Charlamagne Preps New Show: “It’s Just Me In A Suit, Being Me”
There may be no figure in hip-hop more polarizing than comedian/radio personality Charlamagne Tha God. As one-third of Power 105’s The Breakfast Club, alongside Angela Yee and DJ Envy, Charlamagne has established himself as an outspoken and in-your-face interviewer who cuts no slack to the many rappers who stop by Power 105’s studio on their New York press run. But by being as straight-up as he is controversial, the South Carolina native has found a fan base that admires his brutal honesty and rapid-fire wit, and has parlayed his newfound fame into stints as a series regular on MTV2 shows Guy Code and Girl Code.
In a recent addition to his already-busy schedule, Charlamagne was tapped by MTV2 to host his very own show, Charlamagne & Friends, which premiered last night. The 5-night mini-series features Charlamagne and a slew of guest panelists—including 2 Chainz, Big Sean, Nick Cannon and Hannibal Buress—shooting the shit about pop culture, music and news, and will serve as a precursor to Saturday night’s MTV VMA’s. After his morning stop at The Breakfast club, Charlamagne stopped by XXL offices last week to discuss the new show, clowning Jay Z and seeing the warning signs of Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber’s looming ratchetness.
Check out the hilarious interview below, and make sure to tune into MTV2 every night this week to catch new episodes of Charlamagne & Friends.
Tell me about your new show Charlamagne & Friends. How’d it come together?
I spoke prophecy, man. I always said I wanted to do a late-night talk show, and I guess I said it enough. It’s perfect timing, with the VMA’s coming to Brooklyn, it’s like a pre-party leading into the VMA’s. It’s gonna be dope. A lot of my politically incorrect views, a lot of potentially dangerous rhetoric. Nothing’s gonna change, it’s just me in a suit, being me.
Does MTV have any say as far as telling you, “You can’t go too far”?
Yeah of course, because it’s VMA Week. You know, I’m the Prince of Pissing People Off and Ruler of Rubbing People The Wrong Way, but I don’t want to be responsible for somebody pulling out of the VMA’s. I play my position this week, then I slander them the next time when it’s not an award show.
How does it feel to step out on your own outside of [Power 105’s] Breakfast Club?
It don’t feel strange at all. Even on The Breakfast Club, I’m an island unto myself. My views aren’t ever their views. If I’m thinking this way, they’re thinking that way. It’s just organic that way. But my opinions are my opinions—I have strong opinions and I’m not afraid to express them, so it’s not even a matter of me stepping away because I’m sure that there’ll be people on the panel who don’t agree with the things I’m saying. So it feels like a natural transition.
Do you think you’ll be doing more stuff on your own now, after Charlamagne & Friends?
I would love to. I would love to be doing The Breakfast Club in the mornings and be doing Charlamagne & Friends every night. I just think it’s a natural transition. I can look at a Ryan Seacrest or a Steve Harvey and see that they do their morning shows on the radio then they do their TV show at night. And me, I’m the type of person who has to have all these different outlets to express myself. If not, I’d go crazy.
Are Ryan Seacrest and Steve Harvey some of your role models?
Yeah, from a business model. I mean, with radio, I also studied Petey Green, Wendy Williams, Howard Stern. I like Rush Limbaugh. I like Bill O’Reilly. I like anybody with a different viewpoint or a politically incorrect viewpoint. It’s not even politically incorrect, I guess they go against the grain because they’re not just trying to say what people want to hear. They’re actually expressing their opinions, and they don’t care whether you like it or not.