With the Manhattan skyline as her backdrop, K. Foxx stands on the Thomas Balsley-designed rooftop deck of a swanky condominium in Chelsea on a hot Sunday afternoon in June. Photographers whirl around her. The wind blows her hair and the hem of her black taffeta mini dress.
The “Gossip Game” star is posing for a fashion shoot for African Fashion Week New York. Though she has just learned that she would no longer be a part of the HOT-97 morning show with DJ Cipha Sounds and Peter Rosenberg—a position she’d held for almost two years—she’s continued her grueling schedule of events and appearances.
Foxx's mother is from Long Island, NY and her father is from Republic of the Congo, formerly known as Zaire. She was raised in NYC's Hell’s Kitchen before it was known as the trendy "Clinton" neighborhood. Back then, there were nothing but pimps and hoes on 10th and 11th Avenues in midtown New York City and police raids every other week. Crack and heroin sales were the norm on her block. But she was saved by the 52nd Street Project , a non-profit organization that takes kids from struggling areas and helps them develop their artistic talents. A natural dancer, Foxx graduated from NY’s storied Performing Arts High School, excelling in musical theater and even portraying Viola in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in the South of France when she was 17.
By 2009, K. Foxx was a prime time radio host on WEDR-99 Jamz in Miami. She was doing nightly club appearances and occasional TV work (BET, MTV) to build her brand, but felt that something was missing. She needed to go back to where it all began, where the music was made. Foxx decided that if she got a chance to move back to NYC, she would. According to K. Foxx, this was the order of events that lead to her hiring at the famous hip hop station in the most powerful media market in the world.
First she ran into DJ Cipha Sounds on Memorial Day weekend in Miami and he told her there may be a position available at "HOT 97."
“I can’t tell you too much,” Cipha said. “Just keep a lookout. Ebro’s going to call you.”
A few months later she got a call from Ebro Darden, the program director at HOT 97. She had met Darden previously at a music summit in the Dominican Republic and she’d always kept in contact and remained cordial.
“We’d love to have you come and audition with the guys,” Darden had told her. Cipha Sounds and Rosenberg had been sharing morning show duties for two years and they were looking for a woman to do entertainment news and be the “voice of reason." It seemed like a natural fit.
But now, only two years after what was planned as a morning show ratings booster, Foxx is out. When approached for comment, Darden stated "We love her. She wants to let the world know why [she left] and we have respected that."
What really happened? Read on for our exclusive EBONY.com interview with the ousted radio personality--the "Black" in the show's "a Black, a Puerto Rican and a Jew" punch line.
EBONY: So word broke that you’ve left HOT-97. You’re not going to be on the air over there anymore?
K. Foxx: No, I’m not...Do you find that odd?
EBONY: It’s just so sudden. No two week notice or anything?
KF: In radio, they don’t give you a two week notice because you could just go on the air and wild out, and say “F*ck you!” and all that. So they have you do a shift and tell you after your shift not to come back. It’s not unheard of for you not know what’s going on up till then.
EBONY: How do your co-hosts, Rosenberg and Cipha Sounds feel about you not being at the station anymore?
KF: They’re shocked. And confused...I’m a good person. I always came in to work I wasn’t a bitch to anyone. I always smiled. Did lots of events. I was a team player. [DJ Funkmaster] Flex called me and he said: “You didn’t deserve this. You rode for HOT-97.” I wore that logo on my back.
EBONY: Do you think VH1’s Gossip Game reality TV show contributed to problems at work?
KF: I really don’t know. I really don’t know. I didn’t know I had any problems at work. If I did, that’s news to me.
EBONY: What did you think when Ebro Darden said on the show that “you’ve seen all the rappers’ Johnsons” and that you “got your job” at HOT-97 by sleeping with someone--that you “slept your way to the top”?
KF: I was thinking---is he saying that “the top” is HOT- 97? That’s the top? For me it’s not. So, I just think that when somebody says that they’re just trying