Review of "Black Privilege" - by Charlamagne Tha God + Event Recap
Alright, so I'm pretty sure you can guess by the title of this post what it's going to be about. I recently was able to get my hands on one of the most talked about books of our generation "Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It" by the self proclaimed "Prince of Pissing People Off" co-host of Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club, Charlamagne Tha God.
I've been a fan of The Breakfast Club for some time now all because of Charlamagne. I love his approach in interviews and the fact that he doesn't hold his tongue for anyone. It's refreshing when people in the industry aren't fake or kissing ass just because it will help them get to the next level. It's genuine and that's all I strive to be as I continue this climb to my dreams. Well if you know me, then you know that to a certain extent I have that same mentality as him when it comes to saying how I feel. So, when I found out he wrote a book, I just HAD to read it. My sister actually bought the book first so I told myself once she was done I would just snag it for free 99 and that's what I did. When I went home for Thanksgiving I made sure to bring the book back to New York with me!
I always say that "Everything Happens for a Reason", right? Well, tell me why was I scrolling down my Instagram yesterday, in the airport, and saw that The Creative Collective NYC is putting on an event with Charlamagne Tha God where he will be there to speak about creating your own opportunities!!! It's crazy how things work! I definitely copped a ticket before they got sold out in a matter of minutes. So now, I'm on a mission to finish his book before the event which will take place on Dec. 13th! I decided to create a post highlighting the different things I learn with each principle he discusses. Then, my ultimate goals is to end this series of posts with a picture with tha god himself and hopefully a video recapping the event.
PRINCIPLE 1: It's Not the Size of the Pond but the Hustle in the Fish
In this first principle, we get the opportunity to learn the background story of Charlamagne (Lenard "Larry" McKelvey)! He was born in a small town in South Carolina, to a teacher and hustler. They lived in a double wide off a dirt road and didn't have all the money in the world but yet he still knew he would be someone. After falling in love with hip hop and seeing people from his hometown making it out with full rides to D-1 institutions, he realized that it doesn't matter where you're from or what you grew up having. As long as you have a dream matched with a hustling spirit you can do anything you set your mind to!
Krys Translation: No matter if you're from the hood, grew up in a single parent home, had a kid at a early age or didn't graduate college, if you want something in life you will do whatever it takes to get there. There are so many successful business owners who didn't grow up with a silver spoon in their mouth. Yet, they knew they wanted more in life and they worked hard to get there. To put things in perspective for you: Steve Jobs didn't graduate college and yet he created one of the most widely used devices/software of our time.
PRINCIPLE 2: PYP ( Pick Your Passion, Poison or Procrastination)
In this principle, Charlamagne talks about his life from elementary school to high school and the different life changing situations he experienced all due to to the choices he decided to make. From getting failed grades and getting expelled from school, to selling weed and crack, to being locked up multiple times and even once with his dad; all of those situations were a result of the choices he decided to make. In life, you have 3 P's to choose from when it comes to living.
Passion, which leads to prosperity. When you focus on your passion, whether it's creating your own brand, starring in a movie or developing a cure for cancer; you will do whatever it takes to accomplish your dreams. You're choosing to be great and with hard work and dedication you will be just that!
Poison, which leads to pain. When you focus on the the negative things, or do things that have the potential to lead to trouble, whether it's drugs, steal or even kill, you are choosing to destroy your life.
Procrastination which leads no where. These are choices you make that have no positive effect on your dreams instead they cause you to be idle. For instance, working on a job for years that you don't love or dreaming but not putting action towards it. Doing this is just as bad as the poison because it doesn't enable you to grow.
PRINCIPLE 3: Fuck Your Dreams
In this principle, we learn about what Charlamagne thought his true purpose in life was. Although he knew he wasn't good at it, he had convinced himself that rapping was going to be his way out of Moncks Corner. He was spending his time perfecting a craft that wasn't meant for him to perfect. He had a group and was in the studio faithfully, yet he sucked! It took someone he looked up to and admired dearly, Dr. Evans, to tell him to "Fuck that dream..." Instead, focus on what you're actually good at and then, you'll make it.
Krys Translation: Be realistic with yourself when it comes to what you believe your end goal in life is. Really assess your talents and abilities before going all in with a "dream". Yes, you may like doing your hair but is this because you're cheap and don't want to spend the money or is it because you actually have the skills to do so? Don't sugarcoat it. Because the worst thing you can do is chase a dream that isn't really yours in the first place!
