Radio host Charlamagne Tha God opened up about his decision to cancel a New York Times TimesTalk with Kanye West on The Late Show on Tuesday night (Oct. 23). The talk was designed to break down the stigma surrounding mental health by exploring how both men have overcome anxieties in pursuit of success. The sold-out 1,200-seat conversation had been scheduled to take place at New York’s Town Hall on Oct. 17.
After handing Colbert a stress ball and mentioning Shook One, his newly released book inspired by his own anxiety, Charlamagne dove into the details of the cancelation. He explained that he and West have had productive conversations about mental health in the past, but after 41-year-old rapper recently revealed claimed that he went off medication for bipolar disorder Charlamagne took notice. While some interviewers ignored this, Charlamagne paid attention and learned during a White House visit that West believed he had been misdiagnosed and was instead sleep deprived.
“For what I’m trying to do which is like elevate the conversation of mental health in the black community and you know, try to eradicate the stigma around mental health, I just didn’t think it’d be a good conversation,” said Charlamagne. “It’d be a distraction.”
Charlamagne had hoped the TimesTalk would encourage others to be vulnerable, but ultimately decided to reach out to West’s team about canceling, believing the rapper needed to figure out his mental health situation on his own right now. His team, relieved, asked Charlamagne to reach out to West directly, who reportedly took the news well.
Watch Charlamagne’s Late Show talk below.