As an expert who’s been in this industry for so long, do you think that’s the reason why we’ve seen a lot of artists recently go more towards celebrity-run or artists-run podcasts? Is that why this shift has happened?
One billion percent. Not just the artists but the athletes. You see all of these athletes and they all have their own platforms now, whether it’s Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson with All the Smoke. Ryan Clark, Fred Taylor, and Channing Crowder with The Pivot, or Brandon Marshall with I am Athlete. Man, these guys control their own platforms now. 

So if you’re an athlete, you probably feel more comfortable going to them. If you’re an artist, you might feel more comfortable going to talk to another artist. I’m not even mad at the artists for launching their own platforms and controlling their own narratives because they can avoid their words being taken out of context. Even though we live in an era that’s going to still take them out of context regardless.

How do you balance talking about real-world issues while also keeping the humor and the delivery that we’re used to hearing from you?
I’m still culture at the end of the day. I think that hip-hop has always been more evolved than people would necessarily recognize it to be. When I think about growing up and all of the things of socially redeeming value that used to be in music, whether it was conversations about religion and spirituality, politics, whether it was referencing books to read, I feel like there were always hip-hop artists who did that. So for me, I’m not a scholar. I didn’t go to college. I’m not an academic. The way that I communicate is just through regular real-world language.

I actually do care about those issues as well. I am watching CNN, and MSNBC, that’s what I watch the most. When I’m at home, my TV is usually on CNN, MSNBC, Fox, or ESPN. Literally, that’s always the background noise in my house. Those are things that I genuinely care about. So to have a conversation about them is easy and it’s effortless.

Especially in the past few years, if all you watch is the news, there’s no way you can’t be anxious, sad, or depressed. How do you balance staying informed while also protecting your own mental health?
The mental health aspect of it is always going to be first and foremost for me. I will always disconnect when I need to disconnect. That goes for anything from the news to things that we’re hearing about in hip hop culture, that goes to conversations with friends, that goes to conversations that we have in my house with me and my wife and my oldest daughter. When it’s time to disconnect and everybody really needs to do what they need to do to protect their peace and their mental health, I encourage it. I don’t care what it is.

All of my friends are like that. Going into 2022, one of the books that I read, and I read it because she was actually a guest on my late-night talk show last season, Nedra [Glover Tawwab]. She wrote a book called Set Boundaries, Find Peace. It was literally a book about setting boundaries. And that’s literally what my 2022 has been about. I can be having conversations with really close friends of mine and one of us will be like, “Look, I don’t want to talk about that. I’m setting a boundary. If that’s what we’re talking about right now, let’s talk again later.” I know that may sound harsh, but it’s not.

Especially in group chats, sometimes it gets negative. 
Oh, man. Why are we even having these conversations about certain things? It’s a waste of time. When I had my Mental Wealth Expo last weekend, a good friend of mine, David McCullar, was speaking on one of the panels and he said we all suffer from opinion fatigue. You can look at your phone and you already got a whole bunch of other stuff you’re concerned about, but now you’re worried about dogs driving golf carts. [Laughs.] Why do you even care? And he was like, “Somebody will come up to you and be like, ‘What do you think about Kanye?’ I’m not thinking about Kanye!” And it’s real. We all just got to know how to disconnect, period.

When you do talk about people like Kanye, who have such a beautiful legacy but then we also see this other side of them, how do you balance not completely tearing him down but also being real about it on the show?
I got to be real about it. The reality is he’s a Nazi, to me. If you attack Black people and Jewish people in the same week, you’re a Nazi. My name for him right now is KKKanye. And then you go on Drink Champs and you basically get your Alex Jones conspiracy theory on and you traumatize the family of George Floyd by just straight-up lying. What you said is just a straight-up lie. It was proven in court. George Floyd did not die of fentanyl. To say that the police officer didn’t even have his knee on his neck like that? Bro, did you even watch the video? The whole world saw that officer’s knee on George Floyd’s neck. That was just a wild thing to say. So you got to call complete and utter bullshit on that. There is no balance with that. It’s really straightforward. Kanye West has been Kanye West for a long, long time. He does have a great legacy. But I think that what we realized in recent times, you can destroy your legacy. You can absolutely ruin your legacy. 

That’s why to me how the plane lands is very important. You want to take off and you want to be in the air, you are going to have those moments where it’s turbulence and where you go through storms. But as long as that plane lands and the wheels come out, and you can land safely, that’s great. That’s what we all should be striving to do. But some of these people are trying to land the plane and not putting the wheels out and they’re not slowing down, they are just destined to crash. That’s what it looks like to me with Kanye. It’s sad because he’s really moving like a person who doesn’t plan to be here much longer.