Decades ago we had popular quotes such as the Bible scripture “The truth shall set you free”, and Benjamin Franklin’s iconic quote, “Honesty is the best policy.” These quotes were often used to encourage a person to tell the truth despite the fact of the impact the content of the honesty may contain. Present day, the social mentality has executed a complete 180 degree turn. Most people only speak the truth on a voluntary basis if that truth has a positive tone. When the truth takes the shape of a negative tone most elect to ignore it, or give a watered down opinion of the situation.
When it comes to the issue ofÂ notÂ speaking the truth, Charlamagne Tha God doesn’t have that problem. A product of Moncks Corner, South Carolina, Charlamagne Tha God is the co-host of nationally syndicated show ‘The Breakfast Club’, with DJ Envy, and Angela Yee.Â On the show Charlamagne oftenÂ delivers his raw and uncut opinions about issues in hip hop, politics, sports, and entertainment. The self proclaimed “Prince of Pissing People Off,” is brutally honest on a consistent basis. His direct honestyÂ was delivered in literary formÂ in April of 2017 when his book Black Privilege: Opportunity ComesÂ to Those Who Create It was published.
The book Black Privilege gives his insight on how living an authentic life is the quickest path to success. In the book, CharlamagneÂ uses his own personal experiences to illustrate this method. The focus of the bookÂ steers you in the direction of following eight principles. For example one of my favorite principles is Principle Number 5.Â Listed as “Put the weed in the bag,”Â Principle Number five is defined as you have to work hard first, then worry about the money. The gem dropping book earned Charlamagne Tha God a spot on the New York Times Best Sellers List.
Staying true to being open and honest, Charlamagne never shies away from a conversation involving hisÂ personal struggles with anxiety. Once Charlamagne incorporated therapy sessionsÂ in his life, he admitted it was a hundred percent game changer. “My therapist told me I don’t need medicine, I just need someone to talk to,”Â Charlamagne stated. He didn’t intend on writing a book about mental health. He kept a journal of everything he was going through, and when the publishers came knocking for another book, he realized he had a rough draftÂ of a bookÂ just from the excerpts within his journal.
Charlamagne delivered another one, as his book entitled Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks On Me is currently available. The title of the book “Shook One”Â is from the Mobb Deep single also named Shook One. The subtitle comes from the Geto Boys song Mind Playing Tricks on Me. Charlamagne was drawn to the subtitle “Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me” due to the content of the Geto Boys song. The iconic Geto Boys single was one of the first songs to articulate anxiety and paranoia.
Shook One details how anxiety has been the driving force in Charlamagne’s life since childhood. During a stop on his book tour, Charlamagne told a story of how he was molested when he was 8-years-old. The sexual predator was hisÂ cousin’s wife. He jokingly admitted the driving forceÂ of him making her stop, was the fact he didn’t like the smell of her jheri curl.
Shook One is the gateway into Charlamagne’s journey with anxiety. It also serves as a tool for the Black community in particular, to start a productive conversation about mental health.
“Black men, we have so much trauma. We constantly deal with anxiety. If you grew up in the hood, you’re going to have some type of trauma, PTSD,” Charlamagne stated.
One of Charlamagne’s main concerns in the Black community, especially with men, is the fact they resist the notion of professional mentalÂ treatment due to the fact they don’t want to be labeled as soft or crazy. He figured by him being a celebrity, if he was able to come out and speak about his anxiety and trauma, it would make it easier for other Black people to join in on the conversation and get rid of the stigma.
Charlamagne admits to having a friendship with Kanye West. Though he doesn’t agree with Kanye’s recent behavior, Charlamagne stated he’s not giving up on Kanye. “By calling Kanye crazy and saying he’s losing his mind, all we’re doing is increasing the stigma. When Kanye was on his meds, his thoughts were clear and concise and everything he said was making sense. Now he’s off his meds and it’s like we’re seeing somebody have a manic episode. He was bipolar, now he’s saying he’s not bipolar. He needs help.Â I’m not cancelling him,” Charlamagne stated.
Charlamagne Tha God is that type of personÂ you canÂ respect. I like the type of person that falls into the â€œwhat you see is what you get: category. One label you can’t put on Charlamagne is the one of being phony or fake. He’s alsoÂ a man who wears many hats. He’s a radio host, television personality, author, and executive producer of an upcoming documentary about a fellow product of South Carolina political analyst Bakari Sellers. Back in 2006, Sellers became the youngest African American elected to public office at age 22, when he ran for the South Carolina state House and defeated a 26- year incumbent.
The documentary entitled While I Breathe I Hope is based on Bakari Sellers 2014 run for Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina. “I’m all about things South Carolina, and I believe in Bakari. I feel Bakari could be President of the United States one day,” Charlamagne stated.
Despite hisÂ constant bout with anxiety, CharlamagneÂ Tha God continues to strive for excellence. From his persona alone, he’s a polarizing figure. His second book Shook One: Anxiety Playing Trick On Me, will likely afford him a second appearance on the New York Times Best Sellers List. It’s a detailed oriented book when once you read it, the book almost forces you to access your own mental status. Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks On MeÂ is a must read and it’s currently available.