Charlamagne The God is in the hot seat before the microphone, opening up about mental health, embracing self-awareness and the stigma around the topic in the hip-hop community.
The American co-host of Radio 105.1 show Breakfast Club is promoting his latest book Shook one: Anxiety playing tricks on me, out today. He hadn’t planned a “Black Privilege” follow-up, although the New York Times bestseller had publishers waving big checks at him.
Charlamagne Tha God explained to Genius: “Last year, I was sitting on one of my favourite islands of Anguilla and I was with all my friends and family sitting by the pool and I had this really serene feeling, I wanted to bottle that up.”
During that time, the radio personality, who doesn’t hold his tongue for anyone, was doing therapy to battle anxiety and keeping a journal through the journey which paved the way for his next idea.
“Shook one: Anxiety playing tricks on me”, a vivid praise to Mobb Deep and Geto Boys, presents the vulnerable side of CTG as a fluid flow of intimate thoughts, and experiences fighting demons, dark secrets and dramatic events.
At the end of every chapter, Dr. Ish Major, a mental health therapist who graduated from South Carolina University, gives clinical correlations to the radio personality’s feelings, who has been clinically diagnosed with anxiety and PTSD almost a decade earlier.
The author cares to highlight this is nothing like a self-help book, indeed he rather prefers to break the boundaries around the uncomfortable topic and raise awareness so that more people can discover whether there is an healthier lifestyle for themselves.
To Genius, Charlamagne Tha God said: “In this DNA age, people have anxiety for all sorts of reasons, people are buzzing just like their phone, because of constant social media updates, comments and tweets. When I first started having panic attacks and my anxiety was through the roof, there was this stigma of the alpha male, above all within the black community. I thought because of the lifestyle I had, it was normal to be paranoid and songs like Scarface, My Mind Playing Tricks On Me, and Tupac, Dear Mama, normalised my feelings. Hustling days brought all the b******* for almost half of my life.”
For the modern generation, the opinionated music pundit wishes to eradicate the culture of self-help via drugs, he admitted to often consuming to keep his feelings quiet. He wants to encourage people to openly accept the struggle and seek the help of an expert.
Of his journey,Charlamagne Tha God says he still hasn’t reached the light at the end of the tunnel but it has improved his creativity and strengthen the work ethic.
Words: Federica Riondino | Subbing: Millie Richardson