Derrick "Delite" Stevens has been a part of the Twin Cities radio and Hip Hop scene for over 35 years. He says, “I’ve always loved radio and always knew I wanted to be a part of the on the radio experience." In 1982, shortly after arriving to the twin cities from Queens, New York, Derrick entered the KBEM radio magnet program as a freshman at North Community high school to begin his journey in the field of radio.
In 1983, Delite teamed up with fellow New Yorkers DJ Dee and Travitron were one of the first to perform rap shows at First Avenue night club
in downtown Minneapolis. In 1985 he obtained his first radio job as an on-air announcer working with CBLS, a cable radio station founded by Pete Rhodes before joining community station KMOJ in 1987.
In 1989, Stevens took a three-year hiatus from radio and briefly relocated to Los Angeles to jump into the music industry, working alongside Paula Abdul and lending his voice as the animated M.C. Skat Kat on the song and video Opposites Attract. The success of the single Opposites Attract led to a full-length album voiced by Stevens: "The Adventures of M.C. Skat Kat & The Stray Mob" released in 1991. In 1995, Stevens returned to the Twin Cities’ radio scene to cohost the KMOJ Morning Show and in 1998, he teamed up with Anthony Richie to create the popular rap/mix show,
“Friday Night with Smoke-N-Delite” on KMOJ, before heading to the newly formed urban station, B96, in the spring of 2001.
Today, Derrick is the production manager for Minnesota Public Radio’s 89.3 The Current, a triple A music formatted radio station based in St. Paul, Minnesota.
1. if you could witness any event of the past, present, or future, what would it be?
The crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma Alabama in 1965. The folks in that little town showed up and courageously faced hatred and racism. Through intimidation tactics, threats and use of violence and in some cases, even death, these brave brothers and sisters took a stand against unfair and unequal treatment of black Americans and forged ahead to create change for the next generation.
2. If I had a chance for a “do-over” I would…
Have a child/children. I raised two children that were not my biological, but I never had the chance to father my own. As I get older, reflect on life
and face my mortality, the thought of not having a seed to continue as an extension to my bloodline sometimes weighs on my mind. However, as
a 50 year old, somewhat selfish man, I do believe that opportunity has passed me by.
3. What teacher in school made the most impact on you and why?
An 8th grade substitute teacher named Mr. Dakarri. A black man who was a part time model and a part time teacher. He always emphasized the
importance of giving 100% and always setting goals and believing in yourself and your ability to accomplish anything you put your mind to.
4. If you were to have dinner with your hero (living or deceased), what would you ask first?
Nelson Mandela, how were you able to soften your heart, not dwell in bitterness and forgive your racist enemies who locked you in a cage for
26 years of your life and yet you did not want to seek revenge or justice?
5. What's #4 on your bucket list?
Skydiving! Who doesn’t want to jump out of a plane at over 10,000 feet?
6. What would you most like to learn and why?
How to be more compassionate and loving to my fellow human beings. Compassion and love can go a long way in the human family and in this,
the era of Trump, it is mos def needed.
7. What was your Most embarrassing moment?
I was live on air back in the early 90s hosting a radio show and as I was back-selling the music I had just played, I had a severe case of hiccups and could not stop it. I rushed through my words as quickly as I could and went to a commercial break.
8. What is your most important role?
Being an Uncle to my 20 nieces and nephews and 16 great nieces and nephews.
9. No one would guess I…
Used to have a major stuttering problem as a kid. I overcame it by recording breaks of my favorite radio DJ (Frankie Crocker), memorizing his lines and repeating them, teaching myself to slow down, use proper enunciation and articulate when speaking.
10. How do you Inhale Your Life And Live It?
I work hard, I play harder and I keep my family and friends close to my heart. I live for today and plan for tomorrow and even though I’m 50 years old, I still enjoy learning new things, challenging myself and from time to time, dipping out of my comfort zone. I try to remain true to my word, true to myself, consistent in my actions, open to exploration and new ideas and I aim to be someone that others can depend on.