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Charlamagne tha God

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Charlamagne Tha God
Charlamagne Tha God 2014.png
Charlamagne Tha God in August 2014
Birth name Lenard Larry McKelvey
Born (1978-06-29) June 29, 1978 (age 40)[1]
Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.
Show The Breakfast Club (co-host)
Station(s) Power 105.1
Time slot 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Country United States

Lenard Larry McKelvey (born June 29, 1978),[2] known professionally as Charlamagne Tha God, is an American radio presenter and television personality.[3][4] He is a co-host of the nationally syndicated radio show, The Breakfast Club with DJ Envy and Angela Yee, and stars in Guy Code, Guy Court and Girl Code. He is also a VJ for The Week in Jams with DJ Envy and Sofi Green. In 2015, Charlamagne began hosting the MTV2 show Uncommon Sense. He was previously on The Wendy Williams Experience with Wendy Williams on VH1.

Early life[edit]

McKelvey was born to Larry Thomas McKelvey and his wife on June 29, 1978,[5] and grew up in Moncks Corner, South Carolina.[6] As a teenager, McKelvey began selling drugs, and was arrested twice for possession of marijuana and cocaine with intent to distribute. After witnessing a shooting from the back seat of a car, McKelvey was arrested for a third time. His father refused to pay his bail money, and McKelvey remained in jail for 41 days. Eventually, he called his mother, who paid for his bail and McKelvey was released.[3]

Career[edit]

Radio[edit]

After being released from the county jail, McKelvey began attending night school and eventually got a job as a radio intern.[3] He went on to become second mic to radio host, Wendy Williams. He developed the stage name of Charlamagne, taken from his pseudonym as a drug dealer, "Charles", and created a new persona based on Charlemagne, who ruled much of western Europe in the late 700s and early 800s, whom he read about at night school. He added "Tha God" because it "sounded cool".[3] At this point, his unorthodox and upfront questioning of hip-hop/R&B artists on radio raised his public profile but also caused rifts between himself and the guests of the show. He was laid off from the program in 2008.[3] Relations between Charlamagne and Williams deteriorated, though Charlamagne has stated numerous times on his show The Breakfast Club that he views Williams as a mentor and bears no ill feeling toward her.

In 2010, Charlamagne began hosting The Breakfast Club, alongside DJ Envy and Angela Yee on WWPR-FM in New York City, New York, along with its national television simulcast on Revolt.[4]

Television[edit]

Beginning on November 15, 2011, Charlamagne served as a cast member of Guy Code, a comedy television show on MTV2 that talks about a special code of conduct just for men. The show ended in March 2015. He formerly starred on the MTV2 show Charlamagne & Friends and, with fellow MTV2 personality Andrew Schulz, hosts The Brilliant Idiots podcast on Combat Jack's Loud Speakers Network.[7][8] At the end of 2013 and 2014, he co-hosted MTV New Year's live from Times Square and in 2015 he was a correspondent for the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards pre-show.[9][10][11] He currently stars and hosts MTV2 show Uncommon Sense with Charlamagne tha God.[12][13] He currently narrates the BET Show, Inside the Label.

Writing[edit]

In 2017, his book Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It was published by the Simon & Schuster imprint Touchstone. Steven Kurutz of The New York Times gave the book a mostly positive review, describing Black Privilege as "a street-smart self-help guide" with typically blunt advice offered in eight different principles.[14] The book was ranked sixth in the May 7, 2017 New York Times list of best-selling hardback non-fiction.[15]

Controversy[edit]

In July 2017, comedian Lil Duval joked on The Breakfast Club show about killing a sex partner if she turned out to be a transgender woman. Charlamagne Tha God, while noting that killing a trans person was a hate crime, stated that women not disclosing their trans status were "taking away a person's power of choice" and "should go to jail or something". In response, trans activists, including Raquel Willis and Elle Hearns, called for the show to be boycotted or cancelled.[16][17][18]

Discography[edit]

  • South Crack: The Album (2008)

