My Goodbye To An Icon: Angie Martinez

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Angie Martinez

 

Thursday June 19th (update): Yesterday was an emotional day.  I thought my Idol as a kid was leaving radio for TV. I worried about not hearing her voice in my car and about what that meant for radio in the market i grew up in.  Even though I am on the radio I still am blessed enough to not be disconnected from the feelings – the excitement – that I felt as a kid listening to the radio. In many ways i am still a fan of this game. I did not believe the rumors that she was headed to the station she rivaled with for years, which happens to be owned by the company that i work for – Clearchannel Media. Today we found out that Angie made the ultimate shock move and joined New York’s Power 105.1 in the Afternoons (a move i never thought she would make since Hot97 and her brand have been synonymous for years).  Her show will also be on a station where my voice is also heard 103.5 The Beat in Miami (i am the voice of the weather). Although i am glad Angie will be heard in more places than just New York and i am ecstatic about finally being on a line up with her (my dream since i was a kid) I honestly worry about the scope of radio and what this means.  This is my blog. I can not lie about my thoughts.  Does this move show that a radio monopoly is inevitable and it’s only a matter of time before the pool of powerhouse radio personalities will shrink?  Is money and growth more important than family.  These are all questions this move brings to mind. Only time will tell what the answers are, but for now I am happy I will hear my girl Angie Mar’s voice, the Voice Of NY, on a radio station, even if its not the station I grew up listening to. I am happy I am on a line up, even if I am just voicing the weather, with the women that made me feel like I could really do this as well.  Read my initial reaction after finding out she was leaving Hot 97 and thought she was leaving radio below. Warning it’s a whole lot. I was in my feelings. Lol

 

Wednesday, June 18th 6:05p

Im sitting here listening to Angie Martinez say goodbye and i just can’t believe it. I found out on instagram. A post from her that said she resigned from Hot 97 because it’s time to move on, grow and be challenged in different ways. My initial thoughts were Noooooooo.  There are so many things i wish i could say to her right now. Hopefully this makes its way to her.

Im 27 years old. I grew up listening to Hot 97 in New York.  I lived in Union City/Jersey City, NJ.  I went to Emerson High School. I used to rush home after school, after basketball practice, just to get to my small room and listen to my small radio. There was always a familiar voice there – my friend – her name was Angie.  She was one of my best friends. I would record the songs on the radio on my cassette tape and I would even record her voice and play it back later. I don’t know why i did these things as a kid. I just did. I don’t remember when i started listening.  I just always listened. Ever since i can remember.

Everyday i rushed home to see who was on Angie’s show that day or to hear the new song she played. For years i listened to my friend Angie Mar. My mom worked in New York cleaning houses on the weekends for extra cash. As we rushed through the Saturday afternoon New York street crowds, i used to see my friend Angie everywhere – on billboards and cars. She was my homie. Not because she was on the radio.  There were plenty of other women on the radio. She was my homie because i identified with her.  She talked like me. She liked the music i liked. She rep’d for girls like me. I loved the station because she was my homie.

When i got to Syracuse University and found the school radio station and cracked the mic myself, I knew i just wanted to work with her. I looked forward to the day when i would be able to tell her everything that she did for me.  I wanted to be her intern!  I harassed her producer for months/ years – never receiving an answer. I tried to be an intern for 3 years! I finally got in the building as a programming intern and i will never forget the first day I met her.  I was sitting at my intern station and she came up to me and introduced herself. “Hi, I’m Angie. What’s your name.” In disbelief that she was talking to me i reluctantly said, “I’m Mina.”  I think i even looked behind me to make sure she was talking to me. I remember thinking. “Is Angie Martinez really talking to me?? Is this real right now???” and then thinking “You don’t need to introduce yourself!!! I’ve known you my whole life. I KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!” Sounds corny and i would never had said that to her at that moment, but that’s really what i thought.

Angie you will never know how much that meant to me. You didn’t ignore me because i was a intern. You said hi in the hallway when you passed me. Some ignored me. You saw me.  You acknowledged me. You were nice. I never forgot that. You were not stuck up, rude or mean like some others.  You were exactly how you were on the radio. You were kind and happy and cool as hell. You were everything i knew you would be.  That moment was a small glimpse of what an amazing person you are. It highlights that you have love and respect for people no matter who they are and we pick up on that.  I tried to find the right time to tell you how much you influenced me before my internship ended and i never did.

As i drove down from Syracuse, New York to see my family between semesters, i always knew i was home when i heard your voice. Your voice will always make me feel like I’m home. I’m truly sad you are leaving Hot 97. I hope you know how special you are and how much you influenced me and other young girls that grew up listening to you. You raised me. I’ve seen you out at events many times and we say Hi but i never found the right time to say the things I’ve wanted to say. I still get nervous. I don’t wanna bother you. I don’t want you to think I’m crazy. lol!

I just want to say thank you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for representing for us and showing us that we can do it too. Thank you for opening the door. Thank you for being so down to earth.  I hope you realize what an inspiration you are. As i move through this male dominated industry i’ve gained even more respect for you because I know how hard it is. I see what you went through and you probably had it way harder! I know what it’s like to work yourself to death to gain that respect.  To not be seen as an object, but an equal. To not be seen as the girl in the room, but as one of the boys.  To do it alone, build a brand and stand your own 2.

I’m tearing up like a little bitch as i write this. I can’t understand why I’m so sad. I don’t know if i will be able to listen to anyone else in that time slot. I don’t think anyone else’s voice will make me feel at home again. I will miss you. It won’t be the same, but i understand you have to grow.  I want you to know that you influenced a generation.  You influenced me. You are an icon and no one will ever be able to replace you.

Those are not enough words, but it’s all i can verbalize at this point. My loyalty to you and what you mean to me will follow you wherever you go. I hope i can someday find the right time to say these things to your face. Love you! You have no idea how much you mean to me.  I hope to someday be able to influence young women – the way you have influenced me.   Afternoons 3p-7p on the Hot nine seven will never be the same.  🙁  I salute you!  God Bless You!

 

– the intern that listened to you her whole life and happened to become a radio personality (Mina)

 

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