Angie Martinez is a force. Any fan of hers can attest to that and her memoir, My Voice, only gave me greater respect for who she is now and the journey that led her to become that person.
She begins with her upbringing and the close ties she has with her family, which continue as a theme throughout. The people who surround her are very important to her, especially in the moments when she’s not even sure she can make it to where she wants to be.
The most riveting parts of the memoir, for me, are when she dives into her passion for hip-hop and how she began her career as an intern and eventually worked her way up to hosting her own radio show. The way that she came into her own is really admirable, and I loved reading about how her rise essentially changed radio–as someone who’s studied hours of entertainment interviews, I really appreciate that she made it by being honest, real, and a good person towards her subjects. That’s proven by the fact that so many in the music industry–from artists to label executives–respect her and have developed friendships with her over the years. That kind of energy feels as if it’s few and far between these days, when a lot of interviews are done for the clicks and an attempt to get the juiciest details from a celebrity.
“You really do have to run your own race. In everything, in anything.”
Angie drops some really beautiful quotes throughout the book, from advice that Tupac gave her during their infamous sit-down interview at the height of the East-West coast hip-hop beef to what Jay-Z text her when news of her departure from Hot 97 hit the airwaves.
The final chapter is a particularly strong one. Angie is feeling the pressure after a decision to run the New York City Marathon for C.C. Sabathia’s foundation. She takes readers through the weeks of training, multiple moments when she was more than ready to quit, and what it was like when she finally made it across the finish line.
It is symbolic in so many ways, and brought tears to my eyes. As a young black woman, I’m empowered by this story of an intelligent, humble businesswoman who earned the respect of so many in an industry that continues to be dictated by white men in its upper echelons.
Whatever you want your future to look like, read this memoir and be reassured that if you set your mind to it, put all of your passion and energy behind it, and stay determined not to let anyone stop you, you will achieve it.