“This ain’t a sketch. This shits my life.” – Charlie Murphy
The death of Charlie Murphy sparked an outpouring of grief on social media, where artists like Chris Rock, 50 Cent, Nas and others paid tribute to the fallen comedian, who died today (April 12) of leukemia at the age of 57.
Even Rick James gave recognition to Charlie from his official Twitter account.
Although his funny skits about his encounters with his brother Eddie and R&B singer Rick James made him a household name on “The Dave Chapelle Show,” Charlie Murphy had to fight for years, just to get out of his famous younger brother’s shadow.
“The Chapelle Show” skits finally afforded Charlie Murphy that break.
“I wasn’t thinking about fame. I was just looking for a few laughs, a bit of public acceptance, and the guarantee of more roles.” – Charlie Murphy
“I was forever locked in the mentality of scratching and clawing for more work,” Charlie Murphy said in his autobiography “The Making of a Stand-Up Guy.”
Charlie Murphy’s fortunes changed around 2004, after “The Chapelle Show” skits were a success, but believe it or not, the famous comedian was terrified of stepping to a microphone to do stand-up comedy after the show took off.
Charlie, who was experiencing his first taste of real fortune at the age of 42, was afraid he would not be able to re-create his achievements.
“I had made the mistake of approaching my show like a rapper or singer whose stage presence is all about creating a certain mystique,” Charlie Murphy said. “My thinking could not have been more misguided. I had to learn to convey to the audience that we were cool with each other, like best friends.”
Charlie’s brand of comedy was quite different from Eddie’s too.
Charlie had pivotal roles in cult classics like “Harlem Nights,” Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre’s “Murder Was the Case” and Nelson George’s influential Hip-Hop flick “CB4.”
“CB4” was Charlie’s breakout role in 1993. He played the character of “MC Gusto,” a Hip-Hop loving, hardened criminal, in the movie.
“CB4” centers around a bunch geeks who steal Gusto’s image while he’s in jail to find major success as members of the gangsta rap CB4, led by Albert (Chris Rock) who plays the “fake” MC Gusto.
It’s extremely coincidental how the real-life storyline of rapper Rick Ross and his ongoing battle with “Freeway” Ricky Ross, a former drug kingpin who claims Rozay stole his image, is just like the plot of “CB4.”
Charlie Murphy was way more than just Eddie Murphy’s older brother.
He was a comedian who was loved and respected for over 20 years and during that time he produced Hip-Hop records, wrote screenplays, voiced video games (shout out to Jizzy B), starred in classic movies, and T.V. series and made us laugh the whole time.