Song: "Jesus Walks" (2004)
Album: College Dropout
Conscious Or Ign'ant?: Conscious

By the time Kanye stormed onto the scene, hip-hop had been accused of bad taste in every conceivable form. Depravity had become so synonymous with rap that bad behavior got boring. Leave it to Kanye to locate the last real taboo in rap music: Christianity. Of course, other rappers had appropriated Christ's martyrdom and mythical charisma for their own personae, but Kanye's Grammy-winning hit asked a more interesting question: How did rapping about Jesus become more risky than rapping about sex, dope and homicide? What does that say about the culture? The question answers itself, but that didn't stop Kanye from basking in his first incendiary statement. He plays his role to the hilt: the proud sinner, embracing his faith as the last form of true rebellion.