“Reese On The Radio” is back and better than ever. The foremost culture critic has returned to give his take on pop culture and the world at large.
Reese on the Radio
Queens, NY native E. Reese Hopkins established his career in radio via the scenic route. A series of ups and downs plagued his life from the start. Raised in a single parent home with his mother and 4 siblings (two brothers and sisters) often Reese relied on his imagination to escape. His interest in radio began as a teenager in the mid 80’s thanks to the veteran personality of Scott Shannon and the “Z Morning Zoo” 100.3 in the New York metro area. He and his buddies would record mock radio shows on his mother’s stereo, equating this practice with the way that some DJ’s got their start, scratching dad’s old vinyl records. Their station was named 99.9 WACK FM. They would create and record song parodies while encouraging siblings and friends to participate by pretending to be call-in listeners.
Reese had a love of Hip-Hop, especially when it came to dancing. Seeking out any and every dance competition and or audition he could find, he realized entertaining was in his blood. He was determined to make it big so that his friends and family would be proud of him while watching his hard work featured on national TV.
At the tender age of just 15 years old, Reese’s mother threw him out because she simply had too many mouths to feed. Reese’s journey of homelessness begins in a stairwell of a partially abandoned building. With no home and no money, Reese began packing groceries at a local supermarket. When he could no longer continue on this way, Reese left his Queens neighborhood and headed to East Village in Manhattan. There, he would be closer to the resources he would need in order to pursue a career in Hip Hop dance and music.
Now in Manhattan, the mecca of Hip Hop dance and culture, Reese had to find a place to live. Desperate for shelter, he heads to Covenant House in Times Square. Covenant House is an organization that provides shelter and structure to throwaway and runaway kids from all across the world. Reese would spend most of his time in the gymnasium of Covenant House practicing his dance moves. Many of the residents and staff at Covenant House encouraged Reese to audition for the popular MTV program “Club MTV” with host Downtown Julie Brown. With plenty of practice hours in and the encouragement of folks at Covenant House, Reese headed downtown to try out. He reached the MTV studios at the Palladium night club in Union Square, performed for 30 seconds and landed a spot on the hit show.
Reese spent two years on the Club MTV show and then moved on to dancing in music videos. Reese and his dance moves appeared in Young MC’s Grammy award winning “Bust a Move” and LL Cool J’s “This is How I’m Coming”, to name a few. Now with four years of experience in the world of Hip Hop music and dance, Reese began his own Hip Hop group “Beatmarket”. Beatmarket consisted of Reese, his younger brother Briggs, best friends James and Ty. Unfortunately the group was unable to release their independent debut “Industry Rule #4,080” due to things like finance amongst other issues. The group amicably decided it was best to venture out independently.
In March of 2000, with the unfruitful attempt of a successful Hip Hop group behind him. Reese refocuses and goes back to his original love. Radio would be where he would focus all of his attention, which would begin to get him closer and closer to that goal of making it big.
This refocus session would be thanks to the Star & Buc Wild show. After hearing the morning show on the popular New York City Hip Hop station, Hot 97.1, Reese is hooked and begins calling into the show regularly. From then on, Reese would often make it on air discussing various news topics.
Just some 4 months later in July, Reese begins to create his own fictitious news stories and fax them to the Star & Buc Wild morning show. Star, one of the hosts, loves them and starts reading them on the show. In fact, Star loves them so much Reese gets an invitation to meet the crew at the radio station. During his visit to the station Reese is offered a writing position and excitingly accepts the offer while getting a little closer to his childhood dream.
Reese’s innate talent is quickly recognized and he rapidly moves up the ladder at Hot 97.1. With his addiction and true love for news – his passion being particularly in politics – he is placed in charge of covering the 2000 Presidential election. Reese also gets the opportunity to cover one of the biggest controversies in our political history, the infamous “recount” in Florida. At the time Reese began recording a comedy bit for a promo and was most recognized for his proper speaking voice. Thus resulting in the request that he be the voice of the many characters he wrote.
Recognizing another one of Reese’s many talents was his comedic abilities. At this point Reese is invited to join the show in an effort to add some legitimacy to important stories. Shortly after joining the show he is dubbed “Cross Over Negro” Reese by the host Star. Implying that even though Reese was African American Reese was an Al Roker, Tiger Woods or Bryant Gumble type of African American. Reese began to establish his credibility in the world of journalism and co-hosting, tackling news stories involving newsmakers, politicians and community leaders alike.
