The music scene in the ever-evolving city of Atlanta has many artists gravitating toward “Black Hollywood” hoping to make a name for themselves. However, Atlanta isn’t just for those hoping to become the next T.I., or Future. Atlanta has grown tremendously in media and entertainment which has allowed the producers, DJ’s, and radio personalities to reach the spotlight. According to Georgia Leads, more than 13 national/regional media outlets are based in Georgia including CNN, Turner Broadcasting, Cox Communications, Fox Sports South, and more.
Over 10,000 individuals are employed full-time in the broadcast sector making Georgia a massive industry powerhouse. From Frank Ski and Greg Street on V103, Ryan Cameron on Majic 107.5/97.5, and now a new generation of radio hosts such as the Durtty Boyz, and one -half of the 404 Boyz, Fly Guy DC are becoming household names in media and entertainment as well.
Washington, D.C. native Audley “FLY Guy DC” Feemster made his way to Georgia due to his mom’s decision to move him and his four siblings to a different “atmosphere.” At the time, DC resented his mom for moving him and his four siblings due to him being a top prospect in basketball in D.C. “When we moved, I had to start all over. I’m in the 10th grade, so moving to a bigger city, I already expected that Morrow High School would already be locked in with the players, but my mom wanted us to be in a better space,” DC said.
When DC tried out for the basketball team at Morrow High School, all the positions were filled, so he had to wait until his 11th-grade year to play basketball. Despite his difficult adjustment moving to Georgia, the now 27- year-old doesn’t regret his two years at Morrow. After graduating from high school, DC went on to Middle Georgia Technical College in Warner Robins but soon transferred to Clark Atlanta University after his head coach at Middle Georgia was in talks with the head coach at CAU for new players to recruit. “I had everything scheduled for CAU, but the head coach of CAU got fired, so I wasn’t able to get the scholarship,” DC said.
In the midst of not being able to play ball, DC decided to go out with a friend named Sean at an old club called Scores on Wesley Chapel. “Sean was supposed to be the person on the mic at the event, but with all the promoters there, he got nervous, and they asked me to get on the mic,” he said. “I’m a people person, I just grabbed the mic, and from there it was history.”
DC soon started to host three to four clubs a week; then he began to get booked seven days a week. His first out of town gig was in Cincinnati, Ohio at the Velvet Room. DC’s entire travel was scheduled, his hotel was taken care of, he had security, and DC finally found his niche and fell in love with the perks of hosting. “The money was quick. It was easy. It was the limelight,” DC said. “I was the life of the party, but I started seeing that there was a craft to it.”
The owner of Streetz 94.5, Steve Hegwood, reached out to DC via Instagram under his comments asking for the popular host to email him prior to graduation from CAU with a B.A. in Criminal Justice . DC emailed Hegwood, but didn’t hear anything back from him until three years later. DC met the radio entrepreneur at the station and was offered a job on the spot. He soon became a co-host on DJ Holiday’s show. “I never wanted to do radio, I never wanted to be a host, like all this just happened on the spur of the moment,” DC said. DC was then put on air with no prior internship or knowledge.
However, the Atlanta area and Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUC) which includes Spelman College, Morehouse College, and CAU gave him all the training he needed. “Atlanta is the culture right now. It shaped it in a way that is unexplainable because I wouldn’t be who I am if it wasn’t for Atlanta,” DC said. “Atlanta is arguably the top city in the world just to come and infiltrate and break yourself in when you’re not from here,” he added. Despite garnering attention and gigs, DC did struggle with hosting events at CAU due to people not wanting to pay him for his talent, so he did the majority of his hosting at Morehouse and Spelman College from Hump Wednesday to the homecoming concerts which brought out 5,000 plus college students. This type of exposure led to other bookings.
Now, six years in the hosting game, DC is currently one-half of the 404 Boyz with co-host Ferrari Simmons from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. on Streetz 94.5. Ironically, neither Simmons or DC are from Atlanta, but Hegwood thought the name fit due to the city gravitating toward the radio personalities. The ratings also demonstrated their tremendous growth in the competitive market. “V-103 is like the NBA, Hot 107.9 is like college basketball, and Streetz is like a high school varsity basketball team as far as how many people we can reach,” DC said. “ But, I know that we’re doing something magnificent and we’re changing the culture because there should be no way possible that our ratings should be top 10 let alone top five,” he added.
Since the 404 Boyz show took off after DC made a deal with Hegwood and Simmons left V-103, he feels that Streetz has helped him develop a new found respect for the media (radio) game. According to DC, he had to learn that everything is a business, so even helping new artists get their music out to the masses needs to be beneficial for all parties involved.
“I have a list of almost a hundred plus artists who we (DC and Simmons) had something to do with, and we haven’t got the credit that we deserve,” DC said. “I’m not saying pay us with money, but just a simple thank you or a simple token of appreciation of that nature when they go do these big interview. Now it’s like, I need paperwork if you want me to help you, ” he added.
Despite the growing pains of often being taken advantage of, DC’s platform has allowed him to help people beyond the airways by doing much more for the community. This includes reading books to kids, hosting pep rallies, and being an ambassador for Fresh Empire, a non-smoking campaign that promotes a tobacco-free lifestyle by educating youth through hip-hop inspired events.
Hoping to follow a similar pathway of television host, actor, and author Terrence J, DC wished he had a mentor before stepping in the game so he wouldn’t have to go through the growing pains alone. While he didn’t have anyone to lean on during his start in radio, DC’s hopes that he can guide other aspiring media personalities. “Make sure you want to do it because of the craft and not just cause the perks and the relationships. Also, don’t try to mimic anybody in the game. You’ll never surpass them, and you’ll probably never get anywhere near them,” DC said. “Lastly, be consistent in everything that you’re doing. If you’re not consistent in this game, you can easily fall off,” he added.