Reluctant Jersey Girl "Scottie" Beams in the Spotlight
While the previous generations’ media powerhouses were able to take their licks under the radar, the rising stars of 2018 are stumbling out loud. Scottie Beam who contributed to this year’s “Your Voice, Your Way” panel at the annual Brown Girls Love Power Day conference is more comfortable with that than most.
The radio and media personality with her finger on the pulse of hip-hop made a splash during her tenure as a digital producer at Hot 97 and knows she is being held to a higher standard. “If you say something you better be able to stand by it” she said to the crowd of attendees as her fellow panelists nodded knowingly. The podcasting space was a natural progression for the opinionated young woman who is unapologetic about her beliefs. Before she was introduced to the public via Hot 97’s popular morning show she spoke up about what she wanted to do and who she wanted to be in a pre-production meeting “I was like I just wanna be the black girl, just let me be the black girl! I like being black and I stand in my blackness so let’s just do that and that was it.”
While others make their mark by building inventive alter egos or creating colorful skits Scottie found success on and off the air by standing in her truth “I just focused on trying to be myself”.
It wasn’t difficult for her to stand out at Hot 97 because “I’m loud period, as a person”. People started to connect with her “as soon as I got to accept that this is who I am."
That acceptance and the sense of self-awareness that preceded it didn’t come easily. “I had no idea what people thought or me or how people would get me. I didn't know until later, I think this year. I started to realize really who I am and with the good and the bad cause I had some awful habits that I had to fix and work on.” She says this matter of factly and is just as open about how she went about fixing them “That's what I had to do, go get therapy to seek. To see these traumatic issues I exhibit, where are they coming from and why do I continue to brush them under the rug.”
Those who only interacted with the music lover to find out who was up next in hip-hop were shocked to learn that life’s obstacles didn't disappear once one got “on.”
“I think there's an episode on there where I talk about my father and that was the one that shifted a lot of things. It’s called “Shift” and it did shift a lot of things for me as far as people who follow me and who found out that you know...you can talk about this because a lot of us suffer with this.” The response to the episode and the podcast overall has been overwhelming “and so I was like wow maybe I should speak more you know maybe I should be more transparent."
Scottie and her co-hosts “vulnerability” was praised by her Hot 97 family at their one year anniversary party which literally spilled out of New York’s VYNL as their fellow millennials embraced the hosts and each other all connected by what she called “being lost.”
Scottie wasn’t sure about doing a podcast. “I was against it the four others were for it” she said on stage “I was like how is this going to be different.” It turns out she and her co-hosts habit of questioning themselves was the “hook” they didn’t see coming. “We’re trying to find our way” said Scottie “so that would be the unique spin because I think everybody is trying to find out where we going in the next 5 years.”
With flawless skin and enviable industry access it would be easy for her to ride her popularity to simpler subject matter but instead she chooses not to shy away from difficult conversations. “I’m big on transparency. I’m a transparent person so you know when figuring things out I say them...I’m a speak before you act kind of person before I act before I speak.”
It wasn’t long after she spoke with her Black Girl Podcast co-hosts about her slashie frustrations that she quit Hot 97. While her fellow panelists shared tips and tricks for balancing their dreams with their day jobs she was upfront about it no longer working for her. “I suck” she stated plainly. She went on to explain that “if I have an idea for content I’m running first and I’m a digital producer so I’m supposed to do things digitally for Hot 97 but instead I was doing things for myself.”
The decision to quit might have been marked by passion but it was not impulsive. “I saved for a year” she said sternly to the crowd making it clear that the choice was not made lightly.
Social media erupted at the news of her departure. The consensus on the popular Joe Budden Podcast was that Hot 97 was “crazy for letting her walk out of the building” and Rapper Joey Badass said in an interview that she should’ve “been had her own show.”
The career change also came with a change of address. Though the Bronx transplant “hated it” when her mother moved her to the Garden State as a child she succumbed the ability of a city like Newark to still seem “pretty quiet” by compassion “I can get away from all the hoopla in New York” she said. And when the topic of New Jersey came up she let out an “ayyyyyyyyy” like a native. She cites it as the place she “really started loving football” and says she grew to “love the people.”
Aside from her apartment she cited “Black Swan” a “coffee shop thats black owned” as her favorite place in Brick City.
While her influence has lead to hosting opportunities and partnerships with Nike, BET, Twitter, Essence and Billboard Scottie Beam is excited about finding a way to expand the impact her honesty has had “it’s important because I’m helping somebody else out. I had no clue that that could happen but I'm helping somebody.” A glowing example of how she’s helped people can be seen on her Instagram profile where a fan thanks her for her candidness about her depression when appearing on “A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal.”
She says “I hope to do things this year with just getting women more self aware. Also self care is a big thing, not just getting your nails done or getting a massage. I want them to help themselves mentally we don’t we ignore that a lot we don't take care of ourselves mentally because we have so much other shit to do that we don’t sit and try to take care of ourselves.”
Her number one tip for taking care of herself is to “pray” and “meditate.” She says she’s “been meditating for like five months now” and she’s seen eye opening results. “After I sought therapy I was like oh okay this is how you don't always have to comment on everything. And if you have an issue with it you can easily just say you know I’ma remove myself and so that's what I did. I learned how to remove and step back.”
“In here” she continued gesturing towards herself “emotionally and mentally, that’s my struggle and so I continue to just talk about it.” With the charm of her delivery there’s no doubt that her peers will continue to listen with open ears and hearts.
To learn more about Scottie Beam listen to “The Black Girl Podcast”.
To find a therapist who can appeal to your intersectional needs visit Therapy for Black Girls.
Photo Credits: Joe Chea for LoveBrownSugar, Hot 97.com