Ever since Pac and Big died, we've heard emcees constantly attempt to include themselves on the "Top 5 Dead or Alive" rapper list. Hip Hop fans have compared their personal Top 5 lists with those of their peers, debating about the merits and flaws on each others' bill. While it's definitely been fun to participate in the Great Hip Hop debate, I've found it more exciting to broaden the "Top 5 Dead or Alive" discussion to encompass history's most revolutionary figures.
Before I go any further let me define what I mean by "revolutionary." To me, a revolutionary is someone who has effectively changed the course of human existence. With that said, I've compiled a list of 5 people who have permanently altered the direction of civilization; these are the 5 people I most wish I could sit down with to have an engaged conversation. So without further ado I present to you.... [drum roll please].... my Top 5 Dead or Alive revolutionaries - Mitochondrial Eve, Imhotep, Jesus, Einstein, and Malcolm X.
Imagine for a second that you could ask each of these figures any burning question that comes to mind. What would you ask? Given the opportunity to discard your What Would Jesus Do bracelet, (in exchange for talking to the man in the flesh), would you keep it real? Would you ask Him if partaking in His Father's "herbal" relaxation remedies are really more morally corrupt than drinking the fermented grapes that were the preference of His homies? Would you ask Malcolm if he still has beef with the Nation of Islam and the modern day Louis Farrakhan? Would you ask Einstein what he imagined was on the other side of a worm hole or question Imhotep on what motivated him to build the first pyramid? Was there anything that stressed Mitochondrial Eve out? So many questions could be asked...
Interviewing these folks would be so exciting because each of one them permanently changed the course of history as we know it. For example, you, and every person you know, is a descendant of Mitochondrial Eve. Holding the crown as everyone's ancient African grandmother, we can all find traces of her mitochondrial DNA in our cells. If I could travel back 170,000 years ago to meet this fine Ethiopian sister, I would be curious to know what she did to have such a strong influence on how we define human existence today. Undoubtedly she was a head-turner, but there must have been something even more special about Eve that allowed her genetic stamp to be found in all present day people. I have a hunch that she was more Michelle Obama than Nicki Minaj.
When it comes to Imhotep, the real question is what didn't this brother revolutionize? He was the world's first noted architect, doctor, and astrologer. I'm inclined to believe he was also the world's first West Indian because [In Living Color "Hey Mon" voice] him had like 10 job: "chancellor of the king of lower Egypt", the "first one under the king", the "administrator of the great mansion", the "hereditary Noble", the "high priest of Heliopolis", the "chief sculptor", and finally the "chief carpenter". Imhotep is the definition of human ambition.
No need for me to go into detail about Jesus, He's only the foundation for Christianity as we know it. I would venture to say that Christianity has had ummm.... quite a significant impact on World events for the past 2010 years. To say major disagreements between billions of people have occurred through the interpretations (and misinterpretations) of this man's teachings would be a gross understatement.
As for Albert Einstein, how could he not be your hero? This dude died 55 years ago and most of his theories still form the basis for significant scientific discoveries. As a matter of fact, Einstein was so ahead of his time that physics is still trying to catch up to the things he postulated almost 100 years ago. I don't know about you, but quantum teleportation, shifting space time, and black holes are some ill concepts! This dude left us clues about how to get off this tiny rock called Earth so we can visit the great wonders of the universe one day. Even more, when considering the non-scientific books he wrote about the irrationality of war and the detriments of capitalism, I could go on for days about the dopeness of Einstein.
While he was no scientist in the vein of Albert Einstein, Malcolm X found the formula for Black self confidence. His eloquence, intelligence, and charisma elevated him to the platform of true dangerousNEGRO status. This self educated brother scared the ish out of America's white patriarchal society. No one could defeat Malcolm X in a debate except Malcolm X; truly unprecedented. Malcolm gave the Black community pride on a level that has yet to be duplicated. He empowered us to fight the power, start our own businesses, and improve the moral fabric of our community. I wonder how Malcolm would grade Barack's presidency thus far...
So there you have my Top 5 Dead or Alive revolutionaries and my reasons for picking them. Who do you have in your Top 5?]]>