2. Michael Jordan
Namedrop: When I come back like Jordan wearing the 4-5, it ain’t to play games with you. It’s to aim at you, probably maim you. Jay-Z, “Encore,” The Black Album
Who hasn’t Michael Jordan influenced? From the hood to Hollywood, from the block to the boardroom, MJ’s influence is literally scattered everywhere in pop culture. He literally carried an entire league on it’s back and close to a decade since he last played in an NBA game, people that weren’t even born to see him play lineup to buy his sneakers. Jordan was more than an influence on hip-hop, he was an influence on Americana. Which is probably why he doesn’t grab the #1 spot on this week’s Wired 25. There was one athlete who struct directly to the core of Hip-Hop, one athlete who embodied the culture and everything it was and is.