Lenard McKelvey knows he’s “a slightly obnoxious person” and that’s exactly why he’s so popular on the radio, reports Jacob Bernstein in The New York Times (12/12/13). “I don’t even think about it,” Lenard says. “I just like to have conversations with people.” If you’ve never heard of Lenard, that might be because his radio name is Charlamagne Tha God. If you still haven’t heard of him it’s because – well, who knows? It’s most certainly not because he went viral recently after confronting Kanye West as a hypocrite, calling him a “walking contradiction.” (link)
“You denounce corporations at the same time as you get onstage and need Nike and Adidas to back you,” he told Kanye, on-air. Kanye’s response: “I take the opportunity to look as stupid as possible.” Charlamagne also referred to his guest as “Kanye Kardashian” and “dismissed his new album … as ‘wack’.” Kayne seemed okay with it. “They want this man to throw them blows,” he says. “They’re waiting for Charlamagne to tap these gloves and go at ‘Ye. So let’s go.” But as Vanessa Satten of XXL, a hip-hop magazine says, celebrity interviews are “not usually antagonistic.”
Lenard has a long history of antagonism, having been “in and out of jail” several times on drug- and weapon-related charges. He finally straightened out, going to night school and getting an internship at a radio station, eventually making his way on-air. His radio name is a vestige of his former life. He used the psudonym ‘Charles’ when he dealt crack, and came across Charlemagne (Charles The Great) in a book at night school. He misspelled the name, added “Tha God” for good measure, and was on his way.