Renowned Hot 97 radio personality Angie Martinez recently discussed her short-lived run as a solo hip-hop artist and why she ultimately cut the career shorter than expected.
Although the thoughts of her spitting bars still haunt her, Martinez said she does not regret rapping.
“Me being on the radio has just become a part of who I am. It’s not even my job anymore, it’s just who I am. There’s other things I like to do on the side, I had an opportunity to make music for a little while, that was fun. I might not have been the greatest artist in the world but I traveled the world, I learned, I got that off. It was fun and I don’t regret it at all,” she said in an interview. “I cringe sometimes when I hear some of those songs, I really can’t. I don’t want to disrespect the producers or anybody else but it’s like looking at an old high school picture of yourself, you’re like, ‘Oh, there’s that picture again,’ or ‘There I am in that outfit or saying that stupid thing again.’ It’s that type of thing. I don’t think I’d go back to making music, that was an experience I had and it was great but it wasn’t a natural state.
Martinez also reflected on the other opportunities she cashed in along with her rap career.
“You know how with musicians and artists, it’s a natural state? It was natural for me to be on the radio but that just wasn’t for me, it was an experience, I was creative in it. Never say never but it wasn’t easy, it didn’t come second nature. It was fun and it was cool and now, on to the next thing. I did a couple movies, had some television opportunities.
Despite only dropping two albums in the early 2000′s, Martinez managed to land mainstream collaborations.
Part of the New York City hip-hop scene, Angie Martinez got her start working in radio. Raised in Brooklyn, Martinez was first introduced to music via her mother’s diverse musical tastes (who was a program director for a jazz radio station). Eventually Martinez discovered hip-hop, and after a short stint at a Miami radio station working the phones, she moved back to N.Y.C. and began working at the popular dance station Hot 97. Rapper KRS-One encouraged Martinez to give hip-hop a shot herself, impressed by Martinez’s improvisational rapping skills. This led to a successful collaboration with Redman, “Heart Beat,” as well as working with Mary J. Blige and performing on the Grammy-nominated single “Ladies Night,” alongside Missy Elliot, Lil’ Kim, Left Eye, and Da Brat. Martinez was signed shortly thereafter to Elektra, issuing her debut album, Up Close and Personal, in 2001.
Shortly after 2002′s Animal House LP dropped, Angie announced her music career retirement.
The follow-up single, “Take You Home” featuring R&B singer Kelis didn’t receive as much attention, but it did become a minor hit that winter. The album was more strongly received by critics and fans. Following the release of the album, she was featured on a remix for labelmate Lil’ Mo‘s track “Gangster”, and Nina Sky‘s hype single “Time to Go”. Following this she announced she was retiring from the recording industry to concentrate on her other projects.