It’s been 30 days since Angela Yee announced her departure from The Breakfast Club, and she’s reflecting on her fearless journey. Before becoming a sought-out on-air personality, the media maven taught sixth and seventh graders through Bank Street College of Education’s urban education program. Wanting more out of her career, Yee made the hard decision to pursue something that would align with her passion for music and media – radio.
“Man, this is so early. I don’t know if I can do this,” Yee recalled. “For a period of time, that’s really what I did want to do. Just because doing that program really showed me the importance of having great teachers. And for myself having had some really great ones and some not so great ones, I know the impact that it can have on students.”
Determined to live out her dreams, the Asian-African-American Brooklynite would go on to graduate and land her first job in the music business. Yee began working for Wu-Tang and writing bios and articles on the side for VIBE Magazine and more. Throughout her trajectory of becoming a longtime host on The Breakfast Club and beyond, she would always keep her love for education and the curiosity to explore opportunities at the forefront.
“As a teacher, you can’t really have an off day,” she noted. “You’re always on. And I feel this way about radio. You can’t have an off day. No matter what’s going on in your personal life, you have a responsibility to the kids looking at you, or for the people listening to you. And so, it does mean that a lot of times your job ends up taking precedence over your personal life.”
For Yee, letting fear limit the decision to accept a better opportunity, isn’t a thing. She actually enjoys the adrenaline; It’s no surprise that her favorite movie genre is horror. Still, true to human form, even Yee has a list of things that scare her, like public speaking and her next solo chapter. She anticipates naysayers who will prey on her downfall.
“I know that people are watching and people thrive off of negativity,” she said. “Some people are excited and want to see you win. Some people are like, ‘I hope it doesn’t work out.’ But those things are all ways that you can feel really driven in life. And I think fear can be exciting if you use it in the right way, if that makes sense. Just because there’s nothing more satisfying to me than being scared of something and conquering it.”
Yee has already conquered being an educator, a successful radio host, a Black business owner and most recently, she served as a moderator for the #CÎROCstands Black-owned Business panel. Held at Martha’s Vineyard, the panel was also led by India Rose, owner of motivational sportswear and streetwear brand Sideline, Nya Clarke, owner of Martha’s Vineyard Island-Wide Realty and Zita Cousens, owner of the long-running Cousen Rose Gallery. Living by the motto to “pay it forward,” Yee has kept service at the focal point of her ventures.
“As a business owner myself, it’s so important for me to show encouragement and to show up for these other businesses,” she said. “If I can be a part of that, then that’s what’s really exciting to me. Because I know that every single great review, every single piece of encouragement, every single person posting about me, I don’t take any of that for granted.”
Going forward, the 46 year old plans to continue shedding light on others with her upcoming radio show, Way Up With Yee. In her newest venture, Yee gets to do radio her way, with her own unique voice. “I think it’s really hard when you’re a part of a trio and when you’re the only woman in the entire room to always feel heard,” she expressed. “We see that difficulty all the time no matter what position that you’re in. I feel like in a lot of different spaces, I was the only woman. When I started at Sirius, I was the only woman on Shade 45; on the whole station. I’ve always been in these spaces where there’s just not a lot of women.”
To combat the scarcity of women in spaces like radio, Yee created her all-women podcast Lip Service, which has grown into a “sisterhood” for her. It was just a matter of timing for Yee to put her foot on the gas. “This is something that I’ve been wanting to get done for years. And it has finally, finally happened.” Both TBC co-hosts Charlamagne Tha God and DJ Envy have expressed their support for Yee’s next big move.
Reflecting on 4AM mornings spent at Power 105.1, Yee said, “I’m glad that I got up every day and did everything to the best of my ability, even when I didn’t feel like it.” Relieved that her new show will air at 10AM, Yee revealed that her sacrifices thus far have prepared her for the blessings to come.
A premiere date for Way Up With Yee has yet to be announced, but Angela Yee did reveal that she would have a hand in choosing the right person to fill her shoes at The Breakfast Club.