Former Detroit Radio Hosts Take Over 106 & Park
Hot 107.5’s Paigion and Shorty da Prince’s ascent to BET’s “106 & Park”.
Left to right: Kimberly (Paigion) Walker, Bow Wow, Mykel (Miss Mykie), And Jordan (Shorty da Prince)
If a couple of new faces on BET sound familiar, it’s for good reason.
Two of the new kids on the block—currently hosting BET’s hit video countdown show, “106 & Park”—are former midday hosts for WGPR-FM (107.5).
Kimberly (Paigion) Walker, 24 and Jordan (Shorty da Prince) Johnson, 23, were named two of the four new co-hosts of BET’s “106 & Park,” back in October, joining rapper-actor Bow Wow and Houston native Mykel (Miss Mykie) Gray.
B.L.A.C. talks with the former Detroit radio hosts about making the switch to national television.
You guys had amazing jobs in Detroit. What made you want to audition for BET?
Shorty da Prince: They reached out to me before they started the search process and had me put a video together. I was really just doing what they asked for! I didn’t know what it was for at first; I just went ahead and did it, put a video together, and they had certain bullet points I had to cover. I mean, you know, radio is all good, fine and dandy, but it ain’t nothing like national TV.
Paigion: It’s always been a dream of mine, and I actually studied film at Western Michigan, so being able to transition into television made it seamless. Radio was a great start for me and I had enjoyed my 10 years in radio, so I believe it definitely prepared me for television.
Where in Detroit are you from?
Shorty da Prince: Well, I’m not originally from Detroit. I’m originally from St. Louis. I came to Detroit through radio. I had been doing radio since I was 12 years old and I had ended up getting a job offer in Detroit radio. I ended up loving it. I got real acquainted to the city real quick, real attached. I feel like I’m a mixture, like I’m born in St. Louis, but I got Detroit tendencies.
Paigion: I’m from the West side! I actually went to Ferndale High School. I played basketball there. Then I went to college at Western Michigan.
How have you all translated what you did in Detroit radio to “106 and Park“?
Shorty da Prince: I’ve actually brought one of the features from the Detroit show to 106th already. We do the “Name 5” game on the show. We’ve done it a couple times where I have people call in and name five things in 10 seconds. We’ve actually added that to 106th nation, so we’ve done it a few times on the show. I feel like that’s great that I’m already bringing something from there.
Paigion: I just think the hustle and bustle of doing a midday radio show has prepared me for this. Being able to go one-on-one with an artist, coming into television and seeing those same people back around, it definitely prepared me for this next level.
How’d you celebrate when you learned you got the job?
Shorty da Prince: Well, I’m grown, so I probably got a little sip! No, I think I just took a big exhale. When I finally found out that I got it, I just took a big exhale, like, OK. And then it was time to work.
Paigion: I went downstairs in the lobby with Shorty and played checkers! Our phones were kind of going crazy and it just gave us a second to take it in and do something random.
What’s next for you all?
Shorty da Prince: I’m still young, so I’ve learned patience and I’ve learned that whatever is meant for you it’s going to happen. So right now I’m just really here to do my job, really here to show my loyalty to BET. I’m just looking forward to working with my BET family and letting the whole world get used to seeing me on TV five days a week.
Paigion: Of course you always want to expand and evolve, but right now it’s just concentration on this and perfecting this craft.