DAR Legends: 8 Impactful And Influential Legends

(Compiled By @TrueGodImmortal, @CherchezLaPorsh, and @JADBeats)

In humanity’s time there have always been those few who have impacted the world in such a way that no one before them had. Each saw an element within themselves that when nurtured, would positively change not only the people around them, but globally. We know these types of people as legends. They elicited change, in some cases they rose above adversary but most importantly they influenced various areas of education, society, music, business, or academia. Today we get to talk about legends who may not get talked about as much as they should and those we feel need to be highlighted once again. Let's take a look at these influential legends.

*Maya Angelou
(Chosen By @CherchezLaPorsh)

-A poet. An activist. And a writer. She is one of my favorite people and definitely a legend that merits recognition in every regard. Although it’s difficult to capture all of her contributions adequately, she certainly managed to influence people throughout her life. That legend is Maya Angelou. She is best known for her autobiographies which totaled 7 and described her life at every stage. What gained her the most acclaim was “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings”, in which she spoke about unfortunate and traumatic events in her life and spoke about her poetry which she started writing at a young age. Something to note is that Angelou was writing these things at a time when black women weren’t allowed to be the focal point of their writing but she did! Over the years she wrote, directed, produced and acted in many plays and television programs which gained her further notoriety. Her poetry is my favorite aspect of her. Many people critique the work because her poems were more captivating when she read and performed them, however, despite what critics have said, her poetry has been and continues to be studied in academic circles. They’ve been featured in hip hop songs and each time she made an appearance on Oprah, she graced us with her inspirational and thought-provoking words. Maya Angelou emerged at a time when several obstacles presented themselves, when she had every reason to give up and embrace defeat however she overcame the hardships, she persevered against social inequality and moved up the ranks as a multifaceted woman that contributed tremendously to academia and the world overall. Although she passed away three years ago, the gifts and gems that she left behind will forever be looked at and regarded as some of the best literature!

(Chosen By @JADBeats)

-Nas would have to be on the list for me because besides being one of the greatest, I connected to a lot of the things he was rhyming about especially in the latter parts of his career. Around age 17-18, I was getting pulled in different directions making bad decisions and listening to Stillmatic and The Lost Tapes saved me from a possible bad  path. I repeatedly played those albums and certain songs and lines would hit home and make me look at situations and scenarios different. The most inspiring thing his music has made me do is to research historical figures and events I'd never heard or learned about in school. That really changed the way I consume information. Other rappers had this same message but the way he presented it was more effective for me.

*Damon Dash
(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal)

-You might see this selection and wonder..... How? Why? Though some of his rhetoric and his decision making haven't been the greatest, Dame Dash is one of the most free entrepreneurs to come through our culture and I have to make a mention of him. His message sometimes get lost, but I've yet to see Dame really be wrong about something. He's an inspiration in the sense that he lives and dies by his own accord, instead of kissing ass and trying to befriend more people in the industry. I remember the boasting and bragging I witnessed from Dame during the heyday of Roc-A-Fella and it's unrivaled and unmatched. His confidence and arrogance may not have rubbed others the right way, but it was very inspirational to me in a way. To be so sure of yourself that no one could tell you otherwise and believe that you can do what you want is key. Dame was loud, obnoxious, and made a lot of enemies along the way just for being himself, and oddly enough, I can relate to this 100%. It's great to see Dame speak so openly and honest about his experiences and even though I don't always agree, his independence is a huge influence and inspiration to me, business wise and beyond.

*Leonardo Da Vinci
(Chosen By @CherchezLaPorsh)

-Another one of my favorite legends is Leonardo da Vinci. He was without a doubt a legend in art, sciences, astronomy, engineering, botany, writing, history, inventions…and the list goes on and on and on! It would be impossible to adequately describe the impact that Da Vinci had over the course of his 67-year life but they were truly profound. Da Vinci as the painter and scientist are the areas I appreciate him the most. He excelled at brushstrokes, at capturing expressions and creating paintings that “spoke” to those looking at it. Of course, he’s best known for the Mona Lisa and the portrait of the Last Supper but those are just two in a very long list of world famous and renowned masterpieces. His most notable work in the sciences came from pure observations since he had no formal education (which is why it was never really taken as factual). He “studied” very specific topics like “the heart of a fetus” and described the anatomy of the male body in the “Vitruvian Man” where he blends art and mathematics to illustrate the proportions of the body (according to Vitruvius).  He wrote all of this in mirror-imaging which some believed was to maintain secrecy. Whatever the case, it was genius work and has been highly regarded even today. It’s difficult to describe someone of this magnitude in a short summary but Leonardo da Vinci is nothing short of brilliance. 

