Best FM Radio Personality (2006)

Prince Markie Dee, The Beat (WMIB, 103.5 FM)

Mark "Prince Markie Dee" Morales has serious street cred. Aficionados of the old school will recognize him as an original member of the Fat Boys, one of the first groups to inject self-deprecating humor into hip-hop. In the Nineties, Markie Dee took off the goofy glasses and racked up some major music-producing credits. Tracks by Shabba Ranks, Destiny's Child, Mariah Carey, and Mary J. Blige stud his overflowing resumé. These days Markie Dee is better known as the prince of 103.5 The Beat, jamming the airwaves from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. every weekday alongside Mr. Mauricio. And although he sometimes goes back in time and spins tracks from the era when "Wipeout" was in regular rotation on MTV, more often Markie Dee is introducing tracks by Ne-Yo, Nelly, and Dem Franchise Boyz. "I'm a regular jock, you know? Every once in a while we'll play the old-school joints, but I just play what people wanna hear," the erstwhile Fat Boy explains. Markie Dee loves giving the people what they want. Listeners can hear the glee in his voice during the "Fat Four at Four," the giveaway segment of his daily show where he assigns arbitrary weights to the most requested songs. The listener who correctly adds the weights wins cool prizes like concert tickets and CDs. Hearing the notoriously chunky radio jock say "Beyoncé weighs 927 pounds!" is just good fun. Markie Dee concedes that interacting with happily screaming listeners is his favorite part of the job. "I like getting on the phone with fans, getting one on one and communicating with them," he says. Though Markie Dee could be exploiting his instantly recognizable public persona, his experience in the business has left him older and wiser. He spends most of his off-air time doing promotions and charity work on behalf of the station. His future plans include a nationally syndicated old-school show with BET host Big Tigger. He has an Internet show on, and he's finishing up the pilot for a television game show called Pay Your Dues that sounds like a hip-hop combination of Rock & Roll Jeopardy and American Idol. He hopes to have the show picked up by BET or MTV and bring his career full circle. Even without the television exposure that helped make him a star, Markie Dee is known and loved throughout the city. "Everyone pretty much knows who I am. I get recognized a lot, but sometimes I'll be at Chili's ordering some food, and the waitress will be like, "Hey, your voice sounds familiar! Oh, you're Markie Dee! That's what's up!"


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