Born on Chicago’s South Side, Magee hails from the world of journalism. He studied at Michigan State University, served as editor-in-chief of LGBT publications Blue Magazine and 360, and freelances for Chicago Tribune Media Group, and says that he had thought about doing a radio show for about eight years. However, the seed for The Sip was ultimately germinated in 2015.
Magee was listening to comedian Rickey Smiley’s radio show en route to work, the topic of which was a gay kiss on an episode of TV’s Love & Hip-Hop: Los Angeles. “They were talking about its kiss between two black men, the first on mainstream television,” he recalls, “and had this African American love expert on that made homophobic and dismissive comments about two men kissing. I remember him saying, and, I’m paraphrasing, something like ‘this just ain’t right…not on mainstream television when my kids are watching. I. Was. Fuming. So I e-mailed the producer and begged him to let me on, so that I could give an honest and emotional response about how epic this was for LGBT people of color. I wanted to give a perspective that’s truly hidden in mainstream media, but the producer never responded to my e-mails. To this day, I thank him for not getting back to me, because it pushed me to jump and follow one of my dreams.”
Subsequently, over drinks with longtime friend Dodd, Magee shared his idea of doing a The View—inspired radio show or podcast, and the pair began a quest to secure two more co-hosts. By January 2016 they did: King and Andrey Darey, a teacher who ultimately moved on to pursue an entertainment career in late 2016 (“We’re actively looking for his replacement but have yet to find them,” Magee notes).
Dodd, who originally hails from D.C., has a background in PR, marketing, and advertising, while the Missouri-born King works as a fashion/photo stylist. “I was recruited by David Dodd for the show because of my online presence,” King notes. “He said, ‘I always like your posts. You give knowledge with a little bit of ‘bitch’ as a chaser.’ For the past year I’ve been busy battling cancer and pursuing a degree in radiology, so I’m happy to say my most current day job is survivor.”
For their very first show in March 2016, The Sip’s guests were two members of The Prancing Elite Project, an Oxygen network reality show about a five-person queer African American dance troupe in Mobile, Alabama (it ran two seasons, 2015-2016). “We thought it would be really symbolic and also really cool,” Magee explains, “because they are pioneers of courage and bravery to us. They were the first black gay guys on TV to put on leotards that sparkled and dance in the Deep South. I repeat, the deep, Bible Belt South. So we wanted to start our first live radio show with them as a statement that we mirror their courage and bravery…and, basically, we’re badasses, too.”
For their fifth episode, the guys hit the road for the first time to visit North Carolina and speak with locals about the infamous “bathroom bill,” HB2, while Sukari Gill, a stylist for Lee Daniels’ hit show Empire, guested and Dodd went speed dating. Dodd, King, and Magee, however, all consider their 13th episode something of a bit