1. Talk Nerdy To MeSource:Getty
Who doesn’t love a good set of abs and a sexy smile? Couple those two physical attributes with a beautiful mind and you’ve found our favorite intellectual BAEs! See if yours made the list. And have we forgotten anyone?
2. Poppa Pope’s Appearance on ‘The Nightly Show’
He shut down the whole Confederate flag conversation with one signature Poppa Pope rant.
3. Malcolm XSource:Getty
As one of the biggest civil rights leaders, Malcolm X has earned his place in history. “A race of people is like an individual man; until it uses its own talent, takes pride in its own history, expresses its own culture, affirms its own selfhood, it can never fulfill itself.”
Known as a gangster rapper, but revered for his lyrical intelligence, Tupac was and will always be BAE. Check out this vintage interview about Tupac’s interest in Hip Hop, police brutality & more:
5. John LegendSource:Getty
We love when celebrities use their prestige to speak for the voiceless. John Legend did just that. “Nina Simone said that it’s an artist’s duty to reflect the times in which we live. We wrote this song for a film that was based on events that were 50 years ago, but we say that Selma is now, because the struggle for justice is right now,” Legend said at the Oscars. He’s also written an op-ed to spark change in America
6. Marc Lamont HillSource:Getty
He’s always a champion for disenfranchised Black people and he does it while looking like a bag of very attractive money.
Forbes has called him a “rap genius,” and the title is well-deserved. From his brilliant lyrics to his brooding looks, we’re always here for Nasir.
8. Phillip Agnew-Founder Of Dream DefendersSource:Getty
Dream Defenders is credited with putting the Trayvon Martin case on the national radar. They now have chapters on nine college campuses in Florida and highlights racial and social economic-justice issues like prison privatization, racial profiling and “zero tolerance” policies in schools — which many believe lead students of color straight into the prison system.
9. President ObamaSource:Getty
You don’t need a reason, but in case you do: Harvard graduate. President.
10. Jussie SmolletSource:Getty
We love him, but when he said Donald Trump had “purchased intelligence,” we just swooned. He made us love words more than we already do!
11. David BannerSource:Getty
His rap career catapulted him into the spotlight, and now that he’s gotten our attention, he’s using it for good. He’s become a social activist, speaking against police brutality and systematic racism. Recently, he advised women to respect themselves and received an outraged response, but we are still here for his activism.
12. Laz AlonsoSource:Getty
The smartest thing about this man besides his Bachelor’s degree from Howard, is that he doesn’t date fellow celebrities. Brilliant!
13. Jesse WilliamsSource:Getty
Just look at this man’s tweets. SWOON! http://bit.ly/1IG6A5G
14. Wendell Pierce
Start the video at 0:49 seconds.
We think it’s mostly about his intellectual lyrics, but we’re sure Common has more than common sense.
16. Lance GrossSource:Getty
We think it was when he wrote that open letter to George Zimmerman in 2013 that we first noticed that the chocolate drop that is Lance had a brain. “I bet you never thought that by shooting a Black male, you’d end up inheriting all of his struggles,” Gross passionately wrote.
17. Van Jones
We’re here for anyone who schools Don Lemon. About 3 minutes in, Van Jones schools Don Lemon so good, we’re clutching our pearls.