Kanye West is finally being recognized by the media powers that be– he landed one of 5 Time magazine “100 Most Influential People” covers.
According to Elon Musk, who is the CEO of Tesla Motors, it’s not hard to see why Kanye is a boundary breaker and a titan among many.
Kanye West would be the first person to tell you he belongs on this list. The dude doesn’t believe in false modesty, and he shouldn’t. Kanye’s belief in himself and his incredible tenacity—he performed his first single with his jaw wired shut—got him to where he is today. And he fought for his place in the cultural pantheon with a purpose. In his debut album, over a decade ago, Kanye issued what amounted to a social critique an’d a call to arms (with a beat): “We rappers is role models: we rap, we don’t think.” But Kanye does think. Constantly. About everything. And he wants everybody else to do the same: to engage, question, push boundaries. Now that he’s a pop-culture juggernaut, he has the platform to achieve just that. He’s not afraid of being judged or ridiculed in the process. Kanye’s been playing the long game all along, and we’re only just beginning to see why.
Others who made it into the “Titan category” with ‘Ye are director, Lee Daniels, Mellody Hobson, and Mrs. Kardashian-West, herself.
Ballerina Misty Copeland displays strength and grace as she nabs her own cover.
As the first African American woman to perform the lead in Swan Lake as a dancer with the American Ballet Theater, Misty Copeland is certainly deserving of her leading the pack of pioneers for Time.
Five-time Olympic gold medalist, Nadia Comaneci admires Copeland’s dedication.
Like all gymnasts, I’ve done some ballet—it’s a part of our program. And people don’t realize the tremendous amount of time and work you have to put in to do the maneuvers they do. Ballerinas like Misty Copeland look so beautiful and perfect, but it takes thousands of hours of hard work to make it look that easy.
It was an honor to learn that a movie about me inspired a 7-year-old Misty to see the joy in movement. When I competed in the 1976 Olympics, no one thought that a 14-year-old from a place people couldn’t find on a map could contend. Misty proves that success is not about how you grow up or the color of your skin. Her story—of overcoming personal and physical challenges to become a soloist at the American Ballet Theatre—is the story of someone who followed her dreams and refused to give up. In that way, she is a model for all young girls.
It doesn’t matter where you’re from. If you have the passion like Misty, you can be the best at what you do.
If that’s not an inspiring story, it’s hard to figure out what is.
Other people who made the 100 issue include:
Kevin Hart, Comedian
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Author
Audra McDonald, Tony Award winning actress
Bryan Stevenson, Founder of the Equal Justice Initiative
Kira Orange Jones, Executive Director, Teach For America New Orleans
We love it! Be sure to pick up your copy of the Time “100 Most Influential People” issue on newsstands now.