Archive for radio

Check Raqiyah Mays Host “How to Be a Radio Personality”

Posted in How to Be Empowerment Workshops, WBLS FM with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2016 by Raqiyah Mays

Check out the broadcast from my BRIC Arts Media workshop, “How To Be A Radio Host.”  Scroll down. Press play!

 

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Definitely the best moment of the week. Thank you, BRIC Arts Media & Rose Crichton !!! @bfreebk @BricTV @Regrann from @thirdeyerebels – Reporting Live From @bricartsmedia Media Talks: Hosting for Radio w/ Raqiyah Mays @raqiyahmays

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I like teaching & I think I’m pretty good at it…

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The view from the control room monitoring the broadcast.

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With BRIC’s Brooklyn Free Speech Crew.

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Sat for the Q&A in the high heels.

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Was a live Broadcast. Here’s part of the studio audience.

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Spoke to diversified audience of people eager to learn.

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Posed for a few photos with students.

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When class was over, some received copies of ” The Man Curse”. Notice the Man Curse Flyers In Their Hands.

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107.5 WBLS Memorial Day Weekend [RECAP]

Posted in Uncategorized, WBLS FM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2016 by Raqiyah Mays

Had so much FUN all Memorial Day weekend cracking the mic during the 107.5 WBLS Mixmaster’s Weekend. Saturday – Monday I rocked to the turntable scratches of everyone from DJ Red Alert, Marley Marl, and DJ Enuff, to up and comers like DJ Jon Quick & DJ Ran. Plus I got to hold down my old Wake Up Club Family from 98.7 Kiss FM Jeff Foxx & Shaila! #Fun

Check the pics and videos from my facebook page below!

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Me & the legendary DJ Red Alert rocked the mic on Memorial Day. Check our video below from Facebook Live!

 

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When you throw the sunglasses on, head to the studio at 9am, hop on the mic, and take a selfie with DJ Jon Quick. Shades on cause you’ve been up all night and look like it. LOL Was tired…

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Had waaaay too much fun in the studio smiling and building with fellow Jersey born DJ Ran. He won a contest that landed him on WBLS. Good vibe. good energy. He made the video of our day on air below…

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Jersey takeover on the radio with another Jersey mixer, DJ Bookeem.

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Being on the radio is so much fun!

 

Dream about it, Be about it

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2011 by Raqiyah Mays

I believe in following your dreams by any means necessary, advocating this to family, acquaintances, and my small circle of friends. For example, when one of my girls expressed boredom and frustration with her medical job, I got my cheer on ─ my dream cheer. On the inside, she found joy in coordinating events. Being meticulously detail oriented by nature, she was excellent at planning parties, baby showers, and even weddings, as a hobby. But on the outside, in the real world, she was the high-level manger of an award-winning hospital’s children research program. Her master’s degree solidified the comfy salary. But the monotony provided anxiety ridden agitation. Waking up and getting to work on time was more like a forced suicide mission. One hour lunch breaks, turned into two-hour getaways. The corporate phone line turned into dial-a-friend-for-the-afternoon. During one exceptionally long, midday conversation, she shared the depressing details of her 9-5.

“I hate my job,” she said, before a long, sad exhale.
“Girl, everyone I know who’s complained about their job, ended up losing it,” I warned.
“They were all fired or laid off. You need to quit, so you can come back whenever you want.”

I’d become an expert at quitting jobs to follow dreams and reclaim happiness. I left my salaried magazine position to fulfill the fantasy of being a freelance writer. Years later, I bounced on my decent paying satellite radio manager gig to grab the goal of being a commercial radio personality. Both wishes came true ─ in ways that were larger than I’d ever imagined.

“I can’t quit,” she said. “I have bills to pay. My car note, insurance, credit cards…”
“Well, then you need to plan to quit. Like, make a plan to leave, before they make you leave. Words are power.”
“And then what will I do?”
“Find a job as an event planner. I mean, you might have to start at an entry level position to get in the door. Are you willing to take a pay cut to do what you really wanna do?”
“Yeah. Anything is better than this job.”
“So, what’s stopping you? I know it’s scary. But life is too short to be depressed every day. I don’t care how much money you make.”
“True,” she said after a long thoughtful silence. “Ok, I gotta go. We been on the phone two hours, my ear is sweaty and these idiots keeping poking their head in my office like they don’t know what to do without me.”
“Breathe girl, breathe,” I said laughing. “It’s gonna be alright.”

