Charlamagne Preps New Show: “It’s Just Me In A Suit, Being Me”

So if MTV came calling and offered you a primetime show but they said you had to cater to a family audience, would you change your persona?
I don’t think that would be smart business for them to do that. That’s not my brand. Go to Terence J. for something like that. I don’t think I could do it. It’s funny because, they wanted me to be on Basketball Wives this season to pretend to be someone’s love interest. I was like, “I’m not doing that. That’s corny.” That’s not me. I mean, is she really gonna give me some pussy? We gonna really fuck? If we really fuck, then yeah, I might do it. But if you not gonna really fuck then what’s the point?

Tell me about your relationships with rappers. It seems like no matter who you have on the Breakfast Club, you’re comfortable making fun of them or talking to them a certain way, even if it’s someone like Jay Z. How are you able to do that without offending anybody? 
It’s just a convo. 48 Laws Of Power says don’t offend the wrong person. You gotta know who you’re talking to, but you can still be yourself and ask the questions you want to ask, but a lot of the times it’s a respect thing, too. Like, I’m gonna clown Hov? That’s Hov. I grew up on Hov! How you don’t respect Hov? Like, I’ll tell him Amil was a wack signing, but that’s a conversation.

People fail to realize sometimes that these people are just human beings. They breathe like we breathe, they bleed like we bleed, so why can’t you have a conversation with them? But a lot of times, if you see me interviewing Stevie J. and Joseline and clowning the shit out of them… Stevie J. and Joseline aren’t Jay Z. [Laughs]

So you pick your battles.
It’s not that I pick my battles, there’s just some people I respect more than others. That’s just the truth of the matter. Certain people I just don’t respect that much… But I’m never doing it in malice. I got a real opinion on things, and you’re entitled to come and defend yourself based on what I may have said. I’m not there just to stomp on people. Let’s have a healthy debate about it. You might prove me wrong!

Have there been times that you’ve gone too far and got confronted about it once you were off the air?
Nah, because it’s all very calculated and strategic. I don’t move off of emotion. I know what I’m gonna say, and I feel like I know what the reaction is gonna be as well. So I’ve never felt like I’ve gone too far. I mean, I’ve looked at things in hindsight and could see, like, “Okay, I could understand why you would be upset about that.”

Like when Diddy called my phone about when I buried Last Train To Paris and said it was Shake Weight music, and that Chris Bosh warms up to it for games. Diddy called and was upset about that, but he was also upset about when I interviewed Cassie. He was like, “Yo, man. That’s my girl, imagine how you would feel if you saw your girl getting slandered like that and you couldn’t do nothing to help her.” I could understand that, as a man, so apologies for that.

But you’ve gotta do your job at the end of the day and be honest. 
Exactly. You can’t bring Cassie to the radio station when she’s got nude pics all over the place and she just sang live on 106 & Park and was terrible and expect me not to slander her for that!