On the latest episode of “Drink Champs,” N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN sat down with Tiffany Haddish and Angie Martinez to talk about their careers, the current state of comedy, radio, and more.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Tiffany Haddish is largely considered one of the most influential people in entertainment after starring in several cult classic films and TV series. The actor and comedian originally took part in the 2006 comedy competition “Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes?” She went on to make appearances on a slew of series, such as “That’s So Raven,” “The Underground,” “New Girl,” “If Loving You Is Wrong” and more. She caught her big break via 2017’s Girls Trip, which also starred Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah. The film won Outstanding Motion Picture at the 49th NAACP Image Awards and received seven nominations at the 18th Black Reel Awards. Since then, Haddish has starred in Night School with Kevin Hart, Tyler Perry’s 2018 movie Nobody’s Fool, and 2020’s Like A Boss, to name a few.
Meanwhile, Angie Martinez is one of the most iconic radio personalities in hip hop and pop culture. Since the early 90s, she spent over 20 years as an on-air host for Hot 97, interviewing the likes of Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, JAY-Z, and many other living legends. Martinez also primed her craft as a musician and was nominated for two Grammy Awards after appearing on Lil’ Kim’s “Ladies Night” remix and releasing an album of her own in 2002. In 2014, she left Hot 97 before joining Power 105.1 to host her eponymous “The Angie Martinez Show,” which has been a significant driver of today’s most prominent artists in music.
1. Tiffany on how she would’ve taken Chris Rock’s Oscars joke
At the 94th Academy Awards, Will Smith infamously slapped Chris Rock after he aimed a G.I. Jane joke at his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. “I wonder what that conversation was before that for him to feel like he — you know,” Haddish questions.
“If Chris had made a joke like that about me, which he has made jokes like that about me, I would just be quiet and wait my turn. When I come for you, you gon’ know. Karma is a bitch,” she adds. “Comedy don’t have no limits, but if somebody tells you to watch your mouth, you better watch it. I felt like I was in high school again.”
2. Tiffany on comedians being censored
In recent years, several comedians have fallen victim to cancel culture, which has often been cited as the death of standup comedy as more comics attempt to distance themselves from edgy jokes. Pivoting from their conversation about Chris Rock, Tiffany Haddish shares that comedians have “always been oppressed and suppressed in some kind of way and have to outsmart it.”
“Lenny Bruce used to get arrested, Dick Gregory, George Carlin, like, so many comedians used to get arrested,” she says. “At the end of the day … if you go back to the beginning of what comedy was, we used to do court gestures, we used to perform for the king. If the king didn’t like what you had to say, he’d fucking feed you to the damn alligators, lock you up. It has always been a challenge for a comedian. Your job as a comic is to tickle people’s souls.”
The entertainer expands, “It’s not always easy for everybody. Sometimes you’re going to say the wrong thing and some people are gonna fuck with it — and some people ain’t gonna fuck with it.”
3. Tiffany on correcting the reporter who called her Oscars after-party dress a “costume”
During the aftermath of the 2022 Oscars in March, Tiffany Haddish playfully dragged a reporter who referred to her Vanity Fair Oscars after-party gown as a “costume change.” The clip, which went viral online, saw an awkward exchange between her and Entertainment Tonight reporter Lauren Zima. “I said, ‘Costume? This is not a costume, this is custom. Dolce & Gabbana, darling. Custom for my body, I paid for this,’” Haddish tells N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN. “This is not pretend, this is not make believe, this is my life, this is what success looks like. People try to belittle the things that you do. As long as I’ve been in this business, I started in 1997 doing standup comedy and as long as I’ve been doing it, I’ve encountered so many interviewers and reporters who make something big to you — and not even just big to you, might be big to the culture — try to make it seem so small and like you don’t belong or you’re not supposed to be there.” The comedian continues, “I humbly flip it back on them. A lot of times they edit that stuff out, but this one didn’t get edited out.”
