The Gig: President, Def Jam Recordings
A former Tunnel doorman and Funkmaster Flex right-hand man, Joey I.E. worked his way up the hip-hop chain, eventually landing the top spot at Def Jam, the first President since Hov left the building. But back to that rise: Joey Manda was instrumental in the Houston rap takeover of '05 via Asylum Records, and helped Atlantic land the Maybach Music Group deal in a competitive bid for it.
Another thing about Manda: He's humble. While he inherited certain dominos with Def Jam, it takes a master to make them fall the right way, and since Manda took over, the stream of success—from Nas to Frank Ocean, 2 Chainz to Cruel Summer, to Ross to the $2 millon signing of Trinidad James, and then some—is unimpeachable, though he'd never stunt on it.
Manda may not have the multiple revenue streams of many of the other people at the top of this list. What he does have, though, is his hands on the wheel of the number one rap label right now.