And it was. Serving as her solid support system and quitting cheerleader, my friend began to save 6 months of expenses. Simultaneously, she built up her resume by volunteering to help event planners organize occasions. Taking control of her life and knowing she was working to leave on her own terms made the final months of her job lighter and easier to handle. The day she finally found the freedom to quit, the boss begged her to stay. And six months later, after daily resume submissions, moving in with family, and watching her savings nearly dry up, faith and focus were rewarded. She found an entry-level gig assisting the president of a corporate events firm in NYC. Three years later, handling clients in Asia, Europe, and North America, she nearly runs the company walking backwards. She’s relaxed and the happiest I’ve ever known her to be. “Do what you love and the money will come,” is a quote I always remember Oprah saying. But I’ve innately believed that for years. I didn’t need any book called “The Secret” to prove it. And I don’t believe money equals happiness ─ although it can bring momentary content.

So when Black Enterprise’s online department asked me to write a story for a new column about following career dreams, I jumped at the chance. I mean here I am today, finishing my childhood fantasy of being a novelist, dealing with film folks on the regular, happily living the life of a respected, working actress while making moves toward writing and producing movies. This BE.com assignment exuded the passion for dream-catching that I adamantly live.

The story was about a rapper named Anthem, a former stockbroker who quit his day job to become a fulltime MC. During the interview, he told me about the six-digit salary range he made before changing fields. My cynical journalist side kicked in. Why would he leave a 6 digit job to rap? I thought to myself. A rapper? Today? That’s crazy.

Talking to Anthem, I filled with doubt, becoming a walking hypocrite for consciously assuming that this rapper dude was mental for daring to act out the kinda of risky, goal intensive moves I advocated. Maybe it’s because I know so many wannabe MCs who never make it. Perhaps it’s because I turn on the radio and hear so much hip-hop that should’ve never made it.

Today, days after the story has been turned in, edited, and published, I read the words on BE.com and my mind is changed. Momentary doubt has turned to a reminder of faith and respect toward someone who took a leap into an unforeseeable net of happiness ─ one that can only be visualized and imagined. He’s an artistic drummer boy beating his way through naysayers blocking his path. He’s like me, closing ears to monkeys jumping on the bed trying to knock me awake from the dreams that keep me focused on a dark path that leads to a light of manifestation. It’s these silly monkeys that bring doubt, projecting fears and insecurities that’ll often pop up in the quest to do what you love and make that money come.

I’ve linked the story I wrote for Black Enterprise online, to this blog. And I wasn’t surprised when my editor said the piece “a lot of traffic” on BE.com. That’s because people want to be inspired and moved. People want to feel that one day they can live the life and job they’ve always imagined, if only for a day. Even in a time of recession when folks are living check to check and can’t save pennies to cushion their thoughts of quitting. You may read this story and be inspired. Or you might be riddled with doubt. Whatever the feeling, it’ll be brought on by those brave enough to follow their hearts, in attempts to escape the drab doldrums of a life that often feels like being stuck in a colorless cubicle.

http://www.blackenterprise.com/2011/01/21/stockbroker-quits-job-to-pursue-his-dreams/

Shuttin’ Down Hot 97 by Raqiyah Mays

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2010 by Raqiyah Mays

I blame Mercury Retrograde for the day I shut down Hot 97. Some folks are nonbelievers. They liken the retrograde phenomenon to a funky load of BS. But as a sexy Scorpio to the core, with a creative Pisces moon, I believe in God, astrology, psychics, some horoscopes, and overall that the positions of the moon, sun and planets can affect attitudes and personal circumstances.

This second week of May saw the end of a retrograde period that lasted from April 18 to May 11. It undoubtedly encompassed a slew of retrograde specific issues. Did you experience any technological breakdowns during this time? Did you have misunderstandings or beefs with loved ones, friends, or coworkers? I had it all – especially the mechanical mishaps. My refrigerator broke down and defrosted every fine meat in my freezer. My Audi car engine light kept popping on and off like Christmas lights. Power-outages brought darkness to my home, twice. The TV and DVR seemed possessed. Verizon messed up my home phone and internet line. And several friends of mine had cell phone issues.

