FEATURE: Charlamagne Tha God, I’m Good
Over the course of the past three days, Charlamagne Tha God has been on a rollercoaster ride. On Friday morning (October 30) the Philadelphia-based radio personality snagged an exclusive interview with Beanie Sigel, who had just dropped a scathing dis record aimed at former boss Jay-Z the night before. Based on the amount of traffic Charlamagne’s on-air exchange with Beanie got, his industry stock should have been pretty high. But earlier this morning, the outspoken jock announced via Twitter that he had been unceremoniously let go from his position at Philly’s 100.3 The Beat. Some rumors say that the Beanie interview had something to do with it, but XXLMag.com went right to the source to find out the truth.
XXLMag.com: How you feeling, man?
Charlamagne Tha God: I’m good, man. Everybody keep calling me talking about, “Are you okay? Are you aiight?” I’m like, it’s just a firing, it’s just radio. I ain’t get shot, I wasn’t in a car accident—it’s just radio. [Laughs]. That’s just the nature of the business.
XXLMag.com: On Twitter you said the station wanted to “go in a different direction.” What exactly happened?
Charlamagne: This morning, right after the show was over, the program director came in and was like, “Yo, can we talk to you.” You know how it goes down; they tell you, “Oh, we love you, we love everything you’ve done for the company but we just moving in a different direction.” No reasoning [behind it], but it’s always like that though. I will never know the real reason, but I can speculate…
XXLMag.com: You think it had something to do with the Beanie Sigel interview last week?
Charlamagne: I don’t know, that’s what I’m hearing but I don’t know how true that is. I don’t see why that woulda been an issue. I would hope that the powers that be, like Jay-Z, wouldn’t be that petty. But you never know.
XXLMag.com: This whole thing is crazy. I’m sure your ratings went through the roof after that Beanie interview.
Charlamagne: Yeah, my numbers were great. I’ve never had any disciplinary action, never been suspended, never been written up, never had any verbal warnings… As controversial as they say I am, I’m like a model employee. Any program director that’s worked with me will tell you that but that’s the way it goes in radio. That’s why you gotta treat these buildings like the Carter, man. You go in, set up shop, do what you gotta do and burn it down when it’s over.
XXLMag.com: How’d you get Beanie on the phone anyway?
Charlamagne: When I heard the dis record come out to Jay, my mind is already thinking forward motion, like everybody’s running with the dis record, playing the dis record… That’s cool, but I’m more interested in why? Let’s get to the root of the issue. Being that I’m in Philly it was a no brainer, it wasn’t nothing to reach out to get Beans on the phone and he was happy to do it, like, “Oh, word, Charlamagne, not a problem. That’s who I need to be talking to.” So he called and he just aired it out. What you heard on that phone call is exactly how it went down. I didn’t even talk on the radio for like 38 minutes I was just sitting there listening to Beans.
XXLMag.com: What’s your take on what Beans was saying about Jay?
Charlamagne: I mean it’s three sides to every story. It’s gonna be Beanie’s side, Jay-Z’s side and the truth. But I really feel what Beans was saying, even though a lot of people will say Beans was a grown man and Jay can’t hold his hand, but what’s the point of giving somebody so much opportunity if you don’t really show them what to do with that opportunity? It’s kinda like when Wendy brought me to New York, they coulda brought me up to New York and just threw me to the wolves but, nah, they guided me every step of the way and still give me guidance. …
XXLMag.com: So if what Beans is saying is true, what do you think Jay should’ve done differently?
Charlamagne: Jay-Z is an OG, man, and the Bible says the old men should counsel young men for war. There should never have been a point in time where he just stopped counseling Beanie Sigel. Yeah, you can give him a record label but what if he doesn’t know how to run a label? You can give him a clothing line but what if he doesn’t know how to run a clothing line? You can give a person a million dollars but what if they don’t know how to manage money? I think that what Beanie’s saying is very legitimate, I can understand Jay-Z’s side too, like I gave him this and I gave him that but what’s the point of giving you fish and not teaching you how to fish? I can give you fish and you can eat for a day but if I teach you how to fish you’ll eat for life. I don’t think Jay-Z taught Beanie how to fish.
XXLMag.com: Still, shouldn’t have all of this been handled behind closed doors rather than on wax or over the airwaves?
Charlamagne: Yeah, but that’s the nature of the world we live in now. The veil has been pulled off the industry, meaning that people can’t hide anymore. The truth is revealing itself more and more every day. One reason is the Internet doesn’t have any filter and another reason is because you have media personalities like myself who don’t take sides. I’m not an industry person; I’m of the people. I’ma people’s champion at the end of the day.
XXLMag.com: What do you mean by that?
Charlamagne: I do things that I know people wanna hear. I’m a fan at the end of the day so when I’m sitting down and I get a chance to interview these people I’m approaching it from a fan’s perspective. It could sound harsh but that’s the way I’m approaching it. I’m not an industry person. I’m not here to sugarcoat things. I’m not gonna tell Cassie she’s a great singer because I wanna keep a relationship with Puff. I’m not gonna say, “Beanie, no, I don’t want you on the air airing out Jay-Z because I’m worried about Jay-Z performing at my concert.” I don’t care about all that. I’m a man of the people not of the industry.
XXLMag.com: What’s your next move going to be?
Charlamagne: Put it like this, the radio station is just one check. There’s a hundred checks coming from a lot of different places so I’m just staying active. Me and [comedian] Lil Duval still doing the Hood State of the Union webisodes, I’m still writing for Ozone magazine, I’m still a street correspondent for Wendy Williams’ TV show, and I got a book coming out on Wendy’s book imprint next year called Pull Your Damn Pants Up. But The Hood State of the Union that me and Duval are doing, you’re about to see it on a network. In a New York minute you gonna see it [on TV].
XXLMag.com: So you’re done with radio?
Charlamagne: The craziest thing is I’ve had four-five job offers in the past four hours—ever since I put it on Twitter. If the right opportunity presents itself I’m definitely gonna jump back in radio. I love doing radio, that’s my thing. I may have gotten fired but my tongue ain’t get cut out my mouth and my voice still works so I’m fine. —Anslem Samuel