4. Kanye West
Challenging Dr. Dre for supremacy in this category, Kanye West is unquestionably one of the best producers of the past decade, and in hip-hop history. In fact, it was his production acumen that almost prevented him from becoming a rapper. In Yeezy’s early days, labels were only interested in his production, not in his rhymes. Sure, Kanye could turn a phrase here and there, but label heads weren’t sure where his subject matter would fit in the late ‘90s, early 2000s hip-hop climate. It wasn’t until Jay Z and Dame Dash, collectively as Roc-A-Fella, took a chance on Yeezy’s rhymes. It turns out that the gamble paid off with Kanye releasing an instant classic with 2004’s The College Dropout and never looking back.