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Charlamagne The God Explains Why He’s So Brutally Honest And How It Helped Him Reach Success

“I used to get teased, a lot.”

This statement seems incongruous with something you’d ever hear from the mouth of New York shock jock and MTV personality, Charlamagne the God.

“I went through a period where I used to get teased a lot,” Charlamagne reiterates. “My mother was a school teacher in South Carolina and my father’s side of the family was the ‘hood side’ so they used to tease me. To counter this, as I grew up, I became the bully,” he reveals during a candid conversation with Elite Daily. “I would disrupt school, and even got expelled from two high schools,” he said.


Today, Charlamagne seems calmer, quieter and more polite in-person than you might expect. This is somewhat surprising because his boisterous and brutally honest reputation on the airwaves often typecasts him as intimidating, offensive and loud.

Despite a proven track record, which has brought with it countless written profiles, particularly a NYTimes piece, Charlamagne is still working just as hard as if he weren’t already on.

The man notoriously known for calling out Kanye West during a video interview, nearly getting into a fight on-air with rapper Fredo Starr of legendary rap duo Onyx, and embarrassing Floyd Mayweather because of his illiteracy is still very humble and down to earth when you meet him.

You might not know it just by listening to him clown celebs and their foolish habits on the radio, but Charlamagne has one focus in life, and that’s to be the best at what he does. While this goal may seem universal, for him, it means more than it does to the average person.

“I just do the work,” Charlamagne says. “…talent and preparation creates opportunity and privilege. I buss my ass on the radio because in my mind I know that I want to be the best multimedia person on the planet.”

Charlamagne wakes up each morning before the sun rises and heads from his New Jersey home into Manhattan to broadcast live Monday through Friday as part of Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club morning show.

After that, he’s running around, handling other non-radio business commitments. On this day, it was swinging by Elite Daily to chat, but with an upcoming MTV show, there’s always still work to be done.

The South Carolina native has worked in the radio industry for over a decade and during that time, he’s created a brand that other radio personalities only dream of.

Charlamagne is loved and respected for his raw honesty. But to Charlamagne, he’s just asking the same questions he would ask even if he didn’t have such a huge platform.


The Kanye West interview, the radio DJ admits, was the greatest interview of his career thus far. Near the beginning of the interview, Charlamagne told Kanye that he wasn’t a fan of his latest album, Yeezus.

Kanye seemingly shut down and didn’t really respond in his normal, aggressive way. West uncharacteristically took the criticism in stride as Charlamagne continued to ask him about topics that obviously made the rapper uncomfortable.

Charlamagne to Lil’ Mama: “Now Lil Mama you know we give it to you hard on this show. One of my nicknames for you is the voice of the young struggle face. It’s because you’re young but you have an old face.”

Charlamagne’s brand and personality is centered around a raw honesty that makes even the most famous of entertainers tremble and his audience crave more.


You see, Charlamagne isn’t afraid to ask the direct questions we all want answered even if they’re the kind that force publicists and PR reps to scramble.

“I’m a fan first,” Charlamagne said. “I simply ask the questions that I want to know because I’m a connoisseur of hip-hop and the people I interview,” he said. “I just tell people live your truth and then nobody can use your truth against you. I come from a long line of honest people.”

Honesty, hustle and hard work are a few qualities that have helped Charlamagne spin his day job into never-ending opportunities including his own show, “Charlamagne and Friends,” and a cast membership on MTV’s “Guy Code.”

The hustle that drives Charlamagne is evident through his voice and actions. He’s willing to put in the hours and is someone who is never satisfied with ending the day once his number one morning show is off the air.


While Charlamagne is experiencing tremendous success today, his achievements didn’t come overnight and weren’t without much struggle both on and off the air.

There have been brushes with the law, firings from four radio stations (the most recent when he was a top radio DJ in Philadelphia), and having to start all over again when he was forced to move back home with his mother in South Carolina, to regroup.


To this, Charlamagne says:

“There’s no such thing as a good or bad experience, it’s all apart of the process,” he says. “It’s all a part of the process. Trust the process. Everything you think is bad, you eventually get over, and later you understand that that’s how things were meant to be.”

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Kevin Smith

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Kevin Smith is Deputy Editor at Elite Daily. Smith is a sneaker enthusiast, modern hip-hop anthropologist, and Blue Ribbon Sushi devourer. When he's not busy obsessing about those three things he finds time to write about technology, entertainm ...
Kevin Smith is Deputy Editor at Elite Daily. Smith is a sneaker enthusiast, modern hip-hop anthropologist, and Blue Ribbon Sushi devourer. When he's not busy obsessing about those three things he finds time to write about technology, entertainm ...

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