S2 E3 | Charleston White
Helping Young People Excel (HYPE) founder and CEO Charleston White stopped by the “Big Facts” podcast with DJ Scream, Big Bank and Baby Jade this week for another amazing episode. White, a former teen gang leader, rose to social media fame when he shared his experiences and opened up about turning his life around after serving nearly a decade behind bars. In the latest installment of “Big Facts,” the 52-year-old addressed several topics, including his controversial comments on high-profile figures like George Floyd and DMX, gang life, and more.
The Texas native wasted no time and minced no words when addressing critics who have an issue with the kind of information he shares regarding the culture and street life. While some have gone as far as to call White a “snitch,” the public speaker claims he is just setting the record straight.
“I’m a citizen now. I’m a police *ss n*gga. I go vote. I’m literally an election judge. The last n*gga to turn the votes in on election [day]. N*gga, you goddamn right I’m a police *ss n*gga,” White said. “I’m grown; I’m 40. I can’t see being in jail at 50 for nothing. I’ll tell on everybody not to go to jail, right now.” When asked if he was serious, White noted that — due to his age — his chances of being released from jail anytime soon would be slim if he were locked up.
While the hosts commended White on staying informative on issues impacting the culture, they challenged his delivery. In turn, White argued that you rarely hear complaints about the subject matters rappers choose to talk about. He referenced the widely-criticized song “U.O.E.N.O.” by Rick Ross, in which the Miami-based rapper eluded to tampering with a woman’s beverage, seemingly celebrating rape culture. The 46-year-old ultimately apologized for the harmful lyrics after facing overwhelming backlash.
“Y’all ain’t say a goddamn thing to that n*gga… Beyoncé told you ‘bow down b*tches,’ y’all bowed down. I come through talking like Dolemite; I’m acting like Dolemite,” he insisted.
However, White doesn’t want people online to confuse his internet antics with the real, life-changing work he’s done in his community and with his youth program, HYPE. “I’ve been on legislation laws. I’ve been on the front page of the [American] Bar Association Journal. That’s lawyers [and] judges,” he shared. “I’ve been a campaign manager. I’ve been elected and selected to campaign with presidents. That’s off the internet.”
Elsewhere, he insisted, “You might not know, but your body says you’re a weapon compared to me. I know law, n*gga. I’m on here trying to teach you n*ggas law while I bullsh*t and have fun and get paid. Y’all wanna have fun and be broke.”
“Y’all waiting on the next social justice topic to say ‘No justice, no peace.’ Naw n*gga, I’m trying to figure out how they’re making trillions just off us being on here, and we ain’t getting a dollar. All these platforms monetizing. So n*gga, I came to monetize. I didn’t come to uplift you broke motherf*ckers. I didn’t come to stop no violence. I do this in real life, so when I come on here I’m taking a break from real life,” he added regarding his online persona. “Everybody pretending on the internet to be something that they really not in real life — why y’all mad at me? N*gga, I’m getting a lot of money doing it.”
White also addressed the rape comments he made during a discussion on Clubhouse, stating, “I grew up believing that anything you do to white people is okay from what they done to us.” He continued, “I was taught that from the older people. I was born in the 70s. I’m from the South.”
The controversial speaker claimed his generation was highly influenced by the hyper-sexualized music being released and that his experience inspires his commentary.
Later, he recalled the incident that ultimately changed the trajectory of his life. “I was running away from a good home only to go be in the streets,” he said. “My homeboy momma let us stay over there. How else we supposed to get money? Snatching purses.” White, a 14-year-old living a well-off life, ran to the streets due to feeling pressured to fit in with his peers.
One day, White and his friend shoplifted what was a very popular jacket, at the time, from a local Foot Locker. “In the process, a white man tried to stop us. Man, sh*t. We broke into my girlfriend’s house, who was a Dallas police officer. We stole her gun. In the process, I told my 16-year-old friend, ‘Man, shoot that motherf*cker,’” White admitted. “And he shot and killed a white man. I laughed like a motherf*cker — with an underdeveloped brain. I ain’t no heartless kid. N*gga, I come from love. I’ve never been abused. I don’t know what it’s like to be hungry.”
White explained that he didn’t have proper male guidance as a kid, which led him to believe that “going to prison is what made you a man.” He was ultimately sent to the Texas Youth Council lockup, where he did seven years behind bars.
Throughout the conversation, White said his commentary is not meant to hurt people — adding that although many people take his remarks personally, he is just a reflection of what is being portrayed on the internet.
“Why would I not match what society wants to see?” he asked. “It’s just hurting people’s feelings. Who feelings it hurt? Black people on the internet. It ain’t hurting the truck driver’s feelings. It ain’t hurting the n*gga’s feeling going to work. It ain’t hurting nobody’s feelings except the people caught up on the internet, and that’s what I capitalize off of. The lack-luster, unproductive people on the internet who I can offend.”
Like always, if you liked what you heard, be sure to stay tuned every week for new episodes of “Big Facts.” Also, don’t forget to watch the latest show above!