“I did a lot of damage to it, but I really try hard,” Wilson said last week in a phone interview from his Southern California home. “I have the passion for this, and I just sing right through it. I stay prayed up [laughs], and I just go for it … just like I did back in the day. I’m even harder and better at it now, you know.
But by 1993, in the grip of crack cocaine and alcohol addiction, Wilson was living on the streets of Los Angeles. He has told several publications that a cousin took him to rehab in 1995. There, he met the former Mahin Tat, the woman who would become his wife. She helped him get his life and career back together
“Even now, I try real hard to please the fans and people that are listening, people who might not know who I am. I just give it all I’ve got every time.”
Wilson, 58, said he enjoys his role as an advice-giving “uncle” to young performers.
Snoop Dogg enlisted him for four cuts on his album, “The Doggfather.” It was Snoop who gave Wilson his nickname, Uncle Charlie.
“Snoop gave me the love,” Wilson said. “He showed me some love in ’96. He put me on like I don’t know how many records. He was like one of the first to witness me being sober … and it just grew. All of the hip-hop community started embracing me.”
“They always pull me to the side and ask me anything they want to ask me, and I’m just going to spit it to them the right way,” he said. “I’m going to give it to them like it is. And sometimes they like it, and sometimes they don’t. But they do listen. … I’m the coolest uncle they could ever have.”