*”The Breakfast Club” co-host Charlamagne Tha God sat down with xoNecole to chat about his road to stardom, and how he balances fame and fatherhood. In addition to his nationally syndicated radio show duties, Charlamagne hosts the MTV2 show “Uncommon Sense.”
He is also known for his previous work on “The Wendy Williams Experience” with Wendy Williams on VH1, and he has starred on various MTV and MTV2 shows. His influence in Hip Hop has allowed him to snag roles in television (“Empire”) and film (“Ride Along”), not to mention a shout out from Drake in the Grammy nominated diss record “Back to Back.”
The 35-year-old South Carolina native is a husband and father of two little girls, and he’s adamant about keeping his personal life off social media. Below are excerpts from his chat with xoNecole.
You are currently juggling a demanding career with fatherhood. What will you tell your daughters (who are seven and four-months-old) about love, relationships, and knowing their worth?
Charlamagne: You have to show your kids love. That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to get married. Me and the mother of my kids have been together since high school. When you have your seven-year-old daughter asking why you and mommy don’t have the same last name, that affects you as a man. It made me think, ‘Well, why don’t we? What’s stopping me from taking that next step?’
Love is something you have to witness. It’s good to see two parents living in the house, embracing each other, laughing and talking; you have to lead by example.
I spoil my daughter, not only is she growing up in a loving household, I spoil her so no man is going to be able to provide for her because she’s got me.
She also understands the value of a dollar, and how hard her parents work to provide the life she has. At seven-years-old, she’s sassy. She already has plans and goals and things that she wants to accomplish, and I’m not going to let anyone take that from her. I’m going to let her be a strong as she wants; I’m not going to let her be submissive to anyone. You have to really empower your children and teach them that they’re bosses, kings, queens and goddesses.
How are you able to keep your personal life with your wife and kids separate from your public persona?
Charlamagne: First of all, I’m not raising my kids via social media. I never felt like that was a place for my family to be. I don’t knock anyone who does it, but I don’t want my family on Facebook or Twitter. That’s something I chose not to do. Some of my homies have told me that they wish they would have listened to me and not put their kids on social media because now when they’re out in the streets, strangers recognize their kids. We live in a creepy world where people want to take photos with celebrities family members and that doesn’t make sense to me. I see girls taking pics with Drake’s father and that’s just weird to me.
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You have been fired four times but you never gave up. What have you learned from those times you were let go, and how did it help you to grow personally and professionally?
Charlamagne: When I think about getting fired in radio, it never [fazed] me because the extremes I come from before radio were much more harsh. [Over the holidays] I was literally back at home sitting on my mom’s porch looking back on the times where the police came here and arrested me. There was a time the police had my father and I sitting in the same cell for a weekend because they had this crazy idea that we were some kind of drug kingpins, which was so far from the truth. Those experiences were harsh, so in order to bounce back from that, I had to change my lifestyle. I moved myself out the hood and went back to night school and got my diploma. I said I wasn’t going to sell drugs anymore and I wasn’t going to hang out with the same crew. I worked at Taco Bell, in the mall and I work in telemarketing; if I could bounce back from all of those situations, getting fired was light. Every time I got laid off, God humbled me, showed me the responsibility that comes with having the power of the microphone. Once I learned that, the sky was the limit. Everything else was a learning experience. In life I feel you either win or you learn. When I think about all of the times I’ve been fired, I wouldn’t change anything.
Since you’re in a coveted position to provide people with opportunities, how do you decipher who’s ready to be “put on?” What do you tell people who feel like they’re always overlooked for opportunities and no one wants to give them a foot into the door?
Charlamagne: I believe the universe helps those who help themselves. Even the Bible says “faith without works is dead.”A lot times people have dreams and aspirations, but they aren’t putting in the work and create the opportunity to be seen. If you’re dope, I should hear about it and not just from you. If you’re really putting in the work and putting your feet to the ground the way you need to be, other people will speak for you and you will get noticed. When people see you building your own fan base then they do your research and they’re like “this guy or this girl; there’s actually something there,” of course they’re going to assist you and lend out a helping hand.
Read the full interview at xoNecole.