#6 → KANYE WEST
Peak VIBE Era Runs: 2001-Present
Certified Banger: "Jesus Walks"
Power: West's eclipsing fame as a transcendent pop culture icon has become so mammoth that it's easy to forget that this is the same guy who initially made his name as an up-and-coming producer. You overlook the fact that his
contributions to Jay-Z's 2001 masterpiece The Blueprint remains some of its grandest moments ("Takeover," "Izzo," "Heart of the City," and "Never Change"). You marvel at the idea that he could go from Talib Kweli's relentless "Get By" to the throwback soul of Twista's "Slow Jamz." Maybe West was just setting us up for his metamorphous into hip-hop's version of Brian Wilson on 2011's universally lauded work My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.