Charlamagne Tha God Speaks Up For America’s Veterans on Comedy Central Show “Tha God’s Honest Truth”
Lenard “Charlamagne Tha God” McKelvey is fast becoming the voice of the people. Originally the brains behind hip hop’s most iconic radio show, “The Breakfast Club,” Charlamagne has ventured into television, to produce and host, “Tha God’s Honest Truth with Charlamagne Tha God.” The late-night television show is Comedy Central’s finest attempt at experimenting with a show that highlights the political and social landscape of the USA with Charlamagne’s signature style.
Charlamagne began his journey as an intern at radio station Z93 Jamz. His tenacity and high-flier attitude allowed him to build up from small on-air stints to founding his brainchild, The Breakfast Club, alongside co-hosts Angela Yee and DJ Envy in 2010. The Breakfast Club went on to become hip hop’s most successful radio show and was recently inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame. Charlamagne’s secret to success always remained one thing: his relentless attitude when it came to chasing the truth and placing it in front of his audience, raw and unfiltered. This led to the radio show reaching unassailable heights in hip hop stardom.
“Tha God’s Honest Truth” features Charlamagne’s unapologetic take on social issues with deep dives, sketches, and social experiments. The show’s first episode, “Decrackerfication” took no time in calling out American hypocrisy concerning the rise of white supremacy. Filled with witty one-liners and Charlamagne’s signature cocktail of truths, the episode takes viewers on a journey down memory lane. Comparing the “De-Nazification” of a Post-World War 2 Germany to present-day America, he argues how it is time that America began the “De-Crackerfication” of its Confederate past. Other episodes have focused on the FBI’s history of policing Black Americans, the impacts of generational trauma amongst the Black community, and the toxic effects of social media.
Episode 8 of “Tha God’s Honest Truth” brought Charlamagne to the stage with another plea for change. To commemorate Veterans Day, observed on November 11, Charlamagne highlighted the dire state of veterans in America and called out the growing Faketriotism in America. Faketriotism as defined by “Tha God” himself is, “A disease where Americans play patriotic but fail to address or acknowledge the real issues that affect our veterans.”
According to Charlamagne, our veterans are facing several issues today. The most important one is homelessness and the lack of support from the government. Due to the Covid pandemic, the US government has been trying to keep over 37,000 veterans off the streets. The Veteran Administration, in charge of providing services to veterans, does not have enough case managers to even process the applications of these veterans. To add salt to these tender wounds, there is also evidence of racial disparity within this crisis, as 1 of 3 homeless veterans are Black Americans.
Another issue haunting veterans is the grim state of Veteran Affairs Healthcare. According to a recent poll, 35% of veterans said that veteran healthcare facilities were worse than civilian healthcare. To desire civilian healthcare, which itself is in shambles, emphasizes what state veteran healthcare must be in.
Charlamagne, a vocal proponent of mental health, also spoke about creating a zero-tolerance policy for allowing veterans to suffer from treatable conditions like PTSD, anxiety, substance abuse, and poverty. In his words, “The fact that soldiers are surviving deadly wars but returning home and then taking their lives due to disregard and neglect is Faketriotism at its best”. He proposed that veterans should receive free healthcare, free housing, a monthly stipend, and of course, free weed.
General Lloyd J. Austin, the nation’s first Black Defence Secretary has recently pledged to combat extremism in the military by fighting hard to rid ranks of racism. Charlamagne highlights how this was long overdue, as Black Americans have fought and died in every war since the American revolution. One of the most interesting historical Black military figures is Cathay Williams, a former slave who at the age of 17 enlisted in the U.S. Army under the pseudonym “William Cathay”. She became the first African American woman to enlist in the U.S. Army during the civil war. She also went on to become the only woman to serve as a Buffalo soldier, an African American cavalry regiment of the U.S. army. Another memorable figure was Pvt. Henry Johnson who was a part of the Harlem Hellfighters in World War 1. He is celebrated for having singlehandedly fought 20 German soldiers all while injured and armed with a knife.
The episode was not entirely devoted to the affairs of veterans though. American rapper and icon “Soulja Boy” and everyone’s favorite English singer-songwriter, Ed Sheeran, also made appearances on the show. Soulja Boy’s arrival came alongside the introduction of a new segment of the show called “Inside the Rappers Studio.”
Rated by Kanye West as one of the top 5 most influential rappers, Soulja Boy is a veteran of the rap game. The segment began with Charlamagne presenting some of Soulja Boy’s most iconic moments to the audience and asked Soulja to comment on the motivation behind them. The moments included his dialogue regarding making millions of dollars and running businesses, to which Soulja reacted by showcasing his handheld gaming console called “SouljaGame console.”
He also spoke about his earlier days hustling in the streets of Atlanta selling weed. From small-time hustler to big-time entrepreneur, Soulja has now ventured into selling weed legally through his brand.
Charlamagne ended the show with a chat with Ed Sheeran, in the show’s very own “Reparations Club.” The conversation centered around Ed Sheeran’s new song, “Tides,” where Ed talks about his interaction with fatherhood, his best friend’s death, and waking up to the reality of life’s finality. Ed spoke about how writing the song was a way for him to connect with his daughter when he’s not alive and remind her of his timeless love for her.
To watch this episode and more, you can visit the website here. Episodes premiere weekly exclusively on Comedy Central.