A Year of “What’s Hot! HarlemAmerica with G. Keith Alexander”

by A Collier

A Year of “What’s Hot! HarlemAmerica with G. Keith Alexander”

On September 11, 2020, G. Keith Alexander pulled up to the mic and hosted the first episode of the “What’s Hot! HarlemAmerica with G. Keith Alexander” podcast. It’s been a year, let’s take a look back.


On September 11, 2020, G. Keith Alexander pulled up to the mic and hosted the first episode of the “What’s Hot! HarlemAmerica with G. Keith Alexander” podcast. It’s been a year, let’s take a look back.

On September 11, 2020, G. Keith Alexander pulled up to the mic and recorded the first episode of the “What’s Hot! HarlemAmerica with G. Keith Alexander” podcast. As a celebration of one year of the WH!HA show, we wanted to look back on some of our favorite moments, quotes, and guests. If you missed anything, you can listen to every episode on-demand, right here.

Episode 1: Rolonda Watts

“A lot of people don’t even know my last name. They just know Rolonda.”

And with that, “What’s Hot! HarlemAmerica with G. Keith Alexander” had a quote from its first guest! Rolonda has been a titan voice in TV, talk shows, and entertainment circles for three decades. A driven, passionate, and endlessly funny personality, if you’re looking for some big inspiration, this is the episode for you! Here are some of our favorite sound bites:

“People think you’re crazy until you start making money at it.”

“It’s such a treat to get together with people, you know, who are like-minded, who are positive, who are looking for the next thing, who are hungry for change, who just need encouragement and – like we all do – a good community.”

“When you put your mind to something and you really start doing the action work to make your dream come true, it’s amazing what happens.”

Reinvention is a common theme in Rolonda’s life, and her story is one that can empower and inspire thousands of people to make big moves in the name of chasing those dreams.

Episode 5: Robert “Kool” Bell

Already a repeat guest on “What’s Hot! HarlemAmerica,” Robert “Kool” Bell made his first appearance in episode 5 for a champagne celebration! Co-founder of Grammy award-winning Kool & the Gang and partner of Le Kool champagne talks about touring in France and coming up with the idea for a new champagne, dealing with COVID lockdowns, and the loss of his brother and bandmate. The business savvy and themes of hard work and determination make this a must-listen episode. Here are some top moments:

“We were competing, of course, you know, with Earth, Wind, and Fire and some of the others.”

His command of jazz, R&B and groove, Kool is hard to compare to anyone else. And his new song “Pursuit of Happiness” embodies all the things synonymous with being Kool.

Episode 9: Dapper Dan

Dapper Dan is Harlem threads royalty. And in this episode of “What’s Hot! HarlemAmerica with G. Keith Alexander,” he gets more personal about his life, inspiration, and struggles. Some great moments include:

“From a little guy on, I paid attention to different ways to make money.”

“It was nine of us all together with my parents…nine of us in a three-bedroom apartment and we made it work, you know?”

“As a young boy, you wanted a lot of things. But as you got older and I got to know a lot of people, and hear about a lot of experiences, I wouldn’t trade that for all the things that other people had, all those little privileges…because the joy was amazing,” Dapper Dan says when talking about his upbringing.

“The Harlem that I was born in was a village. It was a village then. It’s a community now.”

Episode 11: Vy Higginson

Noted author, playwright, and radio and TV personality Vy Higginsen joined G. Keith Alexander on the eleventh episode of his podcast. Her stories and thoughts still have us in awe.

“This was home. This is Harlem.”

“I went to a broadcasting school. I wanted to do little bits about fashion and beauty, and I thought that was missing in our community…I said, ‘Hey look, I’d like to do these things for black women.’”

Episode 14: Darrin Henson

Darrin Dewitt Henson has an impressive skill set. He is a choreographer, dancer, actor, director, and producer who has worked with Jennifer Lopez, Deborah Cox, Prince, Britney Spears, Dru Hill, George Michael, and more.

G. Keith takes Darrin on a ride in the Way Back Machine that includes his childhood in the Bronx, during the birth of hip-hop: “We were breaking, spinning on cardboards, learning how to pop and glide down the New York City streets…That creativity was just bursting out at the seams.”

Episode 16: Keith David

Keith David was our episode 16 guest, and it was such a treat to have this amazing actor in the neighborhood. He’s been nominated and won many awards. He had many great and inspiring things to say during his time with HarlemAmerica.

“I just wanted to be an actor my whole life.”

“You know they used to call Langston Hughes ‘the bard of Harlem.’ And now it’s August Wilson.”

“All of the stuff that you learn how to do in Shakespeare, you can apply to August Wilson because it’s all about language, rhythm.”

When asked to give a story about his time working with the late Chadwick Boseman, he said, “20 years ago, I was the first actor to voice T’Challa…it was not the time…They were not ready to have a brother be the hero in that sense…but it took the Marvel Universe into another atmosphere. It just shows you if you give a brother a shot, it can go.”

“We’re not looking for a handout. Just give me a hand.”

An all-star on all fronts, Keith David is such a great talent.

Episode 17: Phylicia Rashad

Phylicia Rashad is a stage and television legend. Her resume includes playing Claire Huxtable as well as a number of leading roles both on and Off-Broadway. 

She and G. Keith talk about everything from the inspiring election of Kamala Harris as Vice President of the United States to her experiences as an actress and her love affair with August Wilson.

Episode 26: Harry Lennix

In this episode, G. Keith sat down with Harry Lennix, whose more than 130 acting credits include parts in ER, Man of Steel, and The Black List

Harry gets into his life as a young boy growing up during the height of the Black Power Movement, his experiences with the ups and downs of the entertainment industry, and being a working actor during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Looking for Fame, Fortune, and Followers?

HarlemAmerica Digital Network wants to help you produce and host your own podcast this year!

Interested? Check out our website to learn more about our small business membership packages.

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