Charlamagne’s new book, Black Privilege is 285 pages of pure, almost brutal honesty. While I wouldn’t have expected anything less of the radio host who infamously called Mr. West “Kanye Kardashian”, I applaud his ability to admit his defeats, overcome his downfalls and be open about how they influenced his views and lifestyle today. Cha Tha God became Cha Tha Regular Guy to me after reading his memoir. Being human is a rarity in Celebrity-ism, so I am thankful that Charlamagne took the time to enlighten all of us, once again.
As I have regularly admired Charlamagne for his honesty in the Hip Hop world, some of his open-book persona was a bit distracting. Charlamagne is (or was) no doubt, the King of Pussy. It’s clear from his remarks that he has handfuls of conquests, but I don’t believe the reminder of his track record needed to be in every chapter. I am no feminist nor was I offended by his determination to perfect the art of giving women head, but I was much more interested in his belief that internships are key and manners matter.
However, Black Privilege is a refreshing, not-so-subtle reminder that this generation, MY Generation is mostly made up of lazy entitled kids (and now adults). I don’t think in that argument Charlamagne was speaking to any one person or race, but was specific in saying black kids call themselves everything but men. Charlamagne’s overall message is no matter who you are, what you look like or what you believe in – if you are working for it, good things will come. For the percentage of us who spend hours and even years trying to perfect our craft or trying to determine if we are even good at something (as Charlamagne pointed out he sucks at rapping), we need to keep our head high because in the long run, our determination and hard work will be more beneficial compared to the overnight sensations, aka the Reality stars.
I greatly needed this book more than I thought that I did. In today’s age, finding genuine people to build professional relationships with is becoming increasingly difficult. Or perhaps it’s always been difficult. Social media is a devil none of us saw coming and it’s only hindering the way we see each other’s lives. Because of the unrealness Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow, I appreciate the way Black Privilege reminded me that some people who have “made it” are still humans and approachable to explain how they got where they are today, even if their first few chapters are messy. Charlamagne reminded me that something so simple as introducing yourself and shaking someone’s hand can get you far, because you never know where you or that person are headed. Anything is possible.
Three takeaways from Black Privilege:
- Learn to put the weed in the bag before you get the money! Spend the time learning your craft and developing sets of skills before believing you deserve to be with the big shots who have been in your industry for 20+ years.
- “Fuck your feelings”, sometimes you just need honesty to propel you forward.
- Never give up on your core. If you are passionate about something, don’t walk away from it because it’s “not cool” or you think it’s impossible. Your core will keep you in balance and when revisiting your core beliefs, they will help to realign you when you’ve fallen off the path.
I would definitely recommend Black Privilege to anyone who can understand smaller stories that make up a bigger picture. Similarly to Kendrick Lamar, you have to actually listen to the words he’s spitting, not just vibe with the beat. Same goes for Charlamagne’s book. Listen to what he is saying and run with it, don’t just read this book and forget about his message.