Gabe GinsbergGetty Images
As 2020 turns behind our minds this holiday season, the instinct to rank the superlative in the decade kicks in. Critics are out here discussing the top songs of the decade, every movie of the decade and the best memes of the decade for decades. There are also some lists that try to rank the most influential people over the past ten years, but let me tell you: Any list that ignores Ray J's lasting influence should be considered invalid upon arrival. Whether you love him or hate him, try to stick with me (and rapper Vince Staples, who has been saying it on the mountain for years now) on this trip.
Unfortunately, Ray J is constantly thumping because he is like the little brother on a sitcom that nobody takes seriously because he is really stupid, but he is actually a genius. As Vince once told us GQ, "Ray J is someone who is always in the mix. If you really think about everything that happens today, Ray J is very, very good at making himself part of the conversation." In short: It's time to give the actor / the singer / marijuana entrepreneur / reality star / inventor's flowers to be influential AF.
He did the impossible
Before Kanye West began broadcasting all his business on Twitter and then deleted Instagram videos, Vince said it was extremely difficult to get Yes's attention. But you know who did it? Yep. Ray J.
When Ray J released "I Hit It First," which was meant to put a scary statement on Kim Kardashian (I can't agree, scary is creepy), he basically put "a curse" on Kanye and asked Kanye to respond with a shady lyric in "Bound 2."
His style never fails
Ariana Grande has her ponytail, Beyoncé has her dresses and Ray J has his hats. Only he could pull off a cap that manages to migrate to every corner of his powerful mind.
(BTW, this scene is from Love & Hip Hop, one of his many TV projects.)
Even Chrissy Teigen had to come in on his genius.
In addition, his hate games are only A1 in general.
The request to get Ray J to Paris Fashion Week begins now.
He built the Kardashian platform
I think the Kardashians would have been so famous no matter what. They were obscenely rich and famous, and the celebrity gene flows in their blood. That said, Kim and Ray J.'s sex tape didn't hurt. Ever since Kim and Ray J's sex tape leaked and she was freed from organizing Paris Hilton's wardrobe, her status and net worth have increased exponentially. Yes, technically, the band was filmed in 2002 and released in 2007, but its impact surpassed the entire decade … and we will probably feel the aftermath of it for the rest of our lives, TBH.
Aside from meeting Kim, Ray J was also Whitney Houston's "last romance", which is … GREAT.
He is an inventor
Sure you've already seen Ray J tell you one Complex The interviewer named Speedy to move on with their new glasses to prove they are unbreakable. If you don't, prepare to witness the iconic video, which came in the last quarter of the decade and further proves that Ray J's confidence can't be shaken.
While it's incredibly easy to laugh at him and the glasses Speedy so easily snapped in half, his "I don't care" attitude is what makes him, well, him – the most influential person who never gives up regardless how much people get to laugh at him.