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2009 Kiss & Tail: The Hollywood Jumpoff Himself
2011–2015 Guy Code Himself Stars in along with Lil Duval
2011 This Thing of Ours "Shottah"
2012 Hip-Hop POV Himself
2012 Hood State of Union Himself
2013 The Week in Jams Himself Host in along with DJ Envy & Sofi Green
2013 Girl Code Himself
2013 Guy Code Honors Himself A one and a half-hour show that honored the superheroes and villains from the 2013 Comic-Con in San Diego, California
2013 Charlamagne & Friends Himself 2013–Present
2013 Guy Court Himself
2013, 2015 Wild 'N Out Himself 3 episodes
2014 Ride Along Cop
2015 Catfish: The TV Show Himself 1 episode
2015–present Uncommon Sense with Charlamagne Himself Host
2015 Empire Himself 1 episode
2017 Grow House Black Jesus
2018 Bodied Hunnid Gramz

References[edit]

  1. ^ "United States Public Records, 1970-2009 database, FamilySearch, Lenard L Mckelvey, Residence, Moncks Corner, South Carolina, United States". familysearch.org. May 23, 2014. Retrieved November 29, 2017. 
  2. ^ Bell, Crystal (March 5, 2014). "Charlamagne Tha God: 5 Things You Didn't Know About the Shock-Jock". Wetpaint. Retrieved August 2, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Bernstein, Jacob (December 11, 2013). "Charlamagne Tha God: Keeping a Hot Seat Warm". The New York Times. Retrieved August 2, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Vozick-Levinson, Simon (February 5, 2014). "Meet Hip-Hop's Howard Stern: Charlamagne tha God". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 2, 2016. 
  5. ^ "United States Public Records, 1970-2009 database, FamilySearch, Lenard L Mckelvey, Residence, Moncks Corner, South Carolina, United States". familysearch.org. May 23, 2014. Retrieved November 29, 2017. 
  6. ^ Lehrman, Jessica (May 3, 2016). "Tha God of Radio". Vulture. Retrieved May 15, 2016. 
  7. ^ Ng, Philiana (December 4, 2013). "MTV2 Renews 'Charlamagne & Friends' for Season 2 (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 26, 2018. 
  8. ^ Robertson, Iyana (February 5, 2015). "Let Charlamagne tha God and Andrew Schulz Sort Through Your Issues of Race in Hip-Hop". Vibe. Retrieved February 26, 2018. 
  9. ^ "MTV Is Ringing in 2014 with the "Girl Code Presents: New Year's Code" Special Starting December 31 at 10:00 P.M. ET/PT". The Futon Critic. December 11, 2013. Retrieved February 26, 2018. 
  10. ^ "Ring in 2015 with 'MTV's New Year's Eve 2015' Hosted by Victoria Justice & Charlamagne". TV by the Numbers. December 11, 2014. Retrieved February 26, 2018. 
  11. ^ "Music: Listen to Free Music, Watch New Music Videos | MTV Asia". Music.mtvasia.com. Retrieved April 18, 2017. 
  12. ^ "The Breakfast Club Host Charlamagne tha God and Tyga Land Their Own Shows on MTV2". Music Times. April 17, 2015. Archived from the original on August 2, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Charlamagne puts his 'Uncommon Sense' to good use on TV and social media". Cynopsis Media. July 5, 2015. 
  14. ^ Kurutz, Steven (April 17, 2017). "Charlamagne Tha God Puts His Straight Talk in a Book". The New York Times. 
  15. ^ "Hardcover Nonfiction Books - Best Sellers". The New York Times. May 7, 2017. Retrieved April 29, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Lil Duval Jokes About Murdering Transgender Women, Leads To 'The Breakfast Club' Boycott". Essence. July 31, 2017. Retrieved October 3, 2017. 
  17. ^ Eligon, John (August 6, 2017). "Transgender African-Americans' Open Wound: 'We're Considered a Joke'". The New York Times. Retrieved October 3, 2017. 
  18. ^ Starr, Terrell Jermaine (August 1, 2017). "Trans Black Women Are Petitioning Charlamagne tha God Over Transphobic Comments on Show". The Root. Retrieved October 3, 2017. 

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