Charlamagne Tha God (@cthagod) is a radio presenter (The Breakfast Club Power 105.1 FM), television personality (Uncommon Sense Live), podcaster (The Brilliant Idiots), and author of Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It.
“Living scared gives you a sense of purpose!” -Charlamagne Tha God
The Cheat Sheet:
- What transformed Moncks Corner, South Carolina kid Lenard McKelvey into Charlamagne Tha God?
- How Charlamagne went from selling crack in a small town to becoming a radio and television personality — and now author.
- Why the moment you think you can’t transcend your circumstances — whatever they may be — is the moment you won’t.
- How Charlamagne reframed his background to become an advantage rather than a hindrance.
- Why it’s important not to live someone else’s expectations — and how to figure out when expectations are actually your own.
- And so much more…
No matter who we are or where we’re from, the discovery that life isn’t fair is one of our earliest lessons. Some people are born into wealth, comfort, and opportunity, whereas others are dealt a seemingly jinxed hand that contains none of the above.
Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It author Charlamagne Tha God joins us to talk about how he transcended humble beginnings as a crack dealer in Moncks Corner, South Carolina (population 7,885) to become a television personality, radio presenter, podcaster, and author. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
More About This Show
Of news to no one: it’s an imperfect world. Some begin the game of life with a running start and a goody bag of advantages considered unfair to those of us who feel neglected by fate’s fickle hand — just as we begin that same game with advantages that are, when seen through unbiased eyes, are just as unfair to others.
We may bemoan that we weren’t introduced to this imperfect world by billionaire jetsetters with limitless funds and endless opportunities, but we should remember that pygmies in the Congo would consider themselves lucky to have been born in a village with access to clean water.
Perspective thickens the line between justice and happenstance — if just a bit. But if we’re still bristling under the victim of circumstance mantle we’ve assigned ourselves, we might consider the story of Charlamagne Tha God, author of Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It.
“You can be a victim of circumstance,” he says, “but you don’t have to remain a victim of that circumstance forever. You can transcend your circumstances.”
Such a statement might seem a bit on the bromide side of things if it were dispensed by most people, but Charlamagne speaks from experience. Growing up in Moncks Corner, South Carolina (with a population last calculated at 7,885), he could have easily followed an early career path — selling crack — to its logical conclusion: a violent death, life in prison, or under a tree.
Thanks to a sense of curiosity stoked by his English teacher mother — and her encouragement for him to read books outside of his personal experience — as well as a studious immersion in hip hop that spoke of a world larger than anything he’d yet experienced, Charlamagne chose to follow the road that led him to where he is today: a television personality, radio presenter, podcaster, and author.
“Music and books…helped me to transcend my circumstances and just realize that it was a bigger, broader world out there,” says Charlamagne. “I’ve got a principle in my book called Give people the credit they deserve for being stupid — including yourself because the know-it-all knows nothing…you should always remain open to new experiences and new people because that’s how you learn. Growth is a constant thing that never stops until you die, as far as we know. Knowledge is infinite. I can constantly learn new things — and unlearn old shit that I may have always held onto.”
Listen to this episode of The Art of Charm in its entirety to learn more about what transformed Lenard McKelvey into Charlamagne Tha God, how Charlamagne went from selling crack in a small town to becoming a multimedia juggernaut, why the moment you think you can’t transcend your circumstances — whatever they may be — is the moment you won’t, how Charlamagne reframed his background to become an advantage rather than a hindrance, why it’s important not to live someone else’s expectations — and how to figure out when expectations are actually your own, and lots more.
THANKS, CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD!
If you enjoyed this session with Charlamagne Tha God, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
Resources from This Episode:
- Transcript for Charlamagne Tha God | Black Privilege (Episode 647)
- Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It by Charlamagne Tha God
- Charlamagne Tha God at Facebook
- Charlamagne Tha God at Instagram
- Charlamagne Tha God at Twitter
- The Breakfast Club Power 105.1 FM
- The Brilliant Idiots
- Uncommon Sense Live
- Guy Code
- Robert Greene | 7-Year Anniversary Special (Episode 250)
- From Niggas to Gods, Vol. I by Akil
- From Niggas to Gods, Vol. II: Escaping “Niggativity” & Becoming God by Akil
- Desus & Mero
- Zuri Hall at Facebook
- MTV Spin-off Catfish Trolls to be Hosted by Charlamagne Tha God & Raymond Braun
You’ll Also Like:
- The Art of Charm Challenge (click here or text AOC to 38470 in the US)
- The Art of Charm Bootcamps
- Elite Human Dynamics
- Best of The Art of Charm Podcast
- The Art of Charm Toolbox
- The Art of Charm Toolbox for Women
- Find out more about the team who makes The Art of Charm podcast here!
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