By Maurice Bobb
Boy, people sure do have a lot of opinions about MTV’s “Hottest MCs In The Game VIII” list. From Kanye West’s epic rant on Hot 97, which led to the hilarious “Rap Fix Live” co-hosting gig by Sharpeezy—Sway’s First TV—on this week’s show, to A$AP Rocky’s petulant “take me off the list” diatribe, to Danny Brown’s “#HottestMC” “dis” track, to Drake’s sly dig at his #5 placement on the list on the incendiary “5 AM In Toronto,” the hottest rappers in the game have definitely felt some kind of way about the annual list compiled by the MTV Brain Trust.
Last night (March 7), on a special episode of MTV Jams, Kendrick Lamar took top billing as the #1 Hottest MC in the game. After humbly accepting the crown, he performed “Poetic Justice,” from his critically-acclaimed debut, good kid, m.A.A.d city, bringing a close to a week chockfull of Twitter trending topics with the hashtag #HottestMC and copious amounts of provocative commentary and dialogue among hip-hop’s elite, industry tastemakers and, of course, fans that call hip-hop nation their permanent place of residence.
For those not initated, these are the “shots fired” lines from ‘Ye, Drizzy, Danny and DAT PMF that set the Internets ablaze:
Drake: ‘I made Forbes list, n—a f— your list, everything’s looking gorgeous.’
Yeezy: “I didn’t really wanna like even call to talk about the number seven list, I just wanna tell everybody I gave Sway his first TV. And he need to remember that.” *hangs up*
Danny: “F— a top 10 list … ni–a im the Greatest Rapper Ever.”
A$AP: “It’s frustrating when I’m #8. Don’t put me at all. I need to be #1, I’ma come clean.”
But it wasn’t all vitriol. Big Sean, who took the #6 spot, thanked MTV for recognizing his improved flow on the G.O.O.D. Music compilation album, Cruel Summer.
“Wow thanks to @MTV 4 saying I was a star on Cruel Summer n My Detroit mixtape n features were crazy last year. #6 hottest MC is awesome…,” he tweeted. “I promise Hall of Fame won’t disappoint… I spent a lot of time on it to make it just right… n next year we’ll at least be top 5 MC’s.”
2 Chainz, who landed at #2 on the list, was grateful for the accolades and vowed that his next album would hush all the critics that didn’t ride with his debut LP, Based on a T.R.U. Story.
“Thanks MTV , headed to the lab …,” he tweeted. “Def a blessing…. Always wanted to be mentioned on that list.”
Even before he bested the entire field of nominated rappers, K.Dot co-signed the list, reminding his fellow emcees that hip-hop is a competitive sport.
“I love that they have debates like that. We need that,” the Compton spitter told Rap Up TV. “It’s competitive. Even though we doing these collaborations and stuff like that and we cool, at the same time, this is still rap. It’s still competitive and I’m trying to compete with everybody to be the best.”
Lists are all about passion and love of the genre and hip-hop needs it, thrives on it, in fact. If nothing else, the “Hottest MC” list stirred the pot and sparked much-needed debate. There were too many impassioned responses blowing up MTV News’ and MTV RapFix’ Twiiter mentions to report, but here’s a quick look at some of the best/worst/most rabble-rousing tweets in response to the most loved and debated about list in hip-hop:
@common Congrats 2 @NaS to making MTV’s top MC’s list. He’s 1 in my book! thoughts? 1 of my favs here-> s/o to @yallie
@robertocobian @MTVRapFix y’all got a lot of hip hop heads shaking their head at half this list but at least y’all got #1 right.
@PromoBoy35: @MTVRapFix Ya’ll got that list right!! @kendricklamar deserved that #1 spot. #REALMC #MTVLIST
@RealLifeKaz Nobody cares about the #HottestMC list but it compelled Yeezy to do his first press in about 3 years. Lol. *Daps @RobMarkman*
@Erick_Grady Hands down NO DEBATING Kendrick Lamar should be number one on this years MTV #HottestMC list that come out on Sunday!!!!!!
@DeviDev How can J.Cole not be on the list?! He sold well and was nominated for a Grammy for crying out loud. #HottestMC
@DankwaBrooks I’m not one of those cats who say “the old music is the best” I can go w/ the flow, but give me some real emcees please. #HottestMC
@FinallyFiasco Wait. Jay nor Lupe were on the #HottestMC list? But 2chains and ASAP Rocky were?
@jwilliamsTV ppl have to remember…#hottestmc means just that…hottest. a.k.a. most buzz worthy. not the best.
@okayplayer No diss, but @XDannyXBrownX makes a strong case for why he should have been on MTV’s list with “#HottestMC”
@ImLegalDope Kanye West’s interviews be better than most rappers albums.
@kabe_19_84: Think its a joke the way kanye west and asap rocky are acting over this hottest mc list, be humble and thankful you were even in the topten!
@MissDimplez Interesting move by the @MTV crew making @BigSean the #6 and @KanyeWest the #7 on their hottest emcees list…
@newbornrodeo: if either Kendrick or 2 Chainz gets that hottest MCs crown the line they’re going to rap about it will be ridiculous
@iTzBatiz:@MTVRapFix everyone thinks that Nas and Ye should be higher because of their WHOLE body of work, not just the year. Brain trust got it right
@NM_64_ Like 1 n a half yrs ago to 2 yrs ago Sean got me hip to Kendrick and noone else listened to him now he has the best album out and #HottestMC
@QkApproved I do agree with the #1 spot in MTV’s #HottestMC in the game @kendricklamar, as for the rest of the list… not so much.
Now that the full list is complete, how does your personal list stack up against the MTV Brain Trust’s?