Charlamagne Tha God has a sensitive side? That’s the same question I asked and quickly got answered after listening to this week’s HBCU 468 podcast on ESPN’s Apple podcast.
Charlamagne sat down with Bill Rhoden to discuss book number two, Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me.
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This book illuminates the not so advertised sensitive and vulnerable side of the radio personality, who’s known for being the leading controversial voice in hip-hop culture radio. In his book, he discussed his struggles with anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder and the reason why he decided to go to therapy for it.
“That song is about not being soft or shook. But I am a shook one. … A lot of things I thought I did was fearless, but I realized a lot of things that I did, I did because I was scared,” said Charlamagne. He states that his fears, some of which are illogical, are a representation of things that have happened to him, fights, being attacked, and racism.
The remainder of the title, Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me is an ode to the Geto Boys’ single, “Mind Playing Tricks on Me,” which is actually about anxiety.
Being black and paranoid in America. A term he coined in his book as a real problem in black America.
Charlamagne finally decided to go to therapy at 39 and credits that and faith in conquering many of his fears. Therapy has also helped him deal with issues that he’s hidden and ignored over the years, such as selling crack to a woman back in his South Carolina days. He considers himself the one to blame for the woman’s daughter dropping out of school to take care of her.
The movement in which men have to improve their relationships with women.
“I’ve got two daughters and another on the way. My future is female, so anything that makes the world a better place for women, I’m all for it.”
As we all aspire to do, Charlamagne is trying to learn from his prior mistakes.
“It’s difficult when you are thinking a different way and people are using things from five years ago, six years ago, seven years ago, eight years ago and trying to paint a narrative of you now. If you want to judge for me old things, I’m fine with that. My narrative has completely changed. But you can’t compare 20-year-old Charlamagne, 30-year-old Charlamange to 40-year-old Charlamagne, who’s a father and husband.”
This is an underrated topic. It’s a known double-standard of course, in favor of the average person but the entire goal of life is learning from our mistakes to become the person God intends for us to be by our demise. Everyone has done things they regret and wish not to carry into the next juncture of their life. We as a society are quicker to accept and move past this stuff, but for a celebrity like Charlamagne, it’s not that simple. Things that he did in his 20s, still matter in the eyes of our society. It’s not fair, but celebs are held to a higher standard and that’s the only sound reasoning behind that.
Charlamagne’s goal is to bring light to his real truth.