Charlamagne Tha God Talks New Book 'Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me,' Kanye's Recent Comments & Newfound Respect for Drake


A Black Privilege follow-up wasn't all the time within the playing cards for Charlamagne Tha God. Even although the New York Times best-selling writer and radio host had publishers waving profitable checks in his face, he repeatedly declined the thought of penning one other e-book with out one thing charming to supply his viewers. 

"Last 12 months, I used to be sitting on certainly one of my favourite islands of Anguilla and I used to be with all my family and friends sitting by the pool and I had this actually serene feeling," Charlamagne tells Billboard. It was at that second of serenity mild went off wanting towards his subsequent chapter. 

Just over a 12 months later, the brash The Breakfast Club co-host returns with Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me, an apparent ode to each Mobb Deep and the Geto Boys. His second e-book will give attention to private experiences coping with anxiousness and peeling again the layers to traumatic occasions that have been by no means handled correctly on the time. 

Overall, CTG seems to raise the dialog surrounding psychological well being, particularly within the hip-hop and black communities. Shook One cements the radio persona's stance in ensuring he's on the precise facet of historical past in terms of society's rising give attention to psychological well being, whereas serving to take away the damaging stigma of treatments comparable to remedy.

Billboard caught up with Charlamagne for an in depth dialog previous to the cancellation of his TimesDiscuss with Kanye West, however his solutions relating to Ye might present some perception into his hesitancy at going by means of with the occasion at the moment. He ended up touching on his new e-book, psychological well being in hip-hop, Kanye's go to to the Oval Office, favourite Breakfast Club interviews of the 12 months, Drake incomes his respect and way more. 

Pre-order Charlamagne Tha God's Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me previous to its world launch at your native e-book retailer on Tuesday (Oct. 23). 

Billboard: They say everybody's bought one e-book in them, what makes you assume you possibly can have success with two inside 18 months?

It's actually one thing I wasn't anticipating to do. With the success of Black Privilege, after all the e-book publishers wished me to return with one other e-book instantly. They got here with the examine, however I don't do issues for cash. I used to be like, "Nah, I'm good." If I don't have the expertise that I need to share, then what's the purpose?

Last 12 months, I used to be sitting on certainly one of my favourite islands of Anguilla and I used to be with all my family and friends sitting by the pool and I had this actually serene feeling. It was the primary time in a very long time that I might bear in mind not having any anxiousness in anyway. I used to be saying, "How can I consistently really feel like this on a regular basis?" It can't simply be location, there's bought to be one thing else I'm lacking out on. I lastly determined to cope with my anxiousness. 

The first step was going to remedy. I had loads of mates who handled anxiousness and borderline melancholy that have been on medicine, however I didn't assume I wanted any of that, so I figured I'd discover somebody to speak to. Quite a lot of occasions, once you're the go-to individual, you bought to ask your self, who does the go-to individual discuss to? Sometimes it is advisable search an expert opinion. God was telling me to go discuss to somebody. 

I've heard you discuss the way you have been recognized with anxiousness 10 years in the past, what was the holdup to solely beginning remedy simply final 12 months?

It occurred at a interval in my life that I had simply been fired for the fourth time from radio. I used to be residing again at house with my mother at 32-years-old. My daughter was two-years-old. My now-wife had to return house to stay along with her dad and mom, so I used to be stressing. I had an artist I used to be working with and that didn't work out, so I used to be indignant about that. That's once I was having all these loopy panic assaults. One time specifically, I used to be using down I-26 in South Carolina with my cousin and I actually felt like I used to be having a coronary heart assault. My coronary heart was beating quick and my arm was going numb. I advised him to drag over and bought some water to settle down. I went to the hospital the subsequent day and the physician stated, "You bought a wholesome coronary heart. You bought an athlete's coronary heart, but it surely sounds such as you had a panic assault. Do you undergo from anxiousness?" He requested if I used to be harassed about something and I used to be like, "Hell yeah."