At times like this, I often contact my good friend, psychic Kim Allen. She’s a beautiful astrology expert I worked with during my radio days at Kiss FM. I met Kim years ago, during her weekly readings on Miss Jones’ Hot 97 morning show, and she explained the drama. “As the planet of communication, Mercury Retrograde tends to breed a certain level of confusion,” she says. “Minor breaks in the mechanical aspects of communication can actually reconnect us to other means of communication, such as when there’s a power outage and we’re forced off the computer and television, finding different and often satisfying ways to entertain ourselves.”

I’m pretty sure folks found another station to entertain themselves with the day I took Hot 97 off air. It happened on a typical Sunday when I was hosting my weekly afternoon shift. I casually pressed buttons and clicked on whatever the latest Jay Z, Lil Wayne or Rick Ross single was in rotation. Most radio music systems are set up on huge computers. They’re like juke boxes activated by clicking screen figures to play songs. It’s a fairly simple task powered by a mouse and a pad. So on this particular weekend, I went through my robotic motions of pointing the cursor, clicking, and heading back to the table to finish reading the Daily News in search of something informative to share with my listeners. But during one particular retrograde period, the worst happened — the computer stalled. I could hear the record’s volume decreasing as I slid the mouse and aimed to activate the next track. But the screen froze. There was silence. Everything went black, flickered, and then popped back on to its frozen state.

Hot 97’s studio filled with my screams and colorful profanity flavored phrases. After about 20 seconds of trying to click buttons, praying out loud, and hoping something would work, I picked up the engineering bat phone, and frantically dialed the tech specialists who knew how to fix this problem. But I got voicemail.

My stomach did somersaults. Gas began to build up in my intestines. And then the phone rang from the special line that only one person called, Ebro. At the time, Ebro Darden was the music director in charge of picking and loading the music that played on Hot 97. “What’s goin’ on, Raq?” He was calm and laid back in his typical California raised style. I was on that New York Mobb Deep tip — shook. “Um…” My voice quivered, so I cleared my throat. “I didn’t do anything.” I felt like a 12 year old trying to avoid a parental smackfest. “The computer broke down, the screen went black, and the backup computer is down. I didn’t do anything. It’s not my fault.” He snickered and sounded a bit like he caught himself. “You fuckin up. I’ma be there in a few minutes.” Damn!

I prided myself on having flawless, tight, radio board operation. Management often complimented me on it, because I rarely gave dead air (those awkward musical silences you here when listening to some radio stations) space in my shift. That wasn’t professional. This is New York City, the number one radio market, shaky board work won’t do.

After nearly 10 uncomfortable minutes (which is like a month in radioland) the engineering specialist rushed through the studio door, asked about the situation, and fell to his knees, checking the wiring under the computer. Seconds later, Ebro walked in. Built like a light skinned football player, his pants purposely sagged below sea level. The valid point: saggy pants don’t equal idiot. “You fuckin up, Raq?” There was a tiny smirk on his face. I tried to read it as anger or sarcasm, but couldn’t move the meter. “It wasn’t my fault,” I said, beginning to smile as he slightly broke into one. “The computer crashed and the backup went black and my key to the master control room isn’t working…” He cut me off. “Nah, Mercury is retrograde,” he said, trying to move the stiff curser. “Some people have certain energies that cause electrical things to breakdown.”

I exhaled a sigh of relief and thanked God that Ebro, a Pisces, was a well-read believer. I didn’t know about the electrical energy part, but was happy he knew of the four week phenomenon that normally sees technology crash. My boss was familiar with things falling to pieces during Mercury Retrograde. And in a flash that lasted 1200 seconds, the engineer popped up from under the computer, the screen rebooted, and the place where hip hop lives was back on air.

“There is a positive side to Mercury Retrograde,” Kim Allen says. “This period is best used for re-organizing and reflecting. Mercury retrograde periods can be times of heightened inner awareness when meditation, keeping a journal, reworking old plans, and reviewing past work are favored.”

During the recent few weeks of retrograde, I reviewed my past work in radio, Hot 97, and the day I took them off-air for 20 minutes. I can only think and feel comfort in knowing one thing — it wasn’t my fault.

Next Mercury Retrograde period is August 21 – September 12, 2010.

Kim Allen can be reached on Facebook under “Astrologer Kim Allen” or at her website KimAllen.com.