Prolific author, critic, and filmmaker NELSON GEORGE (born 1957) first came to our attention as a music journalist. He was music editor for Billboard in the Eighties, and he’s written over a dozen books on movies, athletics, and music — including 1998’s Hip Hop America, a seminal exploration of hip hop culture and commerce. As a producer and director, George has brought us everything from the satirical 1993 Chris Rock comedy CB4 to documentaries (2009’s Good Hair, 2011’s Brooklyn Boheme, 2013’s Finding the Funk), to the personal and profound 2007 HBO movie Life Support, which he also wrote — basing it on the true story of his HIV-positive sister. Impressively (and most importantly to me), George still finds time to mentor. His advice: “Enjoy your work and work hard; make love as hard as you work; sleep late whenever possible; savor great meals; support your family; love sweating; see, read, experience as much art as possible; do something you’ve never done before every year; savor the wisdom of elders; mentor those worth your time; don’t live for money; remember what connects people more than what separates them; don’t be a complainer, be a doer.”
READ MORE about members of the Original Generation X (1954–63).