So as soon as he advised me that, I knew what it was. I began pondering again in life to all of the occasions in life I'd had these emotions. The Breakfast Club got here a number of months later. When you're seven years into doing what I'm doing on radio and also you've had success doing books and tv and nonetheless having those self same panic assaults, you're like "why?" I believed I used to be good, however clearly, I'm not, in order that made me need to begin going to remedy.

Is the e-book going to be extra of a glance inward revolving round your personal experiences, or will that be correlated with an skilled's opinion?

It's based mostly off my very own experiences with anxiousness, going to remedy, realizing I bought PTSD and even trauma from issues that occurred to me once I was youthful. I undoubtedly wished to usher in an skilled's opinion as a result of I'm not an skilled in something. All I've are my experiences and I wish to share my experiences to see if individuals might study from them. I needed to go get Dr. Ish Major, who's a therapist that focuses on black psychological well being. So every part I describe within the e-book, he provides a medical correlation for on the finish of every chapter. It would simply sound like I'm venting [without it]. 

Can you clarify what you imply by rational versus irrational anxiousness?

Rational anxiousness is once you're conscious of the supply of your anxiousness. Like if I've to host an award present or discuss to hundreds of thousands of individuals on the radio, I'm going to really feel anxious and I do know why. Irrational anxiousness is once I'm leaving CVS and there's a automotive behind me and I'm questioning if he's following me house? Should I begin doing detours? I'm ensuring no person's working up on me and also you look, but it surely's some Logic-looking child driving previous you. That's trauma and anxiousness from issues I've been by means of. Being black in America, you're going to have a way of paranoia individuals received't know remotely unpack. I bought an entire chapter referred to as "Blackannoyed." When I get pulled over, my mindset is completely totally different now. I don't have the posh of asking, "Why did I get pulled over, sir?" I can't curse the cop out. I've to conform. 

Your first e-book laid out your rules of life. How is Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me arrange?

It's a little bit totally different. My first e-book was me being clear. I've by no means had an issue with being clear. The second e-book is me being extra weak. I feel there's a distinct between clear and weak. It's one factor to inform a narrative, but it surely's one other to inform how you're feeling. It's me sharing my experiences. There's undoubtedly tales since I'm speaking about numerous panic assaults and conditions that I didn't give the kind of thought I do now. There's issues I by no means peeled again the layers on. 

What's hip-hop's connection to the e-book?

"Shook One" is after all an ode to Mobb Deep. The track is such an ideal one for our tradition, however again within the day, being shook was the very last thing you have been presupposed to be. Showing your vulnerability and fears meant you have been pussy. If you have been pussy, then you definitely have been meals. It's me embracing it saying, "We all are shook ones and afraid of one thing." The subtitle, "Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me" is an ode to the Geto Boys' "Mind Playing Tricks on Me." That's the best hip-hop track ever written about anxiousness -- one of many best songs interval ever written about anxiousness. If you take heed to that ["Mind Playing Tricks on Me"] now, you're like, "Oh shit, they have been going by means of anxiousness." That's why I bought Scarface to do the foreword for the e-book. I even have an entire chapter breaking down "Mind Playing Tricks On Me" and the way it was an anxiety-driven report. 

What are another tracks you hear now that largely relate to psychological well being?

[Jay-Z's] "Streets Is Watching." Beanie Sigel's "Feel It within the Air." Both of these are about anxiousness. "Streets Is Watching" is such a dope report to me as a result of once you develop up on the street, there's a sense of paranoia that comes with that. It's as a result of you already know the approach to life you're residing. You know you possibly can probably die in the present day, possibly go to jail or get in a battle. Quite a lot of us, we simply chalk it as much as the approach to life. What when you're coping with anxiousness and residing that life-style? Now, you're triple-paranoid. PTSD from the streets, having weapons pulled on you, that shit doesn't go away.

What psychological well being points do you acknowledge in youthful artists you've interviewed?

