Interviews

Published on October 6th, 2018 | by Landon Buford

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The Hype Magazine Exclusive: Charlamagne tha God One of the Most Controversial Figures in Hip-Hop Culture Today

Photo Credit – Johnathan Mannion

Charlamagne tha God is one of the most controversial figures in Hip-Hop culture today. His personality has caused several artists such as Master P, Beanie Sigel, Frederick Starr, and Baby to come to check him on the number one nationally syndicated radio show in the World “The Breakfast Club.” The radio program is featured on Power 105.1 in New York City and on Revolt TV Monday through Friday, but not all Charlamagne’s interviews have been hostile.

There have been some teachable moments during a lot of them for example, when Brooklyn artist Tekashi 6ix9ine made appearance on “The Breakfast Club” earlier this year and Charlamagne tried to advise 6ix9ine to tone down some of the reckless rhetoric that he was posting on Twitter, Instagram, and during interviews about never checking in. Well, 6ix9ine decided not to heed several individuals warning and he was later kidnapped and robbed for upwards to 800k worth of valuables.

There have also been other encounters where Charlamagne has tried to be the voice of reasoning during his interviews, take his 2013 interview with Kanye West where he gives Ye his opinion on his music and felt it was something that he needed to hear instead of telling him what he wanted to hear from the individuals in camps.

Charlamagne has also added the title “New York Times Best-Selling Author, after the success of his first book entitled “Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It. ” It was also announced earlier this year, that he would be releasing his second book Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me. Which is slated to be released October 23rd.

You will be releasing your second book “Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me” and you will be tackling your greatest fears. What is your greatest fear that you are currently looking to overcome as an entertainer?

As an entertainer? I don’t have any fears as an entertainer. I’m doing everything I wanted to do in this business and then some. Nationally syndicated radio show, NY Times Best Selling Book, I’ve had my own talk show on MTV2, I’m executive producing content for tv and film. I just want to do more on the EP end but there is nothing to fear in this business. None of my fears ever have anything to do with this business, I have no problems on stage, talking in front of people, none of that. If I had to pick one I guess my only “fear” in entertainment was where and when a fight would break out between me and some celebrity/public figure I gave Donkey of The Day too….

Do you feel that it needs to be a New York Times Bestseller like ‘Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It’?

I would love for it to be. That matters because that list makes it sell more. A lot of people are sheep, they don’t get on something until other people are on it. So when you see it on the NY Times Best Sellers List it just makes other people gravitate towards it that much more and this book to me is very important because I want to change the stigma of mental health. I want black people especially black men to deal with their anxiety, PTSD, trauma, go to therapy, get a spiritual advisor I just want us to be as mentally healthy as possible.

In the introduction of your book ‘Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It’ you describe the infamous 2016 interview with Kanye West where you give your honest opinion on Yeezus. Why do you think people are afraid of individuals like yourself that are not ‘Yes Men’ and Don’t bite their tongue?

Actually, it was 2013 but the answer is simple people like to protect relationships that don’t even exist. They are in awe of these celebrities and they think that saying the wrong thing to one of these celebrities could derail their career forever. Which in some cases it could, say the wrong thing to the wrong person you don’t know what the consequences will be but for me it’s never about being malicious or getting some attention it’s about being a fan and if as a fan I don’t like something I have every right to say it to that person but the number one reason people bite their tongue is fear that it will ultimately affect their jobs.

What was it that made you feel that Kanye was reaching out for help and why do you think that some of his actions are taken out of context?

The guy literally screams about his mental health issues in every interview and it’s always overshadowed by some Trump bullshit. I don’t think his actions are taken out of context I just want to dig deeper and see what’s behind those actions and if a man is telling you he’s having mental health problems why don’t we believe him?

In your opinion what has been your most inspirational interview on the Breakfast Club so far and why?

I can’t name one. There isn’t one. I’m inspired by several different ones for different reasons. I love people who don’t keep secrets, secrets stress you out. So I love people who like myself tell you about the good, the bad, and the ugly of their lives. I love Tiffany Haddish, Ms. Pat, Cardi B, Andrew Gillum, Jennifer Lewis, it’s too many too name that inspires me for different reasons.

Who is someone that you would like to have on the show that you have not had the pleasure of interviewing yet?

I get asked this all the time and I honestly don’t know. It’s not something I think about it. Like I said my taste is weird I’m not a star fucker I like people who have incredible stories. I heard Tiffany Haddish on “The Champs” podcast back in the day and was like man I want to Hug her, I want to talk to her, Ms. Pat was recommended to me by an agent name Jackie and one of my producers read her book and said her story was crazy so I read her book and couldn’t wait to talk to her so I like stories. People who have turned tragedy to triumph so that’s what I’m looking for.

Photo Credit -Swirl Films Media

Every day, you have a segment on the Breakfast Club called ‘Donkey of The Day.’ What originally inspired this segment of the show and who was the first person that you presented this prestigious award to?

Ha! Ha! I don’t remember who the first person ever was but check this out for irony. It was inspired by a skit on a G Unit mixtape where 50 Cent says something to the effect “I pull up to curb in the hood, I look around and I say look at these Donkeys! A bunch of fucking jack asses!” So that’s what inspired me calling people Donkeys and I don’t remember who the first person ever was I gave Donkey to because it was a segment I started in Philadelphia when I did my own morning show there but the first person to ever get Donkey on the Breakfast Club was 50 Cent for saying a song he had with Michael was a 2010 “Thriller.”

