Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
99 Jamz DJ, New York transplant, and professed shoe lover, Felisha Monet, is
dropping the mic and sitting down with us at Cuban hotspot, Ricky Bakery, to try her first ever shot of cafecito. A cafecito virgin in Miami? Now that's something you don't see every day.
When she's not interviewing the biggest and baddest names in R&B and Hip-Hop, like Lil Wayne, T-Pain, and Diddy, she's out and about exploring South Florida's ultra-hip
neighborhoods in her oh-so-cool beach cruiser and gearing up for this weekend's BET Awards.
So how do you take your cafecito?
Crazy thing- I have been down here for eight years and I have NOT tried Cuban coffee yet! Don't judge me, I know that sounds crazy. I'm more of a tea kind of girl, but I am open to try!!!
[Felisha goes in for the first taste]
Do you like it?
Oh it's so sweet! It's good. It's strong... It's strong but it's very good! Wait up, let me get another one!
How does a New York girl bring that city vibe to the beach?
You know growing up in NY, I thought our beaches were the best. I was completely wrong! I love Miami. I love the beaches, the culture, the people, and I'm just happy to be down her embracing this South Florida lifestyle. But I try to have my fashion bring that city edge... I am a sneaker girl, even though I'm wearing heels today. If you go to New York, everybody's dressed up and they've got flats on or sneakers on and that's what I'm used to– it's that city mentality.
I do feel the drive and the hustle. I'm used to working more than one job. I'm used to moving around and doing ten million things in a day. When I'm here it just kind of feels different. Like the pace of it is a lot different here in South Florida. So there's an adjustment, but that drive and that ‘go make it happen' is still there.
What's your interview style like when you sit down to talk to these artists? Is there anything off limits or is everything fair game in this new world of social media?
For me, personally, my style has always been to make whoever it is that I'm interviewing comfortable. Before I start any interview, I always ask forf good practice, is there anything off limits? Because I feel there's a certain level of respect. I don't take the approach of ‘because I'm driving the interview' or 'because you're on my show' I feel like I can ask any and everything. But if I ask 'Is there anything off limits?,' and they say no, then it's an even playing field. You have to be tasteful and, for me and my brand, I like to ask questions in a very tactful way. I'm not really a shock jock. I don't go for the gut.
Radio personality and celeb, Angie Martinez, has been your girl power inspo since you were young. Any tips you got and learned from Angie that have made you so successful?
Yes I love Angie! You know it's so weird that growing up listening to her, being inspired to get into radio because of her, and now being able to say I know her! I can call her! It's still crazy to me, such a surreal feeling. I try to not be that annoying little sister but I most certainly have reached out for advice. She has always said to me, "Felicia make sure your relationships are good with everyone you interview," And to keep your name clean in this industry! Sometimes we think the entertainment world is so big.... But it's NOT!!!
What's your most awkward celeb interview?
I had a few awkward moments but I'm the driver of the ship. So I control the destination. If it's awkward and I feel the listener and fans aren't going to get a good experience listening, I will cut it short! In and out. The most difficult interview for me I would say would have been Lil Wayne. Wayne very rarely does radio and to interview over the phone is always a risk. Ask the wrong question and you get the dial tone! I was able to have him on the phone for 37 minutes. I knew the whole city was listening. I knew I had to ask firm and straightforward questions regarding his comments about Bosh's wife, the Miami Heat and what some were calling disrespectful to Miami comments. But Wayne was super cool and honest and wanted to clear the air. I respect that, so shout out to Lil Wayne!
When you aren't running and ruling your radio show or interviewing the hottest stars, what do you do to kick back and have fun?
You know, my job is fun for me, but outside of work I really enjoy listening to music. I enjoy bike riding. Only the cute beach cruiser bikes though, for leisure of course not for exercise! And eating!! I'm a low-key foodie. Or I could just be greedy! I'm also a BIG kid. I love playing with my son.
Name your favorite Miami hotspots.
I love Wynwood! I think the vibe is cool and refreshing. Wood Tavern and Coyo are cool low-key spots. Midtown is fly too. I hit Bar Louie a few times a month.
You and I met at a shoe event in Bloomingdales. Safe to say you have a Carrie Bradshaw obsession with shoes? How many do you have in your closet?
So crazy you referenced Carrie Bradshaw from Sex In City because I'm about to do a "Sex In the City" inspired photo shoot right after this! Yes I love shoes What woman doesn't love shoes? It's like shoes give me special super powers. I grow! Hmm... how many shoes in the closet??? Or in my trunk?? Too many shoes in my car trunk! But to be honest, I've never counted. I think I'm going to go home and count. This should be interesting.
If I told you that you could only have sneakers or stilettos, one or the other, which would you choose?
Oooooh! Just the other day someone told me you, ‘you should dress the way you want people to perceive you, not the way you feel,' and I want to dress for success and I want to welcome all the amazing opportunities that are going to come, so I would say stilettos. Even though inside I'm so comfortable and I would want to say my sneakers, but it's about growth and it's about sometimes changing these little things that will open up other opportunities.
You're hitting the red carpet at the BET Awards this weekend, and I know you're expected to ask a lot of up-to-the-minute questions without skipping a beat. How do you stay on top of your game and get ready for an award show like this?
The approach is always the same– research and be prepared. Know who the nominees are and leave an impression. I have an amazing team, and when I say team I mean my assistant, Janay. She is great at prepping me and making sure I have all the info I need. It's a team effort! And she helps out a lot.
Who are you most excited to see whom always bring their fashion game to the red carpet?
Definitely Nicki Minaj. She's gone through a fashion transition over the years but her style now is a lot more reserved, simple, and less over the top. But it's still very very elegant and feminine and soft. I would like to see what she decides to wear on the red carpet. I also love Tracy Ellis Ross. She's actually hosting. So classic! I love her style. She takes very simple pieces and make them look very elegant and elaborate. I'm excited for those two and they both have like a very deep contrast.
What about you? How do you prepare your wardrobe for a big awards show?
It's literally nine days away and I have no idea! It's LA, and I have to keep that in mind. The LA vibe with fashion is a lot more laid back and simple so I feel like for the red carpet I'm going to wear a dress, I know that. We were just talking about it on the way here. I think its definitely going to be form fitting and long, just to kind of show the silhouette. Plus, my comfort zone is black. Like I can wear black all day every day. I'm happy in black but I feel I want to do a color. I feel like I either want to do a salmon or a coral, something very light, soft, and feminine. So that's what my vibe is. I'm going to bring a few rompers. I'm going to bring some flowy wide leg pants. I'm definitely going to bring some options. But the final one, I haven't yet decided.
You know, fashion for me is always comfortable and simple. But I might have to bring that Miami flare with me!
Felisha Monet can now be heard on her new show "The Afternoon Hustle" weekdays from 2 to 6pm on South Florida's True Home for Hip & R&B 99 Jamz. Tune in to hear her daily #KeepIt99 Entertainment Report, New At 2, the hottest interviews and music from the likes of Diddy, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, and more.