Kanye West, 'Jesus Walks'
The College Dropout, 2004
Kanye has never been shy about his God complex, but humility, not hubris, made "Jesus Walks" hip-hop's finest gospel testimonial. The production is stunning – built on a sample of a Harlem choir cresting above a martial beat – as West avoids easy pieties and raps about spiritual hunger and self-doubt. "Kanye proved to me he can be Marvin Gaye," said Chuck D. "'Jesus Walks' touched on an area no one else had, lyrically."