Black Privilege: Everything You Need Know About Lenard Mckelvey (Alias Charlamagne)
Will He Give Us “Donkey Of The Day” For This Review?
Black Privilege: An Autobiography/Self improvement Book About Lenard Mckelvey, The Most Loved/Hated Radio Personality Ever!
It was hard to know exactly what to expect from “Black Privilege“, I think the first shocking thing I’ve learned is the fact that the “Donkey Of Day” radio personality ‘s real name is Lenard Mckelvey. If you didn’t figure out yet, this autobiography & self-improvement book we will talk about today is authored by the one and only Charlamagne Tha God.
Through his work at the Breakfast Club and his Uncommon Sense show on MTV, some might believe that he had it easy but the book actually reveals the incredible journey he had to go through to be in this position.
When you dig deeper than the controversial moments that are his signature, you’ll understand that Lenard Mckelvey alias Charlamagne tha God is all about one thing : the raw truth.
I’ve read the book from cover to cover and it left me shocked and curious at the same time. Today, we will share with you some of the insights and revelations that Charlamagne Tha God implimented in his book.
1.Lenard Mckelvey Was Once A Drug Dealer And Also Got Incarcerated A Few Times
I think he always came clean about his past but to actually read the unfiltered details about it made me respect the man even more. His words about his teenage years as a thug painted a vivid image in the reader’s mind.
He sold crack mostly because he embraced the lifestyle that goes with it and he wanted to follow the steps of his older cousins. He said that he was actually destined to be a nerdy guy but the influence of his peers made him take that route.
Living in a country area in South Carolina called Moncks Corner, Lenard Mckelvey alias Charlamagne found himself caught up between his desire to be himself and the need fit in his environment (something we can all relate to right?).
He also mentions that Hip Hop made it look cool for him to carry weapons or being the street hustler. Since he was a hardcore fan of Hip Hop; he felt he was being a part of the culture.
Throughout the book, he didn’t glorify that part of his life because it eventually led him to being incarcerated. One of his friend actually shot his gun at two other guys. Charlamagne happened to be in the car when all of this happened and he got caught in a serious murder attempt case.
Looking back at this episode of his life, Charlamagne reflects intensely about what the future holds for anybody involved in street life. He doesn’t hesitate to call out the pitfalls and dumb stuff that surrounds street life and delivers a clear guideline on how to avoid to fall in that trap.
2. Living In A Small Town Is Not A Handicap To Your Success
The Uncommon Sense host painted a realistic portrait of what life in South Carolina looked like in general. He used to live in a trailer park, chase snakes around and there wasn’t a real success story to be inspired from in his town at all.
Throughout the book, he kept citing the lyrics of Rakim :
it ain’t where you‘re from, it’s where you‘re at-Rakim
Tha God explains that listening to Hip Hop provided him a larger view of the world. Rappers would always create lyrics that depict their environment, the cities they come from or their neighborhood. In return this will ultimately push Lenard Mckelvey to discover those places they rapped about.
From that point, he knew there was probably more for him outside of his city but he knew he had to make the most out of it first and then expand (major key as Khaled would say).
He started off as a rapper at first until somebody gave him the “talk”. His mentor of the time told him that rapping wasn’t his thing at all and since he had a natural gift for radio, this is what he should focus on.
One thing led to another, Charlamagne moved to different radio stations in the south until he had the opportunity to come to New York as Wendy Willams’ co-host (Although they only offered him a place to stay at that time).
I think the key there is to always remember that your environment can’t determine you unless you decide to. Limiting yourself involves that you are less receptive to the potential opportunities you have and eventually you close the doors before you even got a foot in.
3. F**ck Your Dreams If They’re Not YOUR Dreams
That part of the book really resonated with me, I had many quote on quote “dreams” that have never manifested themselves although I desired them immensely.
I wanted to be a rapper but I was too shy to perform on stage, I wanted to be a club promoter but I lacked the social skills at the time. I wanted to be a surgeon but my hands were shaking too much (those “All You Can Drink” nights had catch up I guess).
I felt connected to Charlamagne because that’s exactly what he was going through. Although radio seemed to be the perfect fit for him, he wanted the limelight and the lifestyle he had seen time and time again from his favourite rappers.
The radio personality explains that, although you have the potential do it big to some extent, only Jay-Z can be Jay-Z or only Michael Jordan can be Michael Jordan. It was a huge reminder for anybody who wish to be successful to not take certain career decisions only based on the success or results of others.
He explains that you have to find your own truth or gift and then work on it as hard as you can so THEN you’ll be the Jay-Z of whatever you’re trying to do in a particular field.
Black Privilege is really a sort of to do list for anybody who wish to be successful regardless if it’s in the entertainment industry or not. He doesn’t discourage people, he’s just being brutally honest (what else did you expect?)
4-Black Privilege Will Help You To Stick To Your Own Truth
One thing that really stood out to me in this book, is the fact that Charlamagne insists a lot on being honest regardless if people like your opinion or not.
At work, with our friends, family or in social gatherings; we found ourselves in situations where lying seems the best option to fit in.
Well in case you didn’t notice, Lenard Mckelvey can careless if you appreciate his opinions or not and that’s exactly what made him either the guy you hate or the guy you love.
In the book, there are hilarious references where he explains how being honest got him in tensed situations with acts like Buffie The Booty (his first viral interview ever), Kanye West, Birdman and many more as you know.
The message was very clear: if you feel or think a certain way, don’t lie about it. People will eventually praise for your honesty or fire you a couple of times like Charlamagne got fired from different radio stations because of his opinions ( four times to be exact!).
The key there is to stay true to yourself.
5-In Black Privilege Many People Got Served With The “Donkey Of The Day” Treatment
I knew that Charlamagne was a savage, I think his work at the Breakfast Club made it obvious! Well that same raw and opinionated approach was reflected directly in Black Privilege.
The radio personality addressed a lot of quarrels he had in his career from people in his local town to the high profile artists he deals with on a regular basis. He called out Mase for being hypocrite when he did the switch from rapper to pastor then gangster rapper again (things almost got physical).
“If you don’t have anything nice to say- say it anyway”
― Charlamagne Tha God,
He finally spoke publicly about what might have been the cause of his fall out with Wendy Williams. He recalls his on going battle with FunkMaster Flex that allegedly led to him being attacked near his radio station ( the phrase “Can I get a drop?” will probably haunt him for a few years again).
In Black Privilege, no one was spared but it also revealed certain aspects of the industry that happens behind closed doors. Ultimately you realize that being true to yourself and your opinions comes with the price of making a few enemies in the process.
Discover Charlamagne aka Lenard Mckelvey On A New Perspective For Yourself!
You definitely have a lot to learn from the man itself especially now the it seems like his career is on a rocket trajectory. You’ll get a clear picture of his life story and many powerful insights on how to make it to the next level.
Black Privilege was a great reading experience, easy to read, brutality honest and full of insights. Have a good read and let us know your opinion as soon as you got your hands on it!