Change continues to abound at Hot 97 with news of Cipha Sounds' departure. The DJ and comedian, who has juggled many roles—intern, mixer, on-air personality—during his 17-year tenure at the influential New York station, announced his exit on Instagram this afternoon. "relationship status from 'it¹s complicated' to 'single,'" he wrote. "Many years of incredible, life-changing experiences and enough amazing memories to last five lifetimes. The next move is already underway and I promise it's going to be huge." Hot 97 followed up with a brief statement of their own: "Effective immediately, Cipha Sounds is no longer with WQHT HOT 97 FM. We wish him well on his future endeavors."
Cipha Sounds' position at the station has been up in the air since it was announced that Nessa would be taking over Hot 97's evening commute show, Afternoon Drive. The station said at the time that Cipha, who had been filling in on the show since Angie Martinez's unexpected jump to Power 105.1 last summer, "will remain with the station, transitioning into other on-air responsibilities."
But apparently enough was enough. In conversation with his (now ex-) colleague Peter Rosenberg on an episode of their Juan Epstein podcast, Cipha spoke openly about his frustration with the situation and the station's management. "I never knew if it was mine if I could make it mine, I would've loved it," he said. "One boss told me one thing, another boss told me another thing, they then fired one of those bosses, another boss came in an told me one things, and then a boss of another station came in and became our boss and told me another thing. All nice people, all different opinions on what the show should be and how it should run."
Their conversation also included hints at a future in comedy for Cipha, with Rosenberg saying, "You're scared to let go of something you've known for so long. Radio and music were your first love, but comedy is now your true love." Until we know more, listen to their revealing conversation below—and read our recent interview with Nessa here.
After 17 years, I'm leaving Hot 97. I¹m changing my relationship status from "it¹s complicated" to "single". It¹s been an amazing ride - from intern to weekends to morning show host to fill Angie¹s seat in afternoons. Many years of incredible, life-changing experiences and enough amazing memories to last five lifetimes. The next move is already underway and I promise it's going to be huge. Follow me at @ciphasounds
A photo posted by Cipha Sounds (@ciphasounds) on
Photo credit: Eugene Gologursky/Getty