Rock The Mic.
The voice never leaves you if they're that good. The songs become the background to the personality, a bonus, if you will, to an on-air experience.
That was urban radio back in the day at its most pinnacle moments. And MC Marcus Chapman was on the come-up. The location, the world's Windy City, Chi-Town. The station, 107.5 WGCI, the hottest radio station for hip-hop and R&B.
The said classic era stretched from the mid 80's to 1999, during which, everyone's main goal was to be a STAR on the radio and hold their own.
Chapman was the youngest talent during this era and well, the game was all about name and competition. Staying at the top was just as hard as making it there.
But Marcus Chapman developed a plan. You see, he wasn't just any old radio DJ, no, his progressive skill was more complex than
that. Unlike many other radio DJ's and personalities, he didn't attend a broadcast school or necessarily dream of being an on-air
personality. It was nothing like that. He was, however, blessed with the natural skill of engaging communication and had an early
affinity for music. Women would come along the way...plenty of women. Radio was his first love. The minute he learned and
adapted how to master all three and combine the skill was the minute the true S.T.A.R opportunist planted his foundation.
Sex Time And Radio would become the embodiment of some of the wildest times of Marcus's life and created a long platform of life lessons --in front and behind the mic.
And it's all documented.
The rise, the fall, and everything in between is detailed in the pages of MC Marcus Chapman's 5-volume, 4-book series, Sex Time and Radio Vol. 1 &2: Blueprint of a Radio Star and the most recent, Sex Time And Radio Vol.3: The Cult of Personality. Volume 4 & 5 will be following soon.
"The whole idea was to document the lifestyle of what it was actually like to be that person and that was more than just being on the radio and in the studio," states Chapman. "I wanted to show, kind of like a character study. Someone has to be the main
character and you follow that character through all his journey's and you see all the various experiences he has and it takes you
much deeper into the lifestyle and what you wouldn't know just listening to the radio. You get some insight on what goes in the
studio but it also deals with trying to make your way on the station, trying to be heard more, the clubs, and how that actually
So, the roller coaster of an on-air personality begins. For those who aren't familiar with Volumes 1 & 2, Chapman illustrates his start in radio and dishes on various industry inside tales, celebrity encounters along with the climate of the industry as a whole--this is also a continuous theme of the book series.
In order for one to really engage and understand the capacity of such a lifestyle as being on the radio, there's a need for understanding the differences between a radio DJ and an on-air personality. We can make our own assumptions as towhat these
differences are, but Marcus translates the distinct measurements of both titles.
He writes in Vol. 3: "After listening to WGCI for a couple of days, I realized what I had been doing wrong. In college I was a DJ, I picked the songs and everything I said was about the music and the artist. But professional radio was not about being a DJ; it was
about being a personality ... they require two different sets of skills. The DJ focuses on the music, a personality focuses on the people listening to the music.
The music is programmed by the music directors and programmers, the same songs play on the radio station regardless of who's on the air. The personality radio, the music is almost used to bring the listeners in. The real job of the personality is to come up with features people will find interesting, relatable, have good conversation with callers and have a fun vibe that enhances the listening experience. The best DJ's are loved because they play the music that people want to hear. The best personalities are loved because they entertain, inform, and impact the listener's lives ... "
With this, Vol. 3: The Cult of Personality explores his entrance into and life inside of WGCI, during the height of its popularity. The interesting hook comes in the form of the author's early position at the station and how it geared him toward a lifestyle where sex and radio become synonymous in his personal life while creating a greater personality as he built his professional life.
"There's a chapter called "Telephone Love" where I'm talking about my first job. Once I got into the radio station working as a studio assistant, all of a sudden I start meeting all these women because my job was to answer the phone and take requests," he
"We had to ask them how old they were and if they were over 18 and sounded interesting then I'd ask what side of town they were from and if it was someone not far from me, we'd strike up a little conversation. I'd ask them to describe themselves. This was from 95-96, so the Internet had just started, no Facebook, Twitter, texting so the only way people could see what each other looked like, you had to meet them in person. The first day I ended up with like 9 phone numbers."
Laughing, he adds, "So that was all apart of it...the Sex Time and Radio, it was just a part of socializing and people were interested in the station, I was interested in meeting people. Once they knew who I was I started getting in [clubs] free and meeting more women."
The shift in radio took a dramatic turn.
The significance with the stories Marcus shares is that you actually get the visual of how radio has changed. The challenges in
building ones name hit left-field just at the height of Marcus honing his craft. In turn, leaving a budding on-air personality on the road to reaching his full potential jolted out of an opportunity to possibly become one of the world-wide greatest.
"You have a situation where at one point the station was really trying to promote stars and use that to build the call letters and
then we got to the point where the companies wanted to promote the station but not the people on the air as much."
He mentions that there was a time people would be fighting him just to get a WGCI T-shirt at the Taste of Chicago. "Now kids are throwing the bumper stickers down because they don't care."
As the story continues, Marcus promises to bring more of everything. The intensity, the sexcapades, the business, the entertainment and the Truth.
"The stories get wilder and more outrageous and the women get even more beautiful."
Sex Time And Radio is provocative and delivers the ultimate "All Access" pass to the radio industry and all that comes with it. It's a lifestyle. Some can handle it, some can't.
Book Release Celebration: Friday, December 23, 8-10pm
Red Canary on 695 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Second book signing at Azizi Book Store, 134 Lincoln Mall Drive, Matteson, IL on Friday, December 30 from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm.