Wendy And Hot High-intensity Dj Blows In From New York

Posted: April 01, 1998

Wendy Williams, Power 99's newest DJ, is controversial. But she is not a bigamist. Yes, that was Wendy wearing a wedding dress and reciting vows to fellow jocks Carter and Sanborn last Thursday, but her real wedding - to businessman Kevin Hunter - was on Valentine's Day.

Her current domestic tranquility is a major contrast from the high drama that plagued her three-year stint as afternoon personality for New York's Hot 97-FM. During her stormy time there, Williams compiled her infamous gay rapper list, was suspended for putting compromising photos of Sean ``Puffy'' Combs and another man on her Web site and got into a fight with colleague Angie Martinez because she outed rapper Q-Tip, whom Martinez was dating. That earned Williams her second suspension.

Shortly after she returned to the station, her comments about Total member Keisha's alleged engagement to rapper Da Brat got her suspended for good.

And that's not all. Williams chats about her liposuction on the air waves. She's been threatened by angry rappers who didn't appreciate turning up on her list. And she intimates that Combs got her kicked off Hot 97.

But the 33 air personality seems to be having the last laugh. She's landed at Power 99 at a reported $250,000 annual salary, and is happy to be sharing the morning show with veterans Carter and Sanborn. And while it took litigation to free her from her Hot 97 contract, she's still excited about radio and working in Philadelphia.

``I knew Power 99 because I wanted to do middays here before I got started in New York,'' Williams said. ``It's really important for me to get to know the people of Philadelphia and the flavor here. This is where my bread and butter is, so this is where I need to be.''

Williams grew up in New Jersey and is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston. She began her radio career on college station WRBB, then moved to WRKS-FM in New York before joining Hot 97 three years ago. Those who have worked with her during her 10-year radio odyssey say her trademark honesty and penchant for scandal isn't likely to change.

``Brace yourself, because she's out of control,'' said Mike Shannon, afternoon personality on WRKS. ``Anybody's fair game for her. She's truthful, straightforward, no holds barred, she says a lot of things that people think . . . she speaks for them. For all the scandal and controversy that she causes, people still love to hear her. She'll get on stage and get booed, but then people will tune in to hear what she has to say.''

The terms of her settlement with Hot 97 prohibit her from talking about her conflicts there, but when she discusses the management/employee dynamic indirectly, she gets teary-eyed. She says that her new employer has expressed complete support for all of her outrageous antics, including, she says, a re-posting of the now infamous Puffy photo on her Web site (www.gowendy.com).

``I will still gossip, but I'd like to get involved down here and let young girls know there's more than just the gossip. I'm a positive black woman and I'm known for my honesty.''

She's also blunt. Ask her about Combs and she says, ``Puffy's money is very long. Ask him why I'm not in New York.''

And what about the often incestuous relationships between DJs and artists?

``Most disc jockeys are talking about `I'm feeling you, yo, I'm feeling you, yo,' so they can get invited to barbecues and weddings and things like that, and I don't really care about the artists that way. I had my heyday where I've been cool with Heavy D., up at his house chillin' and all like that. But that lifestyle grew tired very fast and you realize those aren't the people that have your back.''

Some other words from Wendy:

On Rapper QueenPen: ``Is she out of the closet or what with the Me'Shell NdegeOcello song? So she called me up one day and she cursed me out on the radio. I played the call because I always play the honesty . . . and then she hung up on me. Now she's out of the closet.''

On Li'l Kim: ``If you are a shoplifter, then what is the problem?''

Gay rappers: ``I don't understand what the big deal is. I think people are shocked about homosexuality in hip-hop, but I'm just riding a train that evidently people want to know more about.''

On Wendy Williams: ``We all have secrets, but I've exposed all of them. What do you want to know about? A drugged past, liposuction . . . the only person that I can think of that possesses that kind of honesty is Oprah. That way people can't hurt you. They can't find out s- - - about you and talk about it. I'll tell you anything you want to know.''

Does she have any regrets? She says no, and then talks about rapper Redman, who had been on her gay rapper list. Williams says she was walking into work at Hot 97 one day when she heard her name called. Ignoring the voice, she got into the elevator, but not before Redman got on with her. ``I'm coming to see you as Reggie Noble'' (his given name), he told her calmly. ``Here's a tattoo of my mother and my grandmother. I ain't into no s- - - like that. Take me off the list.''

Did he convince her?

She's not saying, but Williams will be giving daily on-air clues about the identities of the those on the list. And although she's been suspended, threatened and dissed those who object to her in-your-face style, she's unapologetic.

``This is the best thing that could have ever happened to me,'' she said. ``It's one thing to be the queen of New York radio. And make no mistake. I was the queen. It's another thing to be able to pick up your s- - -, go someplace else and queen out there.''

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