Charlamagne Tha God is an American on-air personality, radio presenter, and more recently, author. He is popularly known as a co-host on New York radio’s nationally syndicated show, The Breakfast Club, a program he has been hosting alongside DJ Envy and Angela Yee since 2010.
However, his early years had no connection to his current career pursuit as the media personality delved into drug trading and was detained twice for possessing marijuana and cocaine which he planned to distribute. As a teenager, he experienced several gang fights and was arrested for a third time after witnessing another shooting from the back seat of a car. He spent over a month in jail when his father wouldn’t bail him out but thanks to his mother, he was later out. He eventually dropped those wayward behaviours, determined to build a career for himself.
The Genesis Of His Media Career
In the bid to turn from his drug peddling days, McKelvey pursued his education, he attended night school and soon landed a job as a radio intern. He later became the second mic to radio host Wendy Williams and during that period, he coined the stage name, Charlamagne Tha God. He drafted his new stage name from his nickname, “Charles” from his drug-dealer days which he blended with King Charlemagne’s name, a reputable Roman Emperor he had read about, who ruled much of Western Europe in the early 800s and then added ‘Tha God’ to make the name sound better.
Few years into his career, Charlamagne’s unusual inquisitorial style of interview with hip-hop/R&B stars on radio began to draw public attention, raising his public profile as a radio personality. However, that came with consequences as there were rifts between himself and the guests of the show, triggering a chain of events that led to his dismissal from the program in 2008. More so, Charlamagne’s relations with Wendy Williams began to deteriorate, although he has severally stated on his popular show, The Breakfast Club, that he still considers Williams as a mentor and holds no grudge against the notable media personality.
His Success On The Breakfast Club
Two years after leaving his radio talk show with Wendy Williams, Charlamagne began appearing as a host on The Breakfast Club. The radio talk show started airing in December 2010 on New York’s Power 105.1 (WWPR-FM) with his co-hosts as DJ Envy and Angela Yee. The show which initially aired during weekdays has numerous segments during which the trio talks about vast issues that cover politics, entertainment, rumours among others. As it gained popularity among listeners, a weekend version was launched in April 2013 entitled, ‘Weekends with the Breakfast Club’.
View this post on Instagram
SOME might say it’s too early for us to be inducted into the #NationalRadioHallOfFame I would tell those people I’ve been doing radio 22 years and if GOD says it’s our time then it will be our time. We will know if we got inducted by August 17th and I personally expect to see a lot of black and brown inductees this year. (Donnie Simpson, Angie Martinez, and Sway just to name a few.) In the meantime I’m a just say Thank You for the nomination….
In the early part of 2014, the popular radio talk show went on TV. The show’s organizer, in the bid to expand its reach, began to air it on Revolt Television Network. This move also proved to be a step in the right direction as The Breakfast Club received an NAACP Image Award nomination a couple of years later in January 2020. A few months later in July 2020, it got a nomination to be inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame and currently, the show has amassed up to 8 million monthly listeners.
A Highlight Of Charlamagne Tha God’s TV Stint & YouTube Career
In November 2011, Charlamagne began working as a cast member of MTV2’s Guy Code, a comedy TV show that borders on a special code of conduct for the menfolk. The show ended four years later in March 2015 and in that same year, Charlamagne was a correspondent for the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards pre-show. He was also on the show, Charlamagne & Friends which was aired on MTV2 between 2013 and 2014.
As of now, he is seen as the host of the MTV2 show; Uncommon Sense with Charlamagne Tha God, as well as serving as the narrator for Inside the Label which is shown on BET. Charlamagne also revealed that he helped the American rapper, Andre Harrell to produce a BET Special show.
Charlamagne is also a YouTube sensation who serves as the host of the YouTube series Emerging Hollywood. The show entails interview sessions between Charlamagne and professionals in Hollywood and the clips are uploaded on the YouTube channel of The Hollywood Reporter. His guest list on the show include the likes of Trevor Noah and Jamella Jamil amongst others. More so, the media personality alongside Andrew Schulz has hosted, ‘The Brilliant Idiots’ podcast on Loud Speakers Network.
The Media Personality Is Also An Accomplished Writer
In 2017, Charlamagne Tha God released his first book Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It. The New York Times’ Steven Kurutz described the book as “a street-smart self-help guide” and it was ranked 6th on May 7, 2017, New York Times list of best-selling hardback non-fiction.
The next year saw the release of Charlamagne’s second book, Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me. The book was named after hip-hop duo Mobb Deep’s 1993 track “Shook Ones”. It chronicles episodes of personal traumas, regrets, and fears with paired “clinical correlations” written by psychiatrist Dr. Ish Major, drawing a connecting line between Charlamagne’s unrest and his achievements. Charlamagne Tha God wrote “Shook One” as a tell-it-all diary of his struggles with mental health. And with candid honesty, he hopes to break the stigma around seeking urgent treatment for those plagued with the condition.
