MTV’s annual crowning of the Top 10 “Hottest MCs in the Game” attracted more attention than ever this year after Kanye West publicly ranted about his displeasure with being placed No. 7 on the list.
The problem I have with the “Hottest MCs” list is the word “hottest.” MTV used “hot” as a crutch to put some guys ahead of West that have yet to do a small fraction of the work West’s done in his career.
This is my remodeled top 8 “Hottest MCs in the Game.”
Nas might be No. 1 if I was making this list in 1994-1996, but sadly, lyricism does not make you “hot” in today’s game. “Life is Good” was a good album, but like virtually every other rap album made, it cannot compare to his classic first album, “Illmatic.”
7. Rick Ross
I put Ross at No. 7 mainly because of his role in the founding and building of Maybach Music Group, the record label home to Wale, Meek Mill and French Montana.
6. Big Sean
Big Sean is definitely Top 10, but with heavy repetition already detected in his music and the fact he has to address Kanye West as boss, I bumped Sean up to No. 7.
5. A$AP Rocky
A$AP continues to blend styles of all types of hip-hop, and musicians from all around the world are reaching out to work with him. A$AP’s debut album, “Long. Live. A$AP,” is evidence that Rocky will likely be on this list for many years.
While Lil Wayne and Young Money are fading out, Drake scored features on A$AP and Kendrick’s debut albums on top of his solo success.
3. 2 Chainz
2 Chainz blew up this past year. I mean BLEW UP. “Based On A T.R.U. Story” has sold 557,000 copies but the 35-year-old 2 Chainz still has to call Kanye West boss.
2. Kendrick Lamar
With potential to be labeled one of the most important rappers in today’s game, Kendrick Lamar is worthy of the No. 1 spot MTV gave him but I still believe in paying your dues in the rap world.
1. Kanye West
Hate to love, love to hate. Whether it’s dating a Kardashian, producing and rapping on some of the past year’s biggest singles building a label that has produced two other artists on MTV’s “Hottest MCs” list, or complaining about the list itself, West makes the news. Like he said in “Mercy,” “Don’t do no press but I get the most press, kid.”