4. Tiffany Haddish on her split from Common
Back in November, Tiffany Haddish and Common shared they’d officially broken up. The news arrived just over a year after the former confirmed their relationship in 2020. Following the split, Common spoke with “Drink Champs” alumni Jason Lee on Fox Soul to share why, saying they had busy schedules and were constantly pouring into their careers with very little time to tend to their relationship. Speaking on their breakup, Haddish says, “I don’t know. I feel like I’m successful and busy, he’s busy I guess.”
5. Tiffany on Girls Trip being her favorite movie to film and New Orleans opening her eyes
Tiffany Haddish has appeared in a number of movies since the early 2000s, notably 2016’s Keanu, 2018’s Night School, and 2020’s Like a Boss, to name a few. When asked what movie she enjoyed acting in the most, the entertainer shares that Girls Trip alongside Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah and Regina Hall was undoubtedly her favorite. It was filmed in New Orleans during the annual Essence Festival, where this episode of “Drink Champs” took place.
“I met like three flossy posses when I did the book signing. I remember coming [to New Orleans] 15 years ago and being like, ‘I didn’t know it was this many Black women in the world.’ I think I was like 27. Earlier in my career, it was more mixed audiences, so I didn’t see a lot of Black women until I started coming to New Orleans,” she explains. “I was making movies then but when I did Girls Trip here, my shows would be sold out and it would be all Black women. If I was a man, I would be at a Tiffany Haddish show ‘cause it’s a lot of single women.”
6. Angie on paving the way for other media personalities
Later in the interview, the conversation shifts towards Angie Martinez. The multimedia personality has paved the way for several others throughout her career, including “Drink Champs” star Noreaga. “If it wasn’t for you, it wouldn’t be me in this world and I want you to know,” he tells her, to which the living legend responds, “I love that you say that and I’m happy that I was a part of your journey, but you would’ve found your way.”
7. Angie on being inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame
After dominating hip hop airwaves and influencing the culture at large for decades, Angie Martinez was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2020, which served as a major milestone in her career. Though the media personality states she doesn’t care much for awards, Martinez also shares it was an important moment to her because it opens the door for more representation and people that look up to her. “I had been nominated a couple of times and didn’t get it … This last time, I got nominated from a different category where you don’t have to campaign. Certain people vote and they voted for me,” she says.
Speaking on what awards mean to her, the icon shares, “It was crazy. The wild shit is I never gave a shit about awards my whole life. It’s about the people, so what would get me choked up is some little girl from Brooklyn or The Bronx tweeting, ‘Angie should be in the Hall of Fame.’ That would get me emotional. Somebody giving me a thing from some people I don’t know, I never really gave a shit about awards. I never understood why people put so much into it because it usually comes from a group of people who don’t know your value.”
8. Angie on being grateful for the hip hop community
Dubbed the “The Voice of New York,” Angie Martinez’s N.Y. roots and love for the hip hop genre are well-documented. She interviewed the biggest names in music from The Empire State, including JAY-Z, The Notorious B.I.G., Nas, and several others. She shares, “I’m super grateful that I got to witness so many pieces of this culture on so many different levels, so that is definitely something that I cherish.
On whether or not she would have rather been a part of a different radio era, Martinez states, “I was a fan of the people that came before, so I wasn’t in the game when Big Daddy Kane and Rakim … I was a kid. They were like fucking heroes.”
“I’m super happy I came up at the time I did. I’m in New York, New York hip hop is happening. I’m starting my career, so is Mary J. Blige. Everything is in New York. CNN is in New York. Mobb Deep is in New York. Nas is there. JAY is starting his career,” she adds.
9. Angie on launching her own podcast
Closing off the interview, Angie Martinez announced that she has her own podcast on the way. It adds to her long list of accolades, including being a best-selling author, Grammy-nominated musician, and one of the most influential people on radio ever. She shares, “We launch next week, I’m so excited. Can you imagine after all of these years?”