After the highly-anticipated interview with Kanye West and The Breakfast Club The New York Times reached out to get an exclusive interview from Charlamagne Tha God. The exchange between Charlamagne and Kanye is a moment that everyone in the digital and physical world wanted to happen more than anything. Even Kanye West pointed out himself at the start of the interview after Envy asked a number of question consecutively.
This candid New York Times feature of Charlamagne Tha God gives readers an overview of him as a young man growing up in Moncks Corner, South Carolina to the coveted radio/TV host he is today.
There are also quotes from entertainment industry vets (Vanessa Satten of XXL, Marvet Britto PR Agent, etc) and his old man (Larry Thomas McKelvey).
Here’s an excerpt from the high-profile feature:
Charlamagne Tha God, the shock-jock host of 105.1’s morning show, “The Breakfast Club,” has a penchant for making his guests squirm. When Justin Bieber arrived to promote his album “Believe” in 2012, Charlamagne admonished him for the company he was beginning to keep, telling him that it was fine to do records with black rappers, but to stop hanging around them because eventually they were going to get him into trouble.
But who exactly is Charlamagne?
Born Lenard McKelvey, he was, according to his father, Larry Thomas McKelvey, a bad kid on the streets of Moncks Corner, S.C.
“I had to bust him upside his head a lot of times to get him back on the right track,” the elder Mr. McKelvey said. “He got in with the wrong crowd and did a lot of crazy stuff.”
Arrest records from Berkeley County, S.C., show he wound up in and out of jail.
“I was in the back seat of a car and a shooting happened, and so all of us ended up going to jail for it,” said Charlamagne, adding that no one was killed. Two other times, he said, he was arrested on charges of possession of marijuana and cocaine with intent to distribute. (Though Charlamagne says he is 33, arrest records put his age at 35. “In the hip-hop culture, kids see age and automatically dismiss you,” he said, in responding to the discrepancy, not quite confirming which number was accurate.)
“The third time he got locked up, I let him sit there for approximately 41 days,” Mr. McKelvey said. “That’s when he called my wife and asked her to please get him out of jail. That’s when I decided ‘Enough is enough. I’ll give him another chance.’ ”
SALUTE: The New York Times