1. Black Men On GQ

Black Men On GQ

Michael Jackson, October 1994

“To some observers, the Michael Jackson story illustrates the dangerous power of accusation, against which there is often no defense—particularly when the accusations involve child sexual abuse. To others, something else is clear now—that police and prosecutors spent millions of dollars to create a case whose foundation never existed.”

2. Black Men On GQ

Black Men On GQ

Diddy, August 1999

“It’s okay to be crazy, but don’t be insane.”

3. Black Men On GQ

Black Men On GQ

Muhammad Ali, April 1999

”My way of joking is to tell the truth. That’s the funniest joke in the world.”

4. Black Men On GQ

Black Men On GQ

Dennis Rodman, February 1997

”The people at the top of the league think they need to rein me in so I don’t become another Michael Jordan, somebody they aren’t able to mold and shape and make their puppet.”

5. Black Men On GQ

Black Men On GQ

Tiger Woods, April 1997

“If you are given a chance to be a role model, I think you should always take it because you can influence a person’s life in a positive light, and that’s what I want to do. That’s what it’s all about.”

6. Black Men On GQ

Black Men On GQ

Will Smith, June 1997

“In my mind, I’ve always been an A-list Hollywood superstar. Y’all just didn’t know yet.”

7. Black Men On GQ

Black Men On GQ

Kanye West, December 2007

“There are people who dress better than me, just not many celebrities. Is Jude Law in there? I think I have leeway because I’m a rapper and I’m black. I think fashion people expect less of black people.”

8. Black Men On GQ

Black Men On GQ

Barack Obama, September 2007

“I come from a varied background. I feel that there is a piece of me in everybody.”

9. Black Men On GQ

Black Men On GQ

Kobe Bryant, March 2010

“If you’re afraid to fail, then you’re probably going to fail. You know what I mean? Fuck it.”

10. Black Men On GQ

Black Men On GQ

Tracy Morgan, August 2010

“Oh man, this is subculture. Interesting. Guys washing their T-shirts out in toilet bowls.”

11. Black Men On GQ

Black Men On GQ

Lebron James, September 2010

“You know, my family and friends have never been yes-men: ‘Yes, you’re doing the right thing, you’re always right.’ No, they tell me when I’m wrong, and that’s why I’ve been able to stay who I am and stay humble.”

12. Black Men On GQ

Black Men On GQ

Lil Wayne, November 2011

“I have a lot more work to do, and it’d be selfish to not focus on being the boss and focus on their projects.”

13. Black Men On GQ

Black Men On GQ

Jay Z, December 2011

“Most people can look at a picture of the kids they grew up with and it’s like, ‘Oh yeah—Adam went away to Harvard.’ This is a whole different conversation.”

14. Black Men On GQ

Black Men On GQ

Drake, April 2012

“I was in class, and I used to always crack jokes in class. I was a good liar and a good talker. And this kid in my class was like, “Yo, my dad is an agent. You should go talk to him because you’re good and you make people laugh.” I was just good. I was my father’s son. I was slick, you know? When it comes to knowing what to say, to charm, I always had it.”

15. Black Men On GQ

Black Men On GQ

Derrick Rose, May 2012

“When we used to play in the park, there were no fouls, so that’s why I shoot the crazy shots I do. Because I knew I was gonna get fouled, but I still got to make the shot.”

16. gq-chris-paul-oct12

gq-chris-paul-oct12

Chris Paul, October 2012

“There’s only one position I’ve ever had to play, and that’s point guard. So I’ve always had to be that leader. And that was my job: you know, to talk.”

17. Black Men On GQ

Black Men On GQ

Cam Newton, September 2012

“If I come out and say, ‘I will be the greatest to ever play this game,’ that’s a no-no. If I come out and say, ‘I will not be stopped this year,’ that’s a no-no. People want to see humble, proprietary methodology” for its clients is called Icon Engineering.”

18. Black Men On GQ

Black Men On GQ

Denzel Washington, October 2012

“I read from the Bible every day, and I read my Daily Word. I read something great yesterday. It said, “Don’t aspire to make a living. Aspire to make a difference.”

19. Black Men On GQ

Black Men On GQ

Idris Elba, October 2013

“And the next day I was in New York for the first time.” He stayed at the YMCA in Union Square, started scouring the local papers for casting notices: “Open audition, black male wanted. 6’4″, can play basketball.”

20. Black Men On GQ

Black Men On GQ

Kendrick Lamar, December 2013

“From my perspective, it’s not just I’m famous—I still live in this world.”

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