DJ Traci Steele already keeps the party rocking in Atlanta as Hot 107.9’s resident DJ, but the mother of one is bringing that same flavor to VH1 hit reality series Love & Hip Hop Atlanta. Never afraid to speak her mind, especially when it comes to her son with DJ Baby Drew, Steele is a refreshing new dynamic to the mix.
Vixen caught up with the radio personality as she breaks down her many business endeavors, what Rasheeda has taught her about the business and why she’s in route to be the next Oprah. — Desire Thompson
VIBE Vixen: Is it a little surreal being on a show that you’ve covered and watched happen in your city?
Traci Steele: First season, I had to talk about about the crazy that was on the show and now I’m apart of the crazy. So yeah, it’s a bit surreal, but it’s exciting, fun and entertaining.
What do you think your role as a radio personality means to the show?
I’m hoping that they show more of the entrepreneur that I am. A woman can multitask, as far as her career and being a mom. I hope we can focus on that and it’s not “turn up central” all the time.
Women can have it all, and a lot of people don’t believe that. What are some of the other business that you’re a part of?
I’m a landlord. I’m also a web designer and a graphic designer, and I’m on a television show called Off The Chain that I DJ, so we’re looking at six or seven different checks coming in already. I handle a lot of different things, but I don’t have to be running the streets to handle my business. I sit in my office and I get things done. And of course I rock parties and I host. I wholeheartedly believe that one form of income coming into the home is not going to make you a millionaire. You have to build your brand and expand into different realms in order for you to build your empire.
So do you see yourself building your own media conglomerate or just sticking to music?
I would love to do that, I wanted to buy a building and turn that building to my little Oprah Center, where I can do television broadcasting and production. We can have a studio and I can do all different forms of communications in this one building. I definitely want to venture out and do something like that and be the next Oprah.
Nice. Now on LHHATL, you and Rasheeda seem to be good friends. How do you guys know each other?
We know each other from industry parties and events. I see her out a lot and grinding really hard for her career, so we’re always running into each other.
Has she taught you anything about the industry or relationships since you’ve been apart of the cast?
Not about relationships, but she does give great advice of how to carry yourself, who to trust and who not to trust. She’s a real positive person until someone crosses her and her family.
As we saw on the latest episode.
Exactly. Outside from crossing her, she has such a positive energy. She will help you with anything, and I appreciate her. I think she’s an amazing person.
Can the same be said of the other ladies on the show? How are you gelling with them?
No, I cannot say the same about the other ladies at all. I have some good relationships with some people but others I really cannot stand. We don’t vibe and we’re not the same in any way, shape or form. I’m not going to say who it is, but you’re gonna see it get on and poppin. In any situation where you have a group of girls, not everyone is going to get along, but it’s all about how you handle the situation. If you can’t stand them, it’s all about keeping your distance or you start swinging on people. Those are your only options.
VV: Speaking of families, the relationship between you and Baby Drew is different than Mimi and Stevie J’s. How do you still manage to keep things moving smoothly with you child’s father?
A functional family is the wife, husband, two kids and a white picket fence. I don’t have that, but I hope to keep grinding to keep me happy and to keep my son happy. It works when Big Drew and I are getting along. Don’t get it twisted, we have our disagreements. I do turn up every now and then but then I have to come back down and think about my son.
It’s the perfect comprise.
But it’s not easy. What people don’t see is that a lot of judgement comes with the show. Everyone has their own opinion, but I want people to try to understand these women. They’re trying to maneuver through life the best way they possibly can. We’re doing the same things you guys are doing, you just aren’t on TV. Don’t tell me you haven’t turned up ever in your whole life. Just watch and be entertained.
I feel like we are being entertained, especially with Baby Drew and his “THAHA” movement.
[Laughs] “These Hoes are Hoes Always,” but I say ” Haters are Haters Always.” He’s been selling those shirts like hotcakes. That’s just another check coming in, boo.
Any plans for Mother’s Day?
I just plan on hanging out with Big Drew and my son. Every year they take me to go eat, so we’ll probably go out and be a big, well, some type of family. I don’t know what kind of family we are, but we’ll be together.
That’s so sweet!
When you watch this next episode, you’re not going to be thinking that. There’s nothing sweet about this next episode, but we always work through it and that’s what it’s all about. That’s what family does.