I’m sure you all know who Charlamagne Tha God is and if you don’t know, well he is a TV, radio and social media personality who’s best known as one of the co-host of The Breakfast Club morning radio show alongside Queens’ own Dj Envy and Angela Yee.
I must admit that like many at first, I was not a fan of Charlamagne and after reading this book I don’t consider myself a fan but I see him with a different set of eyes and respect his hustle, drive to succeed but mostly his ability to stand on his truth and being unapologetic-ally for it. Something many claim and promote but very few actually exercise.
I met Charlamagne back in January before he published this book, at the Know Your Rights Camp event hosted by Colin Kapernick’s and his team, most of them from the Hot97 radio station, and it is no secret that Hot97 and Power 105 are rival radio stations and that specially Charlamagne is a non- grata person.
When I arrived at the event with my son, one of the first persons we spotted was Charlamagne, I knew who he was, my then 13 year old son had no clue. I was a bit shock to see him there knowing the background stories about the radio stations and Charlamagne. To my surprise he was incredibly welcoming and gracious to both my son and I and to all the attendants in general. He greeted everyone and took time to speak to the kids and the parents about the reason that brought us to the event.
As an adult, entrepreneur and woman who has been around all kinds of circles both corporate and social, his attitude impressed me. He knew he was not in a space where he was liked by many, but his focused was in the mission of the event and Colin’s organization and he made it be known. Although, you might of heard about an incident between him and Ebro Darden about Darden’s approach on behalf of Nessa requesting a picture together and Charlamagne’s declined for it, I must say that after hearing his response in the Joe Budden’s podcast and reading his book, he did exactly what he preached in his book Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It, he followed Principle 6: Live Your Truth: “Always live your truth. That way no one can use your truth against you. When you are completely honest about yourself and with yourself, you give zero fucks about anything anyone has to say about you, People can slander you all day, but no judgement or opinion formed against you shall prosper when you Live Your Truth.”
And the truth is he was not going to fake he was cool with Ebro when reality is they are not cool. Can’t be mad at that!
The entire books is about Charlamagne’s mantra of Living his Truth, he takes us from his upbringing at Moncks Corner, South Carolina to his arrival in New York without leaving any details behind. The book is divided in 8 principles that he has applied in this life. He doesn’t leave any details, from his abuse as a child, his father’s constant infidelities, how his mother was strict while raising him, his love for books and hip hop, how he sold drugs and did jail time twice, got kicked out of high school, how he was fired four times, his own cheating ways, his relationship with God and how he turned his life around and became a husband, father and radio personality.
I believe the idea behind the book is to empower this new generation to create opportunities for themselves constantly, to look further, to be open to learn , listen and be coachable, to not allow their race, heritage and upbringings limit their opportunities and be stuck in a box or stereotype.
As a Women, Mother, Latina, Entrepreneur, Dreamer and Doer this book resonated with me in its entirety. It was inspiring and in many occasions a reminder of lessons learned.
If you feel stuck and need a pick me up, this is the book to read. As a Mother who’s raising a brown boy in Trump’s America this book was necessary for me to read but also a book for my son to read. These are the stories that we must read to push us to break the barriers and stereotypes imposed on us.
I encourage everyone to read the book and push aside your personal feelings about Charlamagne if any, read it with an open mind and thank me later!
Below I share some of the lines that resonated with me through the book, Enjoy!
“In order to chase your dreams to their end, you must be very focused on getting inspiration where its available. Take books. Make sure, however, that you continue to explore books that don’t seem to directly connect with your experience. (…), there is incredible power in subjects that don’t seem to pertain you.”
“Design yourself. Construct your own dream. We have to stop thinking that just because we see something working spectacularly for someone else, that’s the only path available to us!”
“You should give zero fucks about any perceived losses in life as long as you learn something from them. Always look for the lesson in any situation you think didn’t go your way. Understand that your plan isn’t necessarily also God’s plan for you.”
“Success is a process: there are no cheat codes, no life hacks, no shortcuts, and no half steps. Opportunity always comes before money, but sadly a lot of us don’t recognize it unless there’s a paycheck attached. Don’t make that mistake. When you’re just starting out, put yourself in the position to be a part of the process, and THEN get that money!!!”
“Measure your success by the opportunities you’re presented with and the opportunities you’re creating for others, not the amount of zeros in your paycheck. When that’s your sole measurement, you’re going to come up short in the end,”If you don’t, then they don’t mean anything.”
My Experience with MUSA
The most beautiful part about this group is the collective interest from each of us to excel and achieve our personal goals as a group, for our stories to be told and for these stories to find a home. We are constantly sharing writing/publishing opportunities among the members to apply for, articles, videos and tips that will help us in our respective genres and we are always ready to give feedback to one another so that the final work is polished and ready to submit.