By LaToya Cross
S.T.A.R. The Cult of Personality
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 when music historian and personality Marcus Chapman was on the come-up.
The location: Chicago. The station: 107.5 WGCI, the hottest radio station for hip-hop and R&B and Chicago's number 1 station at the time, birthing talents such as Doug Banks, Tom Joyner, and Steve Harvey, to name a few.
During the "classic era" (mid 80s through 90s) everyone's goal was to push their name and brand on the radio.
It was a time of engagement between the voice behind the microphone controlling the music and entertaining you and anyone who chose to listen. "Everyone had a great time. No one ever wanted to leave. 'GCI was a great place to be during that time," says Marcus.
Chapman, working his way from a studio assistant to an on-air personality, was the youngest talent during this era.
His talents would later lead him to work at KKDA-FM in Dallas, WTLC-FM in Indianapolis, and WVEE-FM in Atlanta.
In the midst of all the fun, the business of remaining at the top was just as hard as making it there.
Chapman developed a plan while working his way up. He wasn't just a radio DJ, one who merely picks the songs and plays them. No, his progressive skill was more than that. He brought forth a personable experience.
Marcus didn't attend a broadcast school; he was, however, blessed with the natural skill of engaging discussion and had an early affinity for music.
Women would come along the way ... plenty of women. But, radio was his first love.
Radio, women and the telephone would become the embodiment of some of the wildest times of Marcus's life and created a long platform of life lessons. The minute he grasped how to master all three was the minute the true opportunist planted his foundation.
And it's all documented in S.T.A.R.
The rise, the fall, and everything in between is detailed in the pages of Marcus Chapman's four-book, five volume series, Sex Time and Radio Vol. 1 & 2: The Blueprint of a Radio Personality and the most recent, Sex Time And Radio Vol. 3: The Cult of Personality.
"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," Chapman states.
"I wanted to show, kind of like a character study. Someone has to be the main character and you follow that character through all of his journeys 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 on 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 impacts things, " he clarifies.
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 in his professional life.
"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 shares. So that was all a part 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."
The significance with the stories Marcus shares is that you actually get the visual of how radio has changed. The challenges in building one's names changed, leaving a great 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.
Marcus explains, "You had 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."
As the story continues, Marcus promises to bring more of everything -- the intensity, celebrity run-ins, the sex-capades, 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 a first-hand account and an "All-Access" pass to the radio industry and all that comes with it. It's a lifestyle. Some can handle it, some can't.
For More Scoop Access: visit, www.MarcusChapman.com.