The ultimate would happen on that dreadful day Tuesday, September 11, 2001 when in the middle of a live broadcast two commuter airplanes, hijacked by terrorist crash into the World Trade Towers. The World Trade Towers were one mile south of the Hot 97.1 broadcast studio and Reese was entrusted to cover the events as they unfolded. Soon after, Hot 97.1 would recognize Reese as the lead correspondent, a title never again held at the station.
With growing popularity of the morning show, Reese would soon be featured in articles of the New York Daily News and the Washington Post. Reese would also be featured on nationally televised shows such as Extra, CNN, and MSNBC. Reese guest starred as a panelist on the John Walsh Show (America’s Most Wanted) and BET Tonight with Ed Gordon.
In May of 2003, Star & Buc Wild would end their deal with the popular Hot 97.1 and begin negotiating with Clear Channel Communications for a nationally syndicated show. Negotiations go well and in April of 2004 the Star & Buc Wild Show moves to a new home in Hartford Connecticut. The Star & Buc Wild Show would begin syndication in other cities such as Philadelphia Pennsylvania before returning the show back home to New York City in January of 2005. Soon after the show returns to New York City the floodgates open, the Star & Buc Wild hit syndication in Richmond, VA, Augusta, GA, and Miami FL. In addition to co-hosting, Reese would serve as an associate producer for the Star & Buc Wild Show.
Ten months have gone by since the show has returned to New York City and Reese makes his departure in an effort to begin a show of his own. Reese’s departure from the Star & Buc Wild Show would land him a gig producing shows for the infamous Howard Stern show, Howard 100 station on SiriusXM radio.
In October of 2007, just two years after leaving the Star & Buc Wild show Reese would find himself auditioning in Boston, MA. This audition would be for Entercom’s WRKO 680AM and would land him right in the midst of achieving his childhood dream, host of his own show. After a two day tryout Reese would begin living that dream in the upcoming month of December with his own midday show, “Reese on the Radio” middays from 10AM – 12PM.
Popularity of “Reese on the Radio” begins to rise rapidly shortly after it airs, Reese being an African American conservative in this liberal state would stir up controversy and inevitably make headlines. News stories about “Reese on the Radio” would go to national print as well electronic media, the Boston Globe and Boston Herald to name a few. At this point Reese swiftly receives offers to guest star on shows like Money for Breakfast on the Fox Business Network, Headline News and CNN as a political analyst.
“Reese on the Radio” would go on to cover every major news event that year, interviewing personalities from all walks of life. Reese would interview the legendary Harlem Globetrotter, Fred “Curly” Neal, MSNBC political analyst, Michael Eric Dyson even talk show legend, Phil Donahue. Reese is living out the ultimate childhood dream, hosting his own radio show and guest starring on major network shows. Life couldn’t be better, Reese’s hard work, dedication and tenacity has paid off. The family and friends that used to pretend to be call-in listeners don’t have to pretend anymore and they are so proud of Reese and his accomplishments.
In August of 2008 “Reese on the Radio” would set their sights on broadcasting live from the Democratic National Convention in Denver Colorado at the Pepsi Center. During the convention right in the thick of things, Reese would interview Dick Morris (former Clinton strategist), Carolyn Maloney (D) (New York Congresswoman), Eric Cantor (R) (Senate Minority Leader), and Kweisi Mfume (former NAACP President).
In September of 2008 a story about eighteen high school girls that allegedly make a pact to simultaneously become pregnant, named the “Pregnancy Pact” would receive national attention in Gloucester MA. Reese was on this story immediately as it would hit close to home for him. His little sister was a teen mom. As national media arrives in Gloucester, in an effort to interview the high school girls, they are directed to Reese because he had avidly been covering the story from the beginning. Reese’s coverage of the story would lead to hosting a town hall meeting just around the corner from the high school the girls attended. Residents of Gloucester would take part in the town hall meeting, asking for the resignation of the then Mayor Carolyn Kirk due to the efforts she made in covering up the story. The story resulted in the making of a documentary called “The Gloucester 18”, Reese’s town hall meeting became one of the features in this documentary.
Reese’s world as he knows it will begin a downturn that no one had an iota’s chance to see coming. After all of Reese’s dedication and hard work came to fruition, his new found world would come to a screeching halt the following year. As Entercom faced extreme financial hardships in late 2008 the company is forced to make several changes. These changes will bring unemployment to some twenty employees in just two days. Unfortunately, “Reese on the Radio” does not survive the cuts made even with the extreme popularity the show brings to station.
