Charlamagne Tha God is not just a TV/radio and social media influencer. The co-host of Power 105.1 FM’s “The Breakfast Club,” host of MTV2’s “Uncommon Sense” and co-host of the Best of Itunes podcast “Brilliant Idiots,” has added author to his wheelhouse. He recently penned Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create, which goes on on sale on April 18. It offers valuable life lessons he’s learned during his rise to the top of the media kingdom.
Charlamagne has one of the unique and compelling personalities in the urban landscape. He likes to shake things up. He provocatively introduced Kanye West to listeners as “Kanye Kardashian,” asked Sean “Puffy” Combs about rumors implicating him in the murder of Tupac Shakur, and asked two-time presidential candidate Hillary Clinton if she was pandering to the Black vote.
Click here for Charlamagne’s tour schedule.
Here’s his interview with rolling out:
Why did you write this book?
Writing a book has been on my vision board for a long time. My mother’s an English teacher and since I was a kid she kept a book in my face. Growing up in rural South Carolina, books helped me touch a wider world. I’m hoping this book will inspire people in a similar way.
What’s the story behind the title?
I think it’s a privilege to be Black. We are a special people and we need to be reminded of that, especially now.
What do you hope readers will glean from reading your book?
I hope that they learn some privilege is systemic and some is spiritual, and the spiritual is way more powerful than the systemic.
How long did it take you to write this book?
Thirty plus years. It was being written long before I translated it to paper.
What was your regimen to complete this book?
At first, I would record my stories and that wasn’t working for me so I just started writing every Saturday morning.
How did you arrive at this career choice? Was it a deliberate decision or a gradual and natural evolution?
Radio sort of found me. I was just looking to do something positive and I met a radio personality named Willy-Will in Charleston, South Carolina. I asked him how he got into radio and he told he got an internship at the local hip-hop station. So I went down there and got myself an internship too. The rest is history.
What separates you from others in your field? What is unique to the experience that you create?
Honestly, that is a good question. I don’t know. I’m just me. My DNA is different.
For those considering entering this arena, what skill sets do you recommend mastering? What traits are most conducive to success?
Patience is the most important thing. Because you have to learn to respect the process.
How do you stay at the leading edge of your craft?
I outwork everybody. That’s my thing. I know that there are probably people that are more experienced than me, definitely people that are smarter than me, but I simply outwork everybody.
Do you think that there are any widely held misconceptions about what you do? If so, what are they and how do you work to dispel them?
That it is easy. And anybody can do it. I dispel those misconceptions by constantly doing things and going places that most individuals can only imagine.
How do you map out your goals? How do you measure your success?
I measure success by not what I’m doing but who I’m doing it for. Am I empowering other people around me, am I enlightening other people around me, are people learning from what I am doing? Is what I am doing bettering other people? If so, then that is success.
Who do you consider to be your peers in your field? Who do you see/use as examples for you to emulate?
My peers for this generation are Bobby Bones, Ryan Seacrest, podcast hosts like Kid Fury and Crissle from “The Read,” Desus and Mero, and anybody in radio or podcasts trying to push the culture forward.
Name two of your top role models: one from your industry and one from outside of it.
Steve Harvey and Elijah Muhammad.
Name three books, works, performances or exhibits that changed how you view life and/or yourself.
From Niggas to Gods by Akil, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, and a Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav.
Why do you consider continued learning important?
Because once you stop learning, you die. Learning helps you grow, if something is not growing than the opposite has to be that it dies. Everything about you is going to depreciate, but you can still stay sharp by continuing to learn.
What affirmations do you repeat to yourself that contribute to your success?
“[Eff] Satan, [Eff] Satan, [Eff] Satan.”
What role does technology play in your day-to-day life? How do you utilize it? What software, app or other technological innovation has made the biggest difference in your life and/or career?
The invention of the smartphone period. It changed everything.
Please define your personal brand.
It’s not up to me to define. That’s a question for the people, I don’t have a brand. I’m a human being. I actually think once you start referring to yourself as a brand, you’re corny.
What is your favorite vacation destination and why?
Anguilla. It is the most beautiful place on earth, the Garden of Eden. But mostly because of how nice the people there are.
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
I would eliminate all hate and all prejudice.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
What does it take to be iconic? In your estimation, who has achieved that status?
Hard work and purpose. You have to have those two things. You have to work hard, and you have to have a purpose in what you’re doing.