My Voice

Here are seven things Angie Martinez taught me in her new memoir, 'My Voice.'

Lyndsey McFail
Jun, 07, 2016

Last month, anyone who loves hip-hop culture was excited to learn the straight talking, New York based radio personality, Angie Martinez was releasing her autobiography, My Voice. Familiar with her radio show and guest appearances on a few rap songs we had no idea about the magnitude of the lady behind the mic nicknamed, “The Voice of New York.” In My Voice, Martinez opens up about her personal and professional life and gives readers much more than expected. Here are a few of our favorite highlights from the book. 

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Music Career

As a total hip-hop head, Martinez never had aspirations to become a rapper herself until rap legend KRS-One encouraged her to come to the studio where he wrote a few raps for her. From there her rap career commenced. From rapping with the baddest female rappers on “Ladies Night” with Lil’ Kim to releasing her own albums that climbed the charts, her rap career was solid. 

Celebrity Coupledom 
Heavily immersed in rap culture , Angie Martinez was a fan of A Tribe Called Quest, especially Q-Tip. As a fan, who ever thinks their celebrity crush will become a reality? But for Angie it happened. After meeting at the radio station and years of being friends, Q-Tip and Angie became an item. Even though it didn’t work out, the two are still really great friends. To our surprise, that wasn’t the only high-profile relationship “The Butter Pecan Rican” was a part of.

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Over the Top Baby Shower
Before the days of Instagram, where everyone posts pictures of their super luxurious baby showers fit for a king, the private Martinez had the most public baby shower of them all, live on her radio show. The whole Hot 97 family was there from DJ Enuff and DJ Flex but it was hosted by one of our ESSENCE Fest headliners, Mariah Carey. (Say what?!) The on-air shower was complete with food, well wishes from Angie’s listeners and family, and she received extravagant gifts from of the industry’s most well known celebrities.

Secret Admirers 
As a popular radio show host it comes as no surprise that Martinez had a fair share of celebrity admirers sending her gifts from time to time, although she often refused them, there was one exception. In ‘My Voice’, Angie details how one rapper gave her a diamond tennis bracelet worth thousands. Everything from the delivery to the actual gift she described as extravagant. Although she later lost the bracelet, the sentiment of it always remained with her. 

Near Death
Throughout the book, Angie Martinez faced a few near death experiences that she recognizes as “wake-up calls.” Escaping a fire at Q-Tip’s home and surviving a car crash that totaled her Range Rover, she left both experiences with a new outlook on life. She claims that those experiences really made her open up to try new and different opportunities in her career. 

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Your Secret Is Safe With Angie
It’s no secret that “The Voice of New York” resigned from her home station Hot 97 in 2014, but it’s not known that she kept it a secret until her final day. That’s right, after working at Hot 97 for nearly 27 years, she resigned without telling a single soul. Now that’s badass. She describes her decision to leave Hot 97 as one of the hardest things she’s ever had to do. But the fact she never uttered a word until the day she left is amazing considering how everything in this day and age gets leaked on social media. 

The Ultimate Judge
Who knew that Martinez was an American Idol judge?! That’s right, the radio host was adamantly sought after by Idol producers to be apart of the historic show. After joining the ranks of Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell, Martinez realized that criticizing American Idol hopefuls was not her cup of tea. As a result, she promptly left the show after only a week. 

Aside from the countless stories about her celebrity friends, popular rap beefs and how she worked her way up the radio ladder, Angie Martinez has remained humble. Throughout the book she stresses the importance of finding her voice and how to use it to inspire others, which she has done so well over the years.

Aside from the countless stories about her celebrity friends, popular rap beefs and how she worked her way up the radio ladder, Angie Martinez has remained humble. Throughout the book she stresses the importance of finding her voice and how to use it to inspire others, which she has done so well over the years.