On the radio, Charlemagne can be a jerk. He has to be entertaining and say what most of us are thinking and he has to keep the people coming back for more. And he does his job well. And despite the fact that he’s known to make celebrities feel like they’re just not “it,” he does have a softer side. This other side will occasionally make an appearance. Like when he told Musiq Soulchild he used to rock his daughter to sleep to his song “Love,” while simultaneously telling him that his new alter ego”The Husel” was a terrible mistake.
In a recent interview with XO Necole, the 35-year-old radio personality opened up about the people who make him the mushiest. His high school sweetheart turned wife and two daughters, one seven years old and the other four months old.
Check out a few of the highlights below.
What will you tell your daughters about love, relationships and knowing their worth?
You have to show your kids love. That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to get married. Me and the mother of my kids have been together since high school. When you have your seven-year-old daughter asking why you and mommy don’t have the same last name, that affects you as a man. It made me think, ‘Well, why don’t we? What’s stopping me from taking that next step?’
Love is something you have to witness. It’s good to see two parents living in the house, embracing each other, laughing and talking; you have to lead by example.
She also understands the value of a dollar, and how hard her parents work to provide the life she has. At seven-years-old, she’s sassy. She already has plans and goals and things that she wants to accomplish, and I’m not going to let anyone take that from her. I’m going to let her be a strong as she wants; I’m not going to let her be submissive to anyone. You have to really empower your children and teach them that they’re bosses, kings, queens and goddesses.
I’ve always said having two girls is “The Player’s Curse.” Whenever you’ve broken a lot of hearts in your life or you’ve treated women a certain way, God will give you women to raise. Everyone says it’s a blessing, I believe that, but I also believe it’s a little bit of karma because it makes me think about how I deal with women. The way I treat any woman is how I would want someone to treat my daughters. I already know someone is gonna read this and say, “look what you did to Lil Mama” (referring to the infamous July 2011 interview on The Breakfast Club where he made the rapper and actress cry). First of all that was five years ago, and my daughters will be well equipped to snap back at jokes better than Lil Mama.
Why he’s decided to keep his wife and children off of social media?
First of all, I’m not raising my kids via social media. I never felt like that was a place for my family to be. I don’t knock anyone who does it, but I don’t want my family on Facebook or Twitter. That’s something I chose not to do. Some of my homies have told me that they wish they would have listened to me and not put their kids on social media because now when they’re out in the streets, strangers recognize their kids. We live in a creepy world where people want to take photos with celebrities family members and that doesn’t make sense to me. I see girls taking pics with Drake’s father and that’s just weird to me.
And then, shifting directions, he spoke about his former relationship with Wendy Williams and how she gave him his big break.
I came from South Carolina to New York and worked for Wendy Williams for free for a year. Wendy and her husband told me they couldn’t pay me, but they gave me a place to stay. You tell me how many kids nowadays would recognize opportunity if there wasn’t a paycheck attached to it. I recognized the opportunity to do something I loved to do on a large scale and I took it.
Growing up I was always a radio junkie. As a kid I would turn on the local radio station’s “Top 9 at 9” I always knew who all of the radio jocks were and I would take my cassette tapes and record different songs on the radio. Initially, I wanted to rap because that’s every guy in the hood’s dream. You have to understand that a young black man just wants to be successful and when we see other people that look like us that are well off, they’re usually in entertainment or playing sports so I wanted to do that.
I have a tattoo of Wolverine holding a microphone on my arm because I thought I was going to be a rapper, but I didn’t realize that mic symbolized my radio career. I didn’t have any formal training, but I wasn’t doing what everyone else did cause. I used to sit back and wonder why radio personalities weren’t asking the most obvious questions or really giving their opinions on the music or the artists. I always wondered why they didn’t sound human. So if you ask me what my talent is, I would say the gift of gab. But I hate that people think this is so easy. I’ll go online and I’ll see someone say that such and such is “the next C. The God” and automatically I assume that they do radio, but I check them out and they’re just tweeting! That’s just words! Get on the mic and let’s see if you can speak well enough to make people gravitate towards you. Keeping someone entertained for four hours is difficult. Wendy Williams has a gift–she can literally turn the mic on and talk for four hours straight, she doesn’t need a co-host or anyone else in the room; she can just find things to talk about and that’s hard to do, I’m still perfecting that. We’ve brought interns in the room on The Breakfast Club and we’ve had them read Angela Yee’s “Rumor Report,” and they sound terrible! Then they realize how hard it is to convey their thoughts to millions of people.
Check out Charlemagne’s article where he discusses being fired four times throughout his career and the lessons he’s learned from those experience, in the rest of the interview.