It’s been really interesting to see how Charlamagne Tha God has evolved over the years.
Interview from the Radio Facts year-end Power Play List Magazine
He has always been very talented and completely driven to succeed, starting his career at a time in the industry when broadcasters were not allowed to have personalities or their own branding ideas outside of the Radio Station .
Great thinkers and creatives, for the most part, think outside of the box then take action on those thoughts. Charlamagne Tha God went against the grain and it not only cost him a job or two, but it also cost those who supported him their jobs — namely George Cook, the current Brand Manager for KKDA in Dallas. To find out the details buy Charlamagne‘s best selling first book “Black Privilege.”
Charlamagne will tell you everything about himself you want to know, and some things you could do without — like holding in a fart while taking a picture with Anita Baker in order to maintain her respect. You have to laugh nonetheless because you don’t expect it and he has a way of bringing out the kid in all off us.
Just releasing a second book — “Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me” — Charlamagne continues to grow each year with his business ventures and using his platform to spotlight an array of people and subjects that make The Breakfast Club Radio Show incredibly interesting.
CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: Yo. What’s up, Kev?
KEVIN ROSS: Let’s talk about the book. How’s that going for you?
Charlamagne: Book’s going great,…you know, my second book, “Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks On Me,”…it’s just really…My first book was transparent. This book is more, I guess, you know, vulnerable ‘cause I think being in therapy, in general, makes you more vulnerable, and, you know, I didn’t even set out to write a second book, or even sit back and say to myself, “I’m going to write a book about mental health.”
I was really just keeping a journal, a journal of like, my experiences in therapy, you know, things that have historically given me anxiety, things that give me anxiety now, and once I started going to therapy, I just started peeling back layers of other stuff, like PTSD, trauma, trauma from past experiences, you know, things that happened to me when I was younger.
So, yeah, it just turned out to be, like, this really good body of work, man! And it’s… elevating the conversation of mental health in our community, and you know, helping to eradicate the stigma of mental health in African-American communities, so I’m very proud of it.
Don’t you think that what you just described, you know, just the PTSD, the mental health challenges, all those kinds of things, you know, the way we grow up — don’t you think it’s sort of indicative of a lot of black men?
Oh, yeah. It’s like we don’t even realize that a lot of the things that we grew up in weren’t normal. Like, we’ve normalized so much BS in our communities, you know what I’m saying? From the violence, to selling drugs, to even stepping on other people to get ahead — you know, none of that is good, We can act like we doing something noble, or we can act like there’s an honorable way to sell crack…or there’s an honorable way to rob people, but it’s not noble or honorable. And you know, a lot of that stuff weighs heavily on you when you get older.
You start thinking about the things that you did wrong growing up, and, you know, have you truly paid for the karma of those things? And you start thinking about the things that have happened to you, whether there have been guns pulled on you, or getting beat up, or anything.
You know? Like, a lot, a lot of times, man, being black in America just brings on a whole different level of anxiety that a lot of people don’t have to deal with. And especially if you grow up in the hood and you were kind of like, you know, thrust into doing wrong.
So, as far as interviews this past year, what have been some of your most memorable?
Um, my favorites interviews from this year, were definitely DC Young Fly, Chico Bean and Karlous Miller, the 85 South Show, when they came. The comedian Ms. Pat was really good, too. Um, Jess Hilarious was really amazing to me and Jenifer Lewis was really good.
Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish, when they came, that was really good. You know, we’ve had some good ones. Michael Blackson I can honestly say comedians really showed up this year. You know, ‘cause if you noticed, the majority of those people that I named were comedians. Like, the comedians either were really funny, or they had some insightful stuff to say.
So Charlamagne Tha God … Are there types of content that you’re shying away from at this point?
Um, I’m not shying away from anything, but I’d be lying if I told you, you know, there are not certain things I sat back and heard myself saying, and then felt uncomfortable, like, “What the F was I thinking?” But, you know, like I always say, sometimes you can get caught up in a shtick, and you get caught up in a shtick because when you are a person who has grown up, and you’re looking at what people are saying about you, I think that’s one of the weirdest things for anybody.
When you start seeing what people are saying about you, you know, whether it’s in magazines, or in articles, or on comments online. You start seeing what people like about you, and you start doing more of that instead of doing what’s really in your heart, what you really feel is real.
So now you say you go to therapy. I think I heard you say you go to cognitive therapy?
Well, I’m just going to regular therapy now to, like, deal with my anxiety and stuff like that.
Okay. So, what was the deal with cognitive therapy? That didn’t work out for you?
Um, I mean, it’s still something that I dabble in. But you know, like, more so when I started to go, I thought that’s what I needed ‘cause I was, like, flirting with the idea of therapy, and talking to other people who were telling me that they go to CBT and stuff like that. But my therapist was just was having me doing stuff to help me deal with my anxiety.
Did you actually see results?
A hundred percent.
That’s really good.
It’s literally like my brain has been organized. It’s like going into a closet, right? And it’s full of junk. It’s got all kinds of like, you know, clothes and stuff, overflowing everywhere. And it’s like, now, all boxed up. All the stuff I don’t need and, you know, give that away to Goodwill and organize all the stuff I want to keep, and now I can bring in new stuff.
Have you ever noticed that sometimes when your living space is like that, that your mind is like that too?
Oh, a hundred percent. Like, that’s why everything has to have organization.
What are the characteristics that you should look for in a therapist? Do you think that you should go to somebody who has experienced what you’ve experienced, somebody who’s black, or somebody totally opposite?
I went and got a therapist that was like, well, I wanted an Asian woman because I wanted somebody that was going to be like, completely neutral; somebody that didn’t have my preconceived notions or biases or pre-judgments of the world.
And, you know, if you think it’s hard to find a black therapist, then go try to find an Asian woman therapist. And so I ended up going to this white woman. And the reason I liked her is because, like, she would actually be listening with the intent to understand, not the intent to reply.
Like, you know, there was one time where I unloaded on her and she just let out this big sigh afterward. You know what I mean? Like, I was like, “Damn, that’s a lot, right?” And she was like, “Yeah, that’s a lot.” And she just kind of sat there for a second before she started, like, answering me.
And it’s not like she’s trying to tell me what to do. You know what I’m saying? She was just figuring out my personality traits and my characteristics and telling me, you know, how to move properly, basically, based off who I am.
And then a lot of people don’t realize, they actually have to go the therapy, too. Like when you said, “She sighed,” it’s like, part of the requirement of, you know, of being a therapist, is that they actually have to go and get therapy themselves to unload all the stuff that you put on them.
Yeah, I always wondered, like, “Who does my therapist talk to?” And, I wanted to say, too, like, you know, you asked me where I’m gonna see myself in a few years, like, I‘ve got a vision, you know