Charlamagne tha God (born Lenard McKelvey) has made a name for himself as one of the most powerful and controversial voices on the radio today. He’s been known to always speak his mind and to never apologize for who he is.
On the next episode of TV One’s Uncensored, Charlamagne is giving fans an in-depth look into where he came from, where he is he now, and how he got there. During the episode, he opens up about his discipline-oriented upbringing, how he earned his first shot in the entertainment industry, and the steps he took to conquer radio.
Charlamagne explains that he grew up in a poor community, where few people had the money to think past their day-to-day lives.“I do come from a small town,” he says of his early years. “A lot of us weren’t thinking past that dirt road. If it wasn’t for books and music I wouldn’t know what other world existed out there.”
He candidly speaks about his decision to get involved in illegal activities, which eventually led to both he and his father, Larry Thomas McKelvey (who also appears in the episode), spending a weekend together in prison. “It’s really a slap in the face and a stain to the whole family that father and son is in the same cell,” McKelvey says of the experience. “I told him that we going to have to make a change here in our life.”
The radio personality, indeed, managed to change his life in a big way. After several attempts at making a name for himself on the South Carolina airwaves, he moved to New York City in hopes that — believe it or not — Wendy Williams would give him a shot. “She saw me, she was excited to see me and she was like, ‘Yo come on my show tomorrow,’” he remembers. “Got to the station, I went up to WBLS and was there for like 25 minutes, and that night Kev was offering me a position as her co-host.”
Ultimately, he was fired from Williams’s show and nearly quit radio altogether. But that wasn’t in God’s plan. “After being unemployed for a year, the next position I got was with The Breakfast Club,” he says. The rest, as they say, is history.
Check out an all new episode of Uncensored on TV One this Sunday at 10/9C.
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