Quite a lot of anxiousness. With younger children from the hood, I see loads of PTSD. Social media brings one other entire stage of tension that we're all coping with. I simply thank God that I didn't should develop up with social media in my early life. I don't assume I might've made it, to be trustworthy with you. I discuss concerning the concern of lacking out within the e-book, and that's what social media does to you. I feel social media is portray an unattainable image of perfection. Social media is actually everybody's spotlight reel. You don't see any errors, flaws, or battle. The downside with that digital actuality is we're making an attempt to deliver that into our actual world. 

You can get in bother now for speaking about belongings you did again within the day. You can get in bother for the best way you used to assume again within the day, and that's not truthful. Every story I've loved, is certainly one of development and evolution. I feel The Autobiography of Malcolm X is the best story of evolution ever. I feel Jay-Z going from Jay-Z to Shawn Carter is a good story of development. We noticed the failings of those individuals, however these days, you're not allowed to try this. Imagine being 14-years-old and happening social media to see everybody residing this faux excellent life, after which in actual life no person's speaking about their errors. So when that 14-year-old does make a mistake, he would possibly really feel inferior and kill himself. Let children develop and evolve. 

What do you concentrate on artists actually embracing psychological well being? Like once you see Chance The Rapper pledging one-million towards Chicago's psychological well being companies?

I adore it as a result of it feels just like the universe is conspiring for us to have this dialog. Our entire life we've been advised every part is psychological. Everything begins with a thought and ideas grow to be issues. What you conceive, you possibly can obtain. I all the time inform individuals the issues they need to occur in life, they need to consistently take into consideration. That's why anxiousness is so tough. When you're occupied with the worst issues occurring, you maintain onto these ideas. When I see Taraji P. Henson along with her basis or Chance The Rapper pledging one-million and even me with this e-book, I didn't know the universe was going to try this. It's conspiring for us to win. I need to elevate a dialog by letting individuals understand it's okay to go work out what's happening upstairs. Now there's a bunch of us on this mountain seeing one another going by means of the identical issues. 

What do you concentrate on Kanye West assembly with Donald Trump on the Oval Office and the general public's harsh response to it?

Number one, I don't see why we nonetheless rise up in arms over Kanye's antics. Kanye has been telling us he loves Trump for 2 years now, so why are we shocked he's on the White House? I don't have any downside with him participating with Donald Trump. If he chooses to interact as a result of he feels he can actually get issues accomplished for himself and the poor and disenfranchised communities -- although I really feel loads of it's self-serving -- do your factor. But once you're in there, my brother, be in there in your ft, not in your knees. All that bootlicking, you're Kanye West on the finish of the day! I don't need to see you bowing right down to a white man like Trump, who's the image of white supremacy in America. That Make America Great Again hat is like the brand new Confederate flag. 

Quite a lot of issues Kanye stated in that assembly with Trump have been in the precise ball park. People didn't even take these clips when he spoke on the colleges being boring and needing a extra artistic curriculum to maintain children intrigued, Chicago not needing stop-and-frisk however bringing jobs again to America, a Yeezy manufacturing unit in Chicago to individuals can truly work. Now, with Larry Hoover, I'm not all in on Larry Hoover as a result of I don't know what he was all in on. What Kanye stated about having somebody like him within the ecosystem is correct. When you've gotten an OG like that within the streets, he might deliver construction to the hood. All that crime calms down only a bit. 

Even when he introduced out the Make America Great hats, that's one thing I've been telling him. America has by no means been nice for minorities, ladies, and the LGBTQ neighborhood. It's solely been nice for white males. So when he made Trump put on it, I used to be like, "That was cool." Those 4 factors will get flushed out amongst the bullshit.

I felt the identical factor occurred to your nice interview with him in May. Kanye went as much as TMZ Live the identical day your dialogue was launched, which ended up stealing all the headlines. 

That was the universe conspiring for this psychological well being discuss. We did that interview in April and it got here out May 1, which is the primary day of Mental Health Awareness Month. Even when he was speaking about psychological well being with Trump, that each one will get misplaced. In my interview, he was speaking about being bipolar and off his meds, however all that bought misplaced. Telling Harvey Levin he was off his meds, Harvey simply breezed by that. That's why I wished to take a seat down and have a dialog with Kanye. 

