. Look at it as, I’m buying a house for myself for the first time. You will end up buying another house maybe later on down the line, but look at it for what it is. Is this a good investment? Is this neighborhood on the up and coming? They always tell you, buy the worst house on the best block and fix it up, because the value of that house is going to go up way more than you buying the most expensive house on the block.
PYNK: What’s next for you ultimately? Have you ever thought about going back into artist management at all, or what are your future goals?
Angela Yee: I’m definitely not going back into artist management, only because that’s a really, really a full-time job. I respect that job. That job is me putting your needs ahead of my own needs always. If you tell me, “I need you to drive to Atlanta and drop this off. I need you to do that,” I need to be able to be on hand to do it, or have somebody that can do it. Right now, I have so much that I’m doing with my career and myself, it’s hard for me to focus on managing somebody. Managing somebody is an important job. You need to be really reliable and really on. I just go to my stuff myself. I’m traveling all the time. I’m working all the time. In my free time, I can’t be a full-time manager, period. It’s just never going to happen. But, there’s artists that come to me that need help, that I believe in, I’ll do things to help them, but it’s not going to be managing anymore.
PYNK: Ultimately what’s next for you? What do you see your five year, 10 year plan? What do you ultimately want to do?
Angela Yee: I really am enjoying learning how to be a business person, and be an entrepreneur. Next up, I’m opening a restaurant. I’m looking for the space for that now, but I’m really excited. That’s what I’m so excited about. I’m loving the whole juice bar, and learning more about nutrition. I’m going to be honest, it’s never really been my thing in life where I’ve wanted to always be famous or anything like that. I used to enjoy doing radio because you’re so behind the scenes. I’m a really behind the scenes type of person, but now radio is also very visual, so that’s fine. I can adapt to that. I do enjoy having a juice bar. I’m really excited about doing the restaurant. I am going to do a book. I love writing. I love my book club. I think right now in life, I’m at the point now where I can just kind of do the things that I want to do instead of doing things because I need to do them.
PYNK: That’s keys. That is keys right there.
Photo Credit(s): Angela Yee’s Social Media (Facebook, IG, and Twitter), Bevel, SoundCloud