Charlamagne tha God
Lenard Larry McKelvey (born June 29, 1980), known professionally as Charlamagne tha God, is an American radio presenter, television personality, and author. 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 was 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.
Charlamagne tha God
Charlamagne tha God in August 2014
Lenard Larry McKelvey
June 29, 1980
|Show||The Breakfast Club (co-host)|
|Time slot||6:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.|
McKelvey was born to Larry Thomas McKelvey and his wife on June 29, 1980, and grew up in Moncks Corner, South Carolina. 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.
After being released from the county jail, McKelvey began attending night school and eventually got a job as a radio intern. 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". 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. 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.
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. 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. He currently stars and hosts MTV2 show Uncommon Sense with Charlamagne tha God. He currently narrates the BET Show, Inside the Label.
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. The book was ranked sixth in the May 7, 2017, New York Times list of best-selling hardback non-fiction. McKelvey's second book, Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me was released on October 23, 2018.
Charlamagne is considered a controversial figure in the world of radio due to his willingness to ask personal questions and his open criticism of musicians, athletes and other media personalities. Charlamagne's direct criticism of guests during interviews has resulted in numerous altercations and arguments on air.
Rapper Birdman walked out of his interview with The Breakfast Club on April 22, 2016, after just over two minutes, claiming the hosts, specifically Charlamagne, were not "putting respect on his name". Birdman was angry at the hosts allowing artists such as Trick Daddy and Rick Ross to appear on the show and make disparaging remarks about him. Charlamagne questioned why Birdman was angry at him and not the artists themselves, and Birdman left the interview after just over two minutes. The interview went viral and resulted in numerous memes based on the incident. It is the shortest interview in Breakfast Club history.
In the summer of 2014, hip-hop group Onyx appeared on The Breakfast Club. Tensions rose between member Fredro Starr and Charlamagne after Charlamagne brought up Starr allegedly receiving oral sex from singer Brandy Norwood. Starr responded by branding Charlamagne a "pussy", and made reference to Charlamagne being attacked on camera outside of the Power 105.1 building. Starr was eventually calmed down by fellow Onyx member Sticky Fingaz, and eventually finished the interview, however, the resulting video went viral, and led to Starr becoming the face of The Breakfast Club's "P.O. Meter", a running joke used to measure guest's perceived anger.
On October 11, 2016, rapper Beanie Sigel appeared on The Breakfast Club to conduct an interview. Sigel grew annoyed with Charlamagne's perceived attempts at escalating the feud between himself and Meek Mill, complaining that Charlamagne was "harping on the issue". Charlamagne branded Siegel a hypocrite, who responded by saying he felt Charlamagne was a "sucker" for letting Fredro Starr disrespect him live on air, and criticised him for making rapper Lil Mama cry, calling him a coward. Siegel threatened to walk out numerous times before eventually finishing the interview. The subsequent video went viral.
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.
- South Crack: The Album (2008)
|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||Hood State of Union||Himself|
|2013||The Week in Jams||Himself||Host in along with DJ Envy & Sofi Green|
|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, 2015||Wild 'N Out||Himself||3 episodes|
|2014||Ride Along||Cop||Cameo appearance|
|2015||Catfish: The TV Show||Himself||1 episode|
|2015–present||Uncommon Sense with Charlamagne||Himself||Host|
|2017||Grow House||Black Jesus||Acting debut|
- "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.
- Bell, Crystal (March 5, 2014). "Charlamagne Tha God: 5 Things You Didn't Know About the Shock-Jock". Wetpaint. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
- Bernstein, Jacob (December 11, 2013). "Charlamagne Tha God: Keeping a Hot Seat Warm". The New York Times. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
- Vozick-Levinson, Simon (February 5, 2014). "Meet Hip-Hop's Howard Stern: Charlamagne tha God". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
- Lehrman, Jessica (May 3, 2016). "Tha God of Radio". Vulture. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
- Ng, Philiana (December 4, 2013). "MTV2 Renews 'Charlamagne & Friends' for Season 2 (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
- 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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "Music: Listen to Free Music, Watch New Music Videos | MTV Asia". Music.mtvasia.com. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
- "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.
- "Charlamagne puts his 'Uncommon Sense' to good use on TV and social media". Cynopsis Media. July 5, 2015.
- Kurutz, Steven (April 17, 2017). "Charlamagne Tha God Puts His Straight Talk in a Book". The New York Times.
- "Hardcover Nonfiction Books - Best Sellers". The New York Times. May 7, 2017. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
- Charlamagne tha God (2018). Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me. Atria Books. ISBN 1501193252. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
- "Lil Duval Jokes About Murdering Transgender Women, Leads To 'The Breakfast Club' Boycott". Essence. July 31, 2017. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
- Eligon, John (August 6, 2017). "Transgender African-Americans' Open Wound: 'We're Considered a Joke'". The New York Times. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
- 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.