What have your personal conversations with Kanye been like just lately?

Contrary to common perception, I don't discuss to Kanye on a regular basis. When he's in his telephone spell, I might discuss to him on a regular basis. He doesn't all the time have a telephone although. He will get a telephone, he's in your line. FaceTime, name or no matter to only have dialog. We've had these conversations about [mental health]. It's uncomfortable for me to speak coping with my psychological well being points. I didn't even know anxiousness was a psychological well being problem, however you come to search out out it's the primary psychological well being problem persons are going through in America. I don't know if he's all the best way in on speaking about it. 

It's been one other nice 12 months at The Breakfast Club. What have been a few of your favourite moments and interviews in 2018?

It actually has been. You bought moments and precise conversations. For moments, Desus and Mero was a superb second. It made for the humorous meme with DJ Envy leaving his chair. Nipsey Hussle was undoubtedly certainly one of my favorites, he's bought the album of the 12 months with Victory Lap. Quite a lot of the others aren't even artists. Jess Hilarious was one other, she's on Lil Rel's present. Comedian Miss Pat was actually good. 

I'll throw 6ix9ine in there. I favored that interview. I believed it was certainly one of 6ix9ine's first actual conversations with individuals and gave some extra perception. I believed Angie Martinez's interview was higher with him. We simply did one other with Jonah Hill that I'd put in my high 5 of the 12 months. The illest factor about The Breakfast Club is that its grow to be a staple within the tradition. An establishment for dialog and I'm all the time shocked by who listens. There's so many individuals who've seen some kind of The Breakfast Club interview. 

Why can't we get an interview between you and Drake?

[Laughs] I feel the dialog could be a lot totally different that it will have been 4 years in the past. Five years in the past, I didn't give a fuck about Drake. No disrespect, however I nonetheless don't give a fuck about Drake. I respect him. He's truly an ideal hip-hop case research as a result of he ought to've been fell off. If you have a look at historical past, once you're any person like Drake and also you get that a lot radio play, a lot of the stars like that fall off. Think about Ja Rule, Nelly, 50 Cent or DMX at their peak. They bought bored with them. All of these guys had a run. 

Hip-hop wasn't embraced but, the place it's now essentially the most consumed style of music. You can't deny hip-hop anymore, however I feel you possibly can've 15 years in the past. 

50 Cent bought 10 million data. Nelly went diamond a pair occasions. These guys have been superstars. Jay-Z stated the one individuals promoting models is, "Em, Pimp Juice and us." Jay is a little bit totally different as a result of he didn't begin off red-hot. It's laborious to start out off red-hot and nonetheless stay the place you're at. It's been a decade for Drake and that's sort of unprecedented in hip-hop. I can't do nothing however salute him. I went to his tour live performance in New York and I understood it, simply hits after hits. I've by no means seen a run like his. I bought extra respect for him.

With you turning 40 this 12 months, what objectives do you've gotten set for the last decade?

To be as mentally, bodily, emotionally, and spiritually match as potential. Professionally, I'm doing it. I'm entering into the scripted facet of the sport with exhibits and movie. I'm govt producing N.O.R.E.'s On The Run Eating meals present. We're taking that to a community quickly. I bought one other undertaking you're going to see in a number of weeks. We're nonetheless engaged on the artistic facet for the HBO present. Those huge networks are a little bit harder to navigate. That's going to be a collection of specials. I'll do one 1 / 4. 

How about seeing your tweet relating to the Migos being greater than The Beatles going viral through the 2018 AMAs? I noticed a number of blogs run with that headline.

That's truly an previous troll from Desus [Nice]. He began that like 4 years in the past. I interviewed the Migos speaking about being greater than The Beatles means again earlier than they bought to the place they're at now. It's an previous troll we used to do to piss off white individuals on social media. I did it final week, pondering that folks would keep in mind that, however it bought articles picked up about it and every part. Now, I'm identical to alright fuck it, Quavo is best than John Lennon. It's only a troll.