He Has Accumulated A Sumptuous Amount From His Career
Charlamagne Tha God has been busy in different ways as a media personality ever since he kick-started his career on radio. For his numerous endeavours, he gets paid impressive sums, especially for the famous shows he’s been a part of – like The Breakfast Club. He has also made decent earnings from the two books he has published and currently earns about $3 million annually as salary while his net worth is estimated to be $10 million.
The Multiple Controversies That Have Marked Charlamagne Tha God’s Career
The host of The Breakfast Show has established a very controversial reputation for himself over the years. Many of these disputes arise during the course of his interviews with guests or from sharing his views on highly debated topics on the radio. It’s even on record that his career with Wendy Williams was shortlived due to his brash way of addressing issues on-air, coupled with some other personal clash between him and Wendy’s then-husband, which brought an end to their collaboration.
However, even though he stepped out on his own later on, Charlamagne continues to stir up different sorts of uproars whenever he is on air. Here is a look at his notable controversies since he came into the limelight.
The Radio Personality Has Pissed Off A Good Number Of Musicians, Including Lil Mama
In 2011 the talk host conducted an interview with rapper Lil’ Mama in which he practically called her ‘cocky’. He also went on to call her the voice of a young struggle-face, as well as stating that she was too young to have such an old look. These remarks obviously irritated Lil Mama and as expected, the interview went haywire.
About 2 years later – in 2014, he hosted the hip-hop band, Onyx on The Breakfast Club and caused chaos on air when he alleged that one of the band members, Fredro Starr had oral sex with singer Brandy Norwood. The video of their session went viral, attracting a lot of attention to both the singer and the host for the on-air drama.
In 2016, the notorious talk show host was also at it again and this time around he pissed off rapper Birdman who claimed that the hosts of The Breakfast Club, especially Charlamagne, do not respect him as they allowed other artistes like Rick Ross and Trick Daddy to malign his name on the show. The rapper actually walked out on his hosts barely 2 minutes into his interview. In October that year, Charlamagne also had a fallout with Beanie Sigel on his show as he claimed the host was escalating the ongoing feud he had with Meek Mill with his remarks. The pair ended up having quite an intense interview with Siegal, attempting to walk out on the show several times.
His Comments & Political Interviews Have Stirred Up Several Controversies
Charlemagne is also famed for his heated arguments with politicians on his show. In mid-2019, he interviewed Elizabeth Warren, a then-Democratic presidential candidate in which he attacked her about claiming to be a native American.
In May 2020, he was once again seen scrutinizing a Democratic Presidential nominee, Joe Biden. When he made an attempt to invite him for another talk in New York, the politician pointed it outright that Charlamagne was not black if he was confused about making a choice to support him or Trump. This caused an uproar among the African-American community and Senator Tim Scott called Biden’s remark a very arrogant comment. The politician had to send an official apology to the US National Black Chamber of Commerce, to straighten out things with black supporters.
More so, in 2020, Charlamagne made a comment about Jews which was branded anti-semitic. This remark came about after Nick Cannon’s contract with ViacomCBS was terminated for publicly supporting the ongoing talks of the Jewish people stealing the identity of blacks whom he believed to be the real Hebrews. After Cannon was fired, Charlamagne commented saying “there’s one thing Jewish people have shown us, it’s they have the power.” This comment was frowned at by Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt who tagged it as anti-semitic.
The Media Personality Has Admitted To Raping Several Ladies, Including His Wife
Charlamagne Tha God has been in the news for several rape allegations which date as far back as 2001 when he raped a minor in South Carolina. He confirmed the allegations and pleaded guilty to the crime and was given 3 years probation. However, he also walked down that same path of rape several years later in 2015. Charlamagne once again admitted to having sexual relations with a lady after lacing her drink with Spanish fly.
Apart from that, he even made a public confession of raping his present wife when she was drunk. Charlamagne opened up about the incident to her and he said she technically referred to their intercourse as rape as she was under the influence of alcohol when it happened. However, she later withdrew the statement, admitting that she was somewhat aware of the incident dismissing the rape allegations.
Charlamagne Tha God Is Married To His High School Sweetheart
Being in the limelight sure has its perks. Charlamagne Tha God’s media career has endeared him to the hearts of people across the United States and the world. He is known to be a married man whose wife is Jessica Gadsden who now goes by the name, Jessica McKelvey. Charlamagne’s wife is a fitness instructor from South California and her current career pursuit is far-flung from her university training in Journalism and Mass Communication.
The two allegedly began their love walk back in high school and after several years of dating, tied the knot on September 6, 2014. Their union has produced 3 adorable daughters over the years with the last being born on September 23rd, 2018. However, apart from a few times he has mentioned his wife and kids, Charlamagne has been quite tight-lipped when it comes to his family life. According to the media personality, he does not fancy his daughters’ lives being made public on social media which has made him keep his family life out of the spotlight.