*Bruce Lee
(Chosen By @JADBeats)

-This one was hard because as a kid, I had a lot of fights. Some guys I knew I could beat, some I believed I couldn't. Having full on fist fights at such a young age daily in the hood was just how it was. There were your usual bullies who were a little older or bigger and I remember I ran from a bigger white dude that a lot of kids were scared of. I felt so weak and this ate at me for a few weeks. What makes this one hard is I dont know who to give credit to because I started watching a lot Bruce Lee, Ultimate Warrior, Sting, Road Warriors and other wrestlers with so much confidence who were just fearless with bigger opponents and ready for action. They all gave me confidence to take on that same dude I ran from and I hit him one time in the neck and he started crying (it's funny now). That was a life changing moment for me realizing it's not always the size of the person but its the fight they have inside. I never was scared again. While wrestlers helped me with that, the courage probably can be attributed to Bruce Lee and everything he represented.

*Gil Scott Heron
(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal)

-In 2011, there were no bigger influences on me musically than Marvin Gaye and Nas. Even now, those are probably my biggest influences and inspirations, but I'll be honest, that same year, I grew more and more inspired by the music and poetics of Gil Scott Heron. He was a revolutionary in his own right, and in addition to being a singer and artist that was well versed in jazz, funk, and soul music, he was one of the best poets of his time. With his song "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" capturing ears and making waves decades prior in the 70s, I found myself really interested and intrigued to learn more about him in present day. When I read more, I learned of his personal demons, his drive to create, and everything in between. Gil Scott was one of a kind, and to me, he is a true legend in every sense of the word. I still listen to his albums Winter In America and Pieces Of A Man, and in my own music, I've been inspired by and sampled his work as well. Gil Scott Heron should be recognized in the same breath as all of the legends of the 60s and 70s and beyond, because he is just as impactful, if not more impactful than some of them.

*Nikola Tesla
(Chosen By @CherchezLaPorsh)

-People often hear me talk about and sometimes tweet about Nikola Tesla. I tried to avoid talking about Tesla but let's be honest, his contributions to the world are of incredible importance and the majority of the things we have today are attributed to the work of this man. As much as I love and appreciate the feats of other legends, none are like Tesla. Although he was from Austria, most of his work was done in the US. To sum it up, Tesla experimented heavily with electricity, wireless objects, x-ray imaging amongst other things and back in 1893, he stated that wireless communication would be possible through his findings and inventions. He came up with thermo-magnetic motors and was financed to start his own company some years after his experiments. Everything we use today, like anything that plugs into the wall to our wireless devices and electric/ hybrid cars are all because of this man. Unfortunately, he isn’t recognized enough and many other companies and people have taken credit for what Nikola Tesla did, but to me, he “Fathered the Future” back in the 19th century. Tesla died of a blood clot in the coronary vessel in his heart and upon his death? the FBI took possession of all his research and experimental data and it has been said that it remains in the possession of the US government even today. Before his death, Tesla would gather over 300 patents for his inventions, some of which were kept hidden. It’s been SEVERAL years after the best inventions and his death, and we are still reaping the benefits of his research. We often hear that “technology advances so fast” and I would say that it’s entirely because of Tesla. Sometimes, I can’t help to wonder what is written in the pages and pages of research that is now in the possession of the world’s “super power” and that’s concerning. 

*Amiri Baraka
(Chosen By @TrueGodImmortal)

-It should come as no surprise that two of my personal choices came from the most vital era and are two revolutionary wordsmiths. It's just in my nature to relate to those who are revolutionary and gifted with writing and this is another inspirational legend that influenced me in a way. While I don't always speak of Amiri and his work (mostly due to people not being as familiar with it), I've always been a fan of his since the moment I discovered his writing. An activist, as well as an author and writer, Amiri crafted gems like "The Book of Monk" and "Dutchman" and he never shied away from controversy. I didn't always agree with his viewpoints, but I respected his train of thought and that's what made him such an influence. He was unabashedly honest and raw with his writings and beliefs, and wasn't afraid to speak about them. His activism and his writings set him apart from many, and I dare you to read "The Poems Of Black Hearts" and tell me that his writings aren't relevant today still. Amiri, much like the other legends here, have made an impact like no other, and it's time these names get more credit, because they are truly magnificent.



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