It’s been a roller coaster of a week for Mister Cee. The Hot 97 DJ, host of Throwback at Noon and Friday Night Live and a staple at the station for 20 years, resigned Wednesday after a video surfaced of Cee soliciting oral sex from a transsexual prostitute, the third such instance that Cee has been connected with in the past three years. After speaking with management at the station—program director Ebro Darden, as well as the higher-ups at Hot 97 owners Emmis Communications—Cee rescinded his resignation Thursday and went back on the air at noon for his usual time slot. The earthquake had settled.
But though aftershocks may still rumble, they cannot shake what Cee has done for hip-hop throughout his career. Growing up in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in the 1980s, he met Big Daddy Kane while the two attended Sarah J. Hale High School, and the pair—Cee the DJ, Kane the MC—struck up a musical partnership, teaming with Marley Marl’s Juice Crew and working together on Kane’s legendary 1988 debut album, Long Live The Kane. He and Kane would work together over the next six years, with Cee then taking a job at Hot 97 in 1993.
Around that time, Cee came across the demo tape of Christopher Wallace, which he sent to The Source‘s Unsigned Hype column. He would go on to sign Biggie Smalls—as the kid became known—to a production deal, arranging his first photo shoots and coordinated his first meeting with Puff Daddy, who at the time was an A&R at Uptown Records. After Puff took Biggie to Bad Boy Records, Cee gave up his production deal but still helped to work on his seminal debut, Ready To Die, lending his scratching skills to “Gimmie The Loot” and receiving associate producer credentials. Over the next 20 years, Cee would continue to rep for underground and up-and-coming Brooklyn MCs, lending a hand and giving a start to a number of young rappers coming from his borough.
Things began to come off the rails a bit in 2011, however, when Mister Cee pled guilty to loitering for the purpose of engaging a prostitute after police officers found him in his car in lower Manhattan engaging in a sex act with another man. The charge, originally a misdemeanor, had been downgraded to a violation, and Cee was tasked with completing three months or 12 sessions with a doctor. Then in May of this year, Cee was again arrested, this time for soliciting sex with a male undercover police officer. Cee called it a “sting” operation, and the charges were dropped this Monday. Then the video, allegedly taken at the end of last year, surfaced Wednesday, plunging Cee back into the same morass of rumors, allegations and questions.
Now Cee, officially back with Hot 97 and preparing to move forward, spoke to XXL Thursday (September 12) night about the recent video, his past indiscretions, how he’s moving forward and the support he’s gotten from the Hot 97 brass. After a week of turmoil and confusion, Mister Cee speaks.—Miranda Johnson (@Randa_writes)
Why did you announce your resignation so quickly? Did you think it through?
I definitely thought through it yesterday. It was a combination of two things—I decided to resign yesterday because I just felt tired of putting the station through the mud because of my behavior and my mistakes, transgressions and so on. It was also a part of me not wanting to face the fact that I have to be honest about who I am and what I’ve done. And part of it was for the betterment of the station. It was a combination of those two things.
Do you feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders?
I definitely feel that it’s a weight that has been lifted because for so long I’ve just been… From the first incident in 2011 all the way up until the situation with the video that came out yesterday, it’s just been, ”What lie can I come up with next?” I even said this to my boss Ebro [program director at Hot 97], I wish I could have done this on my own terms. Being that there was an unfortunate circumstance or somebody that tried to entrap me, at that point it’s like your hand is forced. The whole thing of why I never wanted to be honest about what I do in my private life is because I wanted to protect my family. I hold my family down with a lot, and a part of me felt like if I would have came forward then maybe I wouldn’t have gotten the love or whoever was supportive of me, I would have lost the support. And in that maybe I wouldn’t have been able to provide for my family the way I provide for them now.
What would you label your sexuality?
I don’t think that I’m gay. From time to time I had experiences with getting fellatio from a transvestite—oral sex from a transvestite, but I’ve never had sex with a man, and a man has never had sex with me. That’s why I feel that I’m not gay. I also know that part of that is still me being in denial too. But that’s when the therapists come in. I’m going to go to therapy and trying to deal with that side of it, recognizing who I really am. Maybe I can go to therapy and try to move forward with this and actually one day say that, ”Yes, I’m actually a bisexual man.” ’Cause I do love women too. I have my experiences with women.
Would you say that the acceptance of people being gay in hip-hop has something to do with why you may be holding back?
No, that really don’t have nothing to do with it. I think part of it is what I have done with a transsexual was just them giving me oral sex. I think because I haven’t had intercourse with a man, that’s part of the reason why I’m saying I’m not gay. That’s also a part of the denial because if you’re doing any type of interaction with the same sex, it is considered gay. I can’t really say that I’m there yet to say that. I’ll be going to therapy and dealing with that, and maybe I can come to the realization later on.
Are there any other steps that you plan on taking to avoid these situations popping up again?
To avoid these situations popping up, that’s not what I feel that I need therapy for. I feel that I need therapy to come to the realization of who I am as a person. Will I ever engage in sexual activity with a man ever again? I can’t really say if I would or if I wouldn’t. Have I been involved within recent months? I have not. I’m still dealing, and I’m still finding my way through whole thing. One thing that I can almost guarantee is that I’m not going to be arrested for prostitution again. That’s not going to happen again. That’s a distant memory. It has been for a minute, but with the video coming out, which is an old video, I’ve tried to move forward from that, but it’s almost like the Anthony Wiener situation: It comes up to an old text or here comes a video that you didn’t know somebody was filming you.
Did have a feeling that something was up that day in the car at the time that the video was being filmed?
I had absolutely no idea that I was being filmed. And I know who the person is. I don’t know the person personally. I haven’t been involved with the person on numerous occasions. It was a one-time situation, but I know exactly who the person is. And I’m saying I know the person who I picked up. I don’t know what the person does for a living or whatever.