PRINCIPLE 4: There are No Losses, Only Lesson
In this principle we are introduced to how Charlamagne got his start in radio. Starting off in his hometown, then traveling to NYC and to Philly his journey was definitely an uphill battle. He got fired from not one but four of his jobs; some due to his mouth and others were out of his control. No matter the case, it was hard. Not to mention, a child was now introduced into the mix! But, Charlamagne didn't let any of those "losses", as people might call them, hinder him. Instead, he used each experience as a lesson. And used everything he learned to get him to the next!
Krys Translation: Don't look at every failure or loss as the end of the world. As I always say, everything happens for a reason. So know that God has a plan and as Charlamagne stated: "God always got the latest GPS update." Trust him! Use every experience as a lesson to better equip you for what is to come!
PRINCIPLE 5: Put The Weed in The Bag
In this principle, Charlamagne preaches that in order for you to be successful and get to where you want to be in life, you must put the time in first. He quotes a line from Belly, where Tommy Burns (DMX) told a couple of hustlers to "Learn how to put the weed in the bag first...Then get money!" Which means, that there are no get rich quick schemes when it comes to success. You must first put in the work and actually grind to get the reward that you want. When it came to his career there was times he had to work for free. But the experience he gained in the process enabled him to land bigger gigs that paid more than he could imagine. Two of the keys he touched on that stood out to me where:
Take Advantage of Internships. And while you're there, don't just do the bare minimum. Instead take it serious and really get as much as you can out of it. Go the extra mile and be a valuable player because you never know what can transpire from it.
Put Yourself On. There is no better way to get your work out there than by creating your own platform to be heard. So be proactive and do just that. Don't wait for someone to give you a job, create your own opportunity.
Krys Translation: In order to get where you want in your career you must truly grind. This doesn't mean to put in work for a few months, but actually grind. It make take years, but when you're consistent with your work it will show! For me, when it comes to freelancing it means that some styling gigs, I may have to do for free. And no matter what, I must still give 110% because it can lead to something better. Also, I took this principle as a sign that when it comes to my social life, especially at this point in my career, it doesn't need to be a priority. My main focus is elevating in with my brand.
PRINCIPLE 6: Live Your Truth
In this principle, Charlamagne tells us about his "Let me get a drop" moment. The infamous video that leaked of some guys trying to jump him outside of Power. He could've lied about the event and made it bigger than it was, or boasted on how he whopped up on the guys, but instead he told the truth. Doing so allowed him to get ahead of the jokes from the blogs and any other bystanders. Ultimately, he wanted us to know that as long as you live in your truth, accept your flaws and be honest with yourself and others you will live a happier life!
Krys Translation: You have to learn how to laugh at yourself, clown yourself, and accept your flaws in order to truly be able to thrive in society. Everyone has something they are insecure about. No one is perfect. Accept it. Love it. Move on.
PRINCIPLE 7: Give People the Credit They Deserve for Being Stupid
In this principle, Charlamagne told us how always wanting to learn and understanding that you don't know it all, is the key to excelling in life. We often times judge people who don't look like us or who don't have a lot of notable rewards. We think that they aren't qualified to give us advice. Yet, in all honesty, they may be the most qualified. Charlamagne really wanted us to know that we should always seek knowledge because we are never to smart or too successful to learn.
PRINCIPLE 8: Access Your Black Privilege
In this principle, Charlamagne wants us to know that as a people, we are not a victim of the white man. Instead we are gods and we hold power that no man can take from us! We should understand that we have the talents within us to be whatever you want to be. And with faith, hard work and dedication, God will allow all your dreams to come true. Just believe! And always remember that we are all kings and queens.
Krys Translation: The main thing I took from this principle is that we should not continue to use the fact that we are black to hinder us from getting what we want. Yes, we may have to work harder for things and yes we may get overlooked. But, they say nothing worth having is easy. So enjoy the journey, accept the struggle and continue to kick ass as the amazing person you are!
#CREATIVEGENIUS Cono with Charlamagne Tha God
The event was amazing! I was able to sit front row and soak up all the gems that Charlamagne offered that night. It was surreal to be able to listen and actually know what he was referring to, being that I just read the book. He was so real, humble and very motivational. While I wasn't able to snag a picture with, I was able to get one with my fav Kela Walker and I got Charlamagne to sign my sisters book! So, all in all it was a great night! Check out my recap below for some of the gems that he dropped during his conversations!