For nearly two hours, Charlamagne Tha God sat with Kanye West in presumably a wing of his Calabasas home that he shares with wife Kim and their children. The Power 105.1 host and the entertainer spoke in depth about mental health, his issues with JAY-Z and his recent political philosophies all which center around race in America. The two conducted their lengthy interview in West’s pristine white home showing viewers the only splashes of color ironically in the house was Charlamagne and Mr. West.
Filmed on April 18 and released May 1–weeks before Kanye proudly photographed himself wearing a red Make America Great Again hat, and hours before he infamously said slavery was a choice, West spoke calmly and at times clearly about his current state in life, and in the same breath, offered bizarre and sometimes non-sensical statements and explanations. The outcome left fans and viewers at a crossroads of whether or not Mr. West turned a disappointing and unexpected corner, or if the man, who boldly created “Jesus Walks,” “Blood on The Leaves” and proudly rapped about the sit-ins his grandfather and mother participated in, is still alive and can be saved.
Everyone seemed to have an opinion on Mr. West. Die hard Yeezy fans had to defend their beloved against the Internet who proudly issued the Internet’s most resounding canceling notice, while members on the right side of the political aisle praised him for bold commentary. One of the few people who didn’t speak was Charlamagne.
The Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes To Those Who Create It author stopped by the Vibe offices Wednesday (May 2) to discuss his personal thoughts on his now number one viewed YouTube interview. While Charlamagne believes Ye isn’t worth canceling just yet, but he does admit the father of three needs to be monitored. For about 30 minutes, Charlamagne spoke honestly about his admiration and his fear of what may happen if the culture truly loses Mr. West to the dark side.
On How He Approached The Interview:
My approach to talking to everybody nowadays is just to have a conversation. One thing I’ve realized is that you never know what people are going through anymore. Even if you have an opinion, you can express your opinion but I strive to do it more respectfully nowadays. Only because I see myself on the other side sometimes too, and I’m looking at things people say about me and I’m like that’s not true. It’s not anything that I brush off. Me, I’m just like ‘Why doesn’t that person just reach out to me?’ Or, ‘I wish I could have a conversation with this person because social media didn’t do it.’ You can send somebody a message on social media and they not even paying that no attention. They just hyped off the fact you replied to them. Then it becomes a s**t-show for their followers. It’s kind of pointless. I just wanted to have a conversation with him because last we heard from him, he had a mental breakdown, a breakthrough in his words. To me, that’s something I take serious. By the way, this was April 18, so this was before the whole ‘I love Trump’ and MAGA hat. I did hear him say that he wanted to vote for Trump, but I wanted to know why.
On If Kanye Had A Black Wife:
I was saying that earlier. Absolutely, because a Shenequa is going to bust him upside his head. It’s funny because I literally just said that in an interview. They asked me something about Kim like, ‘Does Kim have any say in this? Can Kim take his phone?’ It sounds like your saying Kanye needs a black woman. His aunt, his grandmother, or somebody needs to come take his phone and bust him upside his head and say, ‘Sit down somewhere.’ That’s how I grew up. Black women would tell me, ‘Sit your a** down somewhere.’ And if you didn’t sit down, they were going to sit you down. I think that’s exactly what he needs. He needs someone to sit his a** down for a second. It’s okay to be still. It’s like I feel like he’s getting a lot of information because a lot of it is new to him, especially in the political arena. So he’s getting a lot of information but he’s not giving himself a chance to digest it, understand it process it before you just take it and spit it back to the world.
On What Kanye’s Album Sounds Like:
It is old Ye production. He played me [“Lift Yourself”] in the studio and I was like, ‘What the f**k is this?’ I couldn’t even hear the words. He said, ‘That was just the reference,’ and then he was like, ‘That is the words.’ I didn’t even process that one. I think the music is good. I don’t know if it was ‘slavery was a choice’ good, or walking around with a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat good, because now the expectations are way too high. You have to have some fire music if you’re going to be out here supporting Donald Trump and think that black people will still support you. It’s good, it’s really great. It’s got its old chopped soul samples that we like from Ye, Teyana Taylor has some amazing music. Pusha T has some dope music, he played me a lot of dope stuff, but once again that was on April 18, a lot of things have changed. People don’t just take your music anymore, people remember how you make them feel. Right now Kanye not making people feel good. So if that person is not making you feel good, when you listen to their music you’re not going to receive it as well as you would have if you were judging it from a more positive perspective. Like I said, I don’t know if it’s ‘slavery was a choice’ good or ‘Make America Great Again’ hat good, but it’s really good music.
On Why We Can’t Afford To Lose Kanye:
You can definitely be cancelled. Bill Cosby is proof of that. You can absolutely, positively be cancelled, but I don’t think Kanye should be cancelled yet. I think that everybody should be all hands on deck if you care. There’s nothing wrong with not caring either. Black people aren’t monolithic people. I personally feel that Kanye means too much to the culture. He means too much to the culture and he has too much influence. I think I read an article earlier today and there were these Alt-Right groups applauding what he said. When you have somebody with that big of a gun, you have to teach them how to shoot. I think right now, he’s not armed with the proper information. I want him to sit down with Michael Eric Dyson, I want him to continue to have conversations with Min. Louis Farrakhan, I want him to talk to somebody like Killer Mike. Go sit down and to people who actually have knowledge on these situations.