Do you plan on putting our ‘Celebrity in Chief ‘in the Donkey of The Day Hall of Fame any time soon?

He’s there already. One of the few awards he will receive in his presidency. He’s got his own Donkey intro so he’s there

Can you share with us what your new project ‘On the Run Eating’ is about and when will it be released?

Season one has been out on Complex. Season two is coming to a network but I can’t say which one now. I’m executive producer of that show along with N.O.R.E. it’s simply N.O.R.E. who is a foodie going to different cities and restaurants eating with your favorite celebrities. Crazy how life works N.O.R.E has always been an acronym for Niggas on the run eating and now N.O.R.E. got a food show unbelievable.

You are a content creator; what sparks your interest when you are looking for new content?

What will people learn from this? Will this story I’m telling inspire someone? I like to entertain and educate at the same time. What’s the lesson to be learned with this content is what I’m constantly thinking about.

You were featured on season one episode 2 of Safe Word with Amber Rose. If you were to do another episode which of your Breakfast Club Co-hosts would you select and why?

Hmmmm. I would have to say neither one of them. They both cannot handle the pressure of being asked certain things so they would probably run out of safe words early.

Photo Credit -Swirl Films Media

Outside of the Birdman interview, what were your top three favorite Breakfast Club interview moments and what are your three worst moments?

Top Three Favorite moments interviewing Dick Gregory (RIP), for like an hour 40 minutes, Dick had so many moments and things he wanted to say and I remember Envy and Angela Yee sitting there like why is this taking so long? LOL. Then a year later he passes so just to have that be like his last long-form interview will always be a moment for me. I love Dame Dash interview even tho I didn’t agree with him on certain points specifically him kind of looking down on people who have jobs everything else about ownership and being a boss was on point. If you go back and watch that interview now it was a lot of gems in it and Tiffany Haddish first interview on “The Breakfast Club” was a moment for me just because I think her story and what she’s been able to overcome is so special. Top three worst moments when I played Floyd Mayweather reading, that was wack of me, I didn’t have to do that, one of the only times I did something for all the wrong reasons and the reasons were I knew it would get attention. Nobody pressed me about that, I heart wasn’t mad at me, just personally I knew that was wack so that was the worst moment for me. The controversy that happened after Envy asked Lil Duval the question about transgender women I wish I would have edited that out. Contrary to popular belief I’m not in the business of hurting people and too many people got hurt because of that. Nobody benefited from that situation, in particular, Lil Duval and the trans community. I mean it’s plenty of moments I look back on now and cringe but I’m 40! I’m a husband, a father, I’ve evolved in different ways so when I look back at the way I used to lust over women, say perverted shit, sniff J Lo’s chair when she left, all that stupid frat boy, Howard Stern sexual shtick humor is wack to me but it happened. It’s who I was, I evolved from that and I’m not looking back.

You and HBO partnered up for a segment called The Gray Area which is supposed to provide a safe space for ‘unsafe’ people to curate their stores and control their own narratives. What is the status of The Gray Area project with HBO?

Wait and See!!!

If you were going to have your own television show on CNN what would you call it and why?

I wouldn’t want my own show on CNN. Having a show on CNN would put me in a box and the world isn’t that way. Nowadays when I think of variety shows it’s not just about variety shows that feature a variety of talent it’s variety shows that feature a variety of people. As you can tell on the “The Breakfast Club” I interviews politicians, spiritual leaders, athletes, entrepreneurs, people in Hollywood, people in music so I don’t know if a show on CNN would allow me to do all that. I don’t know what I would call it I have had TV shows called “Charlamagne & Friends”, “Uncommon Sense”, now “The Gray Area” I don’t know what I would call it. I would have to think about that.

Finally, when can the hip-hop culture expect something that involves Charlamagne Tha God, Joe Budden, and DJ Akademiks either in a podcast, web series, or television program?

Ha! I don’t know if we would ever do something regularly. I enjoy those guys tho. I just don’t want to talk hip-hop all the time like they do. I like talking politics, religion, mental health, just real-world social issues. I like discussing real-world social issues through a hip-hop lens. I mean someone like Joe I have had on every platform I’ve ever had. Joe has been on “The Breakfast Club” my podcast “Brilliant Idiots” he’s been on my TV show “Uncommon Sense” even when I did the hottest mc’s special for MTV or the Revolt classic or trash special I went and got Joe for that so I will always like working with Joe. When we were working on the YO! MTV Raps reboot for MTV2 I had Akademiks on that show so I respect all those guys talent I just don’t know if collectively it’s a vehicle for all of us to be talent on.


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About the Author

Washington State Graduate Past Interviews include Grammy Award Winner Kenny G, David Banner, WNBA President Lisa Borders, What's Trending's CEO Shira Lazar, Ice Cube, NBC's Chicago PD LaRoyce Hawkins, Family Matters Darius McCrary, En Vogues Maxine Jones, Team USA Track & Field Member Norris Frederick, James Kyson, WNBA Great Lauren Jackson, and more.


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