These are the people our children’s children will read about on the internet because I highly doubt our textbooks will mention them. The people I have gained knowledge from in my 19 years of existence on this beautiful earth should be studied in college years from now. People such as Tupac Shakur, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Will Smith, Charlemagne Tha God, Kanye “Yeezus” West, Dr. Boyce Watkins, and Floyd Mayweather. They have shaped my mind and made me think about how I view life. This is only a select group of people there are a lot of influential people on this earth but these are the few that I personally respect.
As many people know Tupac Shakur is one of the greatest rappers to ever grace this earth but what he said outside of the booth effected me more than what he said inside. My YouTube favorites are filled with Pac interviews. There are a numerous amount of gems in each one that can change the world. He once said in a Vibe magazine interview, “I have no motherf*cking fear. I have only ambition.” Those two sentences could change an entire community let alone one persons life if only they were studied and applied. He also shares a unique perspective on the topic of leaving the hood and getting as far from it as possible. Most people say when you get money get out of the hood and occasionally give back by giving out turkeys on thanksgiving or building basketball courts. Pac felt as though instead of just leaving where you grew up we should fix it and make it better so we can enjoy being there.
Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and Dr. Boyce Watkins are two intelligent brothers who have educated me on how I can better myself as a black man and could help a lot if only the masses listened. Dr. Boyce Watkins was recently on the Breakfast Club morning show expressing how us as black people could be in a better place if we stopped looking for our oppressors to save us. Also, how we play a major part in the United States economy and could make a difference if we created and distributed our own goods. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson is a college professor at Georgetown and is teaching a class about hip-hop and dissecting the lyrics like we do with the great poets. He has done a seminar with Nas and is pushing to make people see the art that great hip-hop is.
Charlemagne Tha God at his best is becoming one of the great philosophers of the 21st century. He is a radio personality on Power 105.1 Breakfast Club and can teach people how to just be themselves. He says “Live your truths and they can’t be used against you.” I don’t agree with all his opinions but he is one of the few people who will tell how he feels but still listens and attempts to see why someone would think differently. I have been watching Breakfast Club interviews for about two to three years and Charlemagne has been the star of the show just by being his self.
Floyd “Money” Mayweather the highest grossing athlete for the last two years I believe could teach many people a lot of positive things. Not only is he a multi-millionaire but he created his own boxing promotion company so he keeps majority of what he earns. As a black man this is very inspiring and can be taught to children on the business level. As much as people hate on this man he is also undefeated in 48 bouts and has one more fight under his contract for Showtime to finish his career hopefully at 49-0. “All work is easy work.” He is one the hardest working people I have ever seen in my life and is one the smartest boxers to ever step in the ring. Recently before his fight with Manny Pacquiao people criticized Mayweather because he said he was the best boxer ever over Muhammad Ali. Mayweather can really help kids learn that no matter what society tells you as long as you work hard you should feel as though you are the best person to ever do your craft.
I had a tough time on who to write about next because I wanted to save the best for last and it’s between Yeezus and The Fresh Prince. Both are very smart individuals but I’ll save The Fresh Prince for last. Where do I begin with Kanye West he may be the most influential person I named. There should be classes taught about this man because just like Tupac every interview of his has numerous gems. I don’t even have to discuss Kanye on a musical level because who ever has been listening to hip hop for the last 10 years knows what Kanye has produced or the songs he has made. Like Floyd Mayweather many people dislike Kanye West because they think he is arrogant and cocky. This shows how are society wants us to think that we can’t proclaim ourselves as anything unless the masses agrees with you. Kanye promotes self-love something our society lacks because we look for the acceptance and approval from other people on social media. Kanye once said, “If you are a Kanye West fan you are not a fan of me you are a fan of yourself.” Just listen to this man speak with an open mind and not with the many negative opinions the media has filled your head with.
In West Philadelphia born and raised on the playground is where I spent most of my days… I’m pretty sure everybody can finish those lyrics. Will Smith should be a subject in school to teach kids about how to live life and handwork. Like the other people I named I have watched many interviews and they are filled with gems. The one I personally have applied to my life is the story he tells about how his father made him and his little brother built a wall in front of his store. The task seemed impossible but he realized that if they just started and laid each brick as perfectly as possible they will build a wall no matter how long it takes. He applied that same concept to his life and craft by perfecting each step to be the best actor or rapper he can possibly be. Also, he gave a speech at the teen choice awards about reading and running. Reading is a way to gain more knowledge of course but he says “there is no problem you have faced that someone else hasn’t been through and wrote about.” Also, he explains how running will “teach you how to defeat that little voice in your head that tells you to quit when things get hard in your life.”
These people are new age philosophers that we should appreciate while they are still on this earth excluding Tupac. There are many people I didn’t name because I didn’t want to make this extremely long. Go research and learn about these people they offer more than what the media portrays of them. Thank you.