I have a great deal of respect for Charlamagne Tha God, former morning show host for 100.3 “The Beat” in Philadelphia. I met Charlamagne during my appearances on The Wendy Williams Experience, and he has respected me as a brother from the first day we met. That is why I was shocked and saddened to hear that Charlamagne was suddenly fired from the station this week.
It is not a surprise when a host gets fired from a radio show, since media is as fickle as a crack head in a candy store. You get a big platform one minute and it’s ripped out from under you the next. But what got my attention in the case of Charlamagne’s firing was the rumored reason that he might have gotten the axe.
There are many who are reporting that Charlamagne got yanked after doing an interview with Beanie Sigel, and allowing him to describe his diss track on Jay Z. If that is indeed the reason that Charlamagne got fired, I only have one thing to say: Jigga please.
To get Charlamagne fired for giving a voice to your enemy is like Kobe Bryant shooting the referee who forces him to guard Lebron James. If you can’t take on Beanie head to head or somehow feel that he has put you on blast, you should respond to the allegations like a man and not simply arrange for the firing of anyone who presents a dissenting perspective. It’s not as if Charlamagne said anything negative about you – he simply allowed people to hear from someone with an opinion that differs from your own. You are willing to let a man get fired for that? Dude, you need to get over yourself.
As powerful as Jay Z might think he is, the truth is that he can’t shut down the entire Internet. The irony and timing of Charlamagne’s firing created instant buzz, and Dime Wars has reported that an insider has confirmed that Jay-Z had a direct hand in the firing of Charlamagne. It is my greatest hope that Jay Z will reconsider and use his influence to help Charlamagne regain his position in radio. He might win the battle in this one, but he could possibly lose the war. Nobody wants to be labeled as a punk.
This is not the first time that Charlamagne has been in the middle of controversy, as he spent a lot of time next to Wendy Williams, a woman who was ostracized by half of the Hip-Hop community. Personally, I found Wendy to be a professional and gracious host, but I could honestly see why she had enemies. Wendy claims that Diddy played a role in getting her canned during the 1990s, but like a phoenix, she rose from the ashes.
Like his partner Wendy Williams, I am sure that Charlamagne will land on his feet, for he is a tremendous media talent. I also think that there is a lesson to learn about the power structure in entertainment: The entertainers don’t carry the weight; most of the weight is carried by people behind the scenes. When one looks at individuals like Jay-Z, Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry, you aren’t just seeing entertainers, you are seeing business moguls. Moguls protect their image at all costs, even if it is at the expense of free speech. If Jay Z did go after Charlemagne’s job for allowing him to be dissed, he is violating an important code of life: You don’t use your power to get respect, you must actually earn it. Charlamagne should still have his job.