2. Kanye West
Label: G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam
From: Chicago, IL
Active Since: 1996
Career Highlights: All five solo albums have gone platinum. He's won 18 Grammy awards and sold over 30 million singles.
So what exactly did Yeezy teach us? That a young producer raised in the Midwest can make an album with songs about religion, materialism, and "backpacker stuff" and still go platinum. That an artist can continually re-invent himself and still stay on top of the game. That swag isn't a habit, but a way of life. For more than a decade, Kanye West has continued to prove that he's quite possibly the most influential artist in music, period. Rap notwithstanding. The antics make him interesting, but the music makes him one of the greatest.