As if having his show cancelled due to the stations financial issues wasn’t enough. Just four days later, Reese is arrested. On October 22nd of 2008. Reese is taken into custody for allegedly committing a crime of rape some four years earlier, October of 2004. Reese’s accuser, then 16 years old would claim that Reese allegedly raped her at the age of 11. She states that the alleged rape took place in October of 2004 in an apartment where Reese, his girlfriend at the time and her two children had been living in New York City. Reese’s step-daughter had been friends with his accuser in the years prior to 2004 but was then forbidden by Reese and her mother to continue their friendship due to issues with behavior amongst other things.
Prosecutors were presented with a report filed by Reese’s accuser via Det. Robert Arbiuso. With the report that was taken by the detective, although no physical evidence was supplied prosecutors, decide to indict Reese immediately. Unable to make bail that was set at $300,000 bond and $100,000 cash. Reese is kept housed in New York cities Rikers Island.
It has now been 13 months of hearing after hearing and the inconsistencies and untruth of the accusations made against Reese are apparent. Reese, his then girlfriend and her two children had been living in Hartford, CT since June of 2004 working on the Star & Buc Wild show.. So how could he be responsible for allegedly raping anyone in an apartment and city that he and his family had not been living in for over 4 months?
Given all the evidence of Reese’s whereabouts during the time that the alleged rape took place, prosecutors set out to offer Reese a deal instead of dismissing the charges and setting him free. Keep in mind that prosecutors were in possession of documented evidence proving that Reese and his family had moved out of their apartment in New York City some 4 months prior to the alleged rape taking place. These documents consisted of statements from the previous New York City apartment landlord, the lease agreement from the apartment in Hartford, CT., bank statements and employment records from Clear Channel Communications.
This deal that prosecutors would offer seemed to have proven himself an innocent man was followed by a national outcry. Reese was offered time served with the stipulation of having to register as a sex offender. He declines and refuses to take ownership for a crime he never committed. Reese demands a trial, even though he knows he will have to return to his cell and continue spending time behind bars while awaiting trial. At this time he calls on some old friends at CNN, in an effort to gain national attention to the corrupt processes of prosecutors involved in his case.
Brooke Baldwin of CNN comes to visit Reese on Rikers Island for an exclusive interview that airs on St. Patrick’s Day 2010. The exclusive interview leaves prosecutors embarrassed on a national level but they proceed with the trial anyway. In March of 2011, proceeding of the trial begins and Reese with the assistance of his lawyers are on their way to proving his innocence.
During the trial, it is determined that Reese’s accuser had gotten into trouble with her mother over failing grades. Her mother was furious with her over the grades and would be facing a sum of charges in the tune of $26,000 to keep her enrolled in a highly prestigious school. Reese’s accuser fabricates the rape allegation in an effort to take the heat from her and distract her mother from the truth.
At trial, the accuser dramatically changes her story from the original one noted in the police report. This would call for the defense to use the detective as a sole witness in their case. The detective is called to the stand and reveals that the accuser’s story has changed dramatically since the original report she gave in October of 2008. Three weeks later the jury would deliberate and return with a vote of 11-1 not guilty on the charges presented. In April of 2011 Reese is freed from jail on a $20,000 bond that was paid in full, working diligently on clearing his name and preparing for the possibility of a re-trial.
Since the original trial, Reese’s accuser hired an attorney that would set forth a motion asking for her release of testifying on behalf of the district attorneys office. In addition to being free from testifying again, the accusers attorney request that she be freed from having to engage in any further communication with anyone from the prosecutors office. The requests are made because Reese’s accuser claims that she is so traumatized she just can’t face testifying again. Soon thereafter, in October of 2011 the accuser that claims to be too traumatized to testify is arrested on gun possession charges and menacing.
On January 3rd of 2012 Reese returns to his first love, radio. He begins an online show, “Reese on the Radio” airing weeknights from 8pm to 10pm on BlogTalkRadio.com. With BlogTalkRadio being one of the fastest growing online radio providers Reese has garnered thousands of listeners. Of those current listeners, most remember him from WRKO days in Boston, MA and have stood by him from the beginning never faltering on their belief of Reese’s innocence.
“Reese on the Radio” has since then been featured in XXL Magazine, SOHH.com and The Media Research Center for covering some of the most controversial news stories. Reese is fearless, never shying away from obtaining the truth even if that means ruffling a few feathers in the interim. Reese continues to gain respect from journalists, news personalities and citizens alike. Now, eager for the return to terrestrial radio Reese has a new found zeal to expose the truth and fight for justice. Reese is the voice for those that do not have a voice, truth and justice will prevail.