July 2, 2009

Charlamagne Tha God - Who Does That on Hip Hop Radio

Who holds down a morning radio shift in a major market and doesn't do crank and prank phone calls? Who doesn't have three, four or even five sidekicks fighting over the microphone. Who doesn't constantly talk about who's hot in the "streetz" as if being up the record companies' behind is a requirement for compelling radio content? (Drake is hot, Nah Lil' Wayne. Rick Ross, Nah Jamie Foxx is dope... Although I can't seem to find any young people in their 20's who like any of that stuff that the record companies are pushing out there; so it must be teenagers and suburban kids who are supporting this misogynistic, oversexed and violent form of hip hop.) Who in all of radio land doesn't make their listeners feel like they're eavesdropping on a bad to so-so comedy routine or an episode of Maury every morning.

As the video clip shows, Charlamagne, at 29, is young in the radio game and is doing something different as host of the The Morning Beat at 100.3 WPHI. In the studios are Charlamagne, DJ Touchtone, a music mixer, and a once an hour entertainment report from Kendra G, the evening jock at the station.

Let's not forget his co-hosts. The listeners who call in and are an integral and interactive part of the show ...Who does that? Using social media effectively to bring interesting content to the show ...Who does that? telling parents not to worry about his show because he's going to let your daughters know they need to stay away from the Lil' Wayne form of hip hop ...Who does that? Tells Cassie that she's coming off desperate in her latest music project; tells new artist Jeremih that he needs to do a remix to "Birthday Sex" to tell people to use condoms ...Who does that? and emphatically tells the listening audience that the BET Awards sucked instead of trying to tell the audience not to believe their lying eyes; and tells us about North Korea having missiles aimed at Hawaii, WHAT? ...who does that?

Charlamagne is unique in the way that Petey Greene, the legendary radio and TV personality from the streets of Washington, DC was able to tell it like it was no matter whose feathers were ruffled. I definitely give Operations Manager Elroy Smith credit for choosing Charlamagne to head up the morning Beat after a few months without a host. I'm sure Radio One corporate folks wanted to place Rickey Smiley out of Dallas in Philadelphia especially after the departure of Miss Jones. They did replace the local shows in Atlanta and Baltimore with Smiley.

Checking out his tweets on Twitter gives an insight in the mind of Charlamagne and why his brand of radio is needed so desperately in the whole landscape of urban media through radio and music. Charlamagne gives it to us real and who does that anymore?

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