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  The Brain Trust Speaks



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Watch the gloves come off as the brain trust wrestles over who is today's flyest MC!





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I gotta give my top 10: Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, T.I., 50, Fat Joe, Kanye, Ludacris, [Juelz] Santana, Yung Joc, Young Dro.

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These are the things that make former Hot Boys into men: splashes of genius with a flow as unpredictable as Kobe Bryant's decision to stay with the Lakers or be traded, added with the undying love of rapping and the will to be the best.

Yes, Lil Wayne has been voted the Hottest MC in the Game right now by MTV's hip-hop brain trust. Keep in mind, this was not a career retrospective: The members of the round table sat down and factored in everything in the game that has been happening in the last six months to a year, and came up with who was tearing things up the most. Think Forest Whitaker winning the Oscar for Best Actor for one year, not for all-time. In any event, Birdman Jr. has been a walking Pandora’s box of charisma, skill and hustle. We asked him what he thought about the achievement.


"I saw the preview [of the show], and if I'm lying, I'm flying: I was like, 'Who won?' ... I'm glad I won. Yaaa dig! Don't stop believing in me. They say I'm the Hottest MC in the Game. If you label me that, I will live up to it. Trust me."

You really wanna know why Weezy is so nice with them vocals? Well, we tracked him down at his favorite place, the studio: Miami's Hit Factory, to be exact. He told us a couple of his keys to microphone success, the story behind his classic Da Drought 3 mixtape, how he was disappointed with a recent guest appearance he did for T.I., and why he chose to dedicate a record to Ciara.

Watch Lil Wayne react to being named the Hottest MC in the Game right here.

MTV: Everyone talks about your evolution from just a few years ago. When exactly did you find yourself artistically?

Lil Wayne: Man, when everybody was gone. Everybody had left [Cash Money Records], [I] had studio time. I walk in there, just me and the engineer with beats. That's how you gotta find yourself. 'Cause I know I can't do a song like "Back That Azz Up." That's [Juvenile's] style. I can't do no "Cash Money Millionaire," that's Baby. ... What can I do for me? "Straight off the block" [a verse from "Tha Block Is Hot"]. That's how.

I found myself at 14, though. My first solo album, [Tha Block Is Hot,] I was 14. Fortunately. ... You gotta find yourself in life, period. Once you know who you are, man ... I always tell people the only thing that makes my raps good is 'cause I rap about what I am. I got "reality rap." I already tested it, man, my truth is so damn good, why would I ever lie? This is my real truth. [When] I leave [this interview], you can follow me with a camera; I do whatever I want.

MTV: You go everywhere with your music. What are some of the zones that you been going into while making your new album?

Lil Wayne: I go wherever my creativity takes me. I ain't gotta be in no zone, 'cause if I was in a zone, I ain't never fall out. I ain't never out of the zone, so I don't know what the zone look like or smell like. I'm always creative.

MTV: You've been working with Kanye West, another one of the hot MCs on our list. You guys recently performed in New York together, but what's a session with the two of you like? Obviously you're sharing ideas, but you have arguably the best producer in the game right now with arguably the hottest rapper in the game right now.

Lil Wayne: The session was mostly like [West] playing a piece for me, giving these ideas and stuff. He gets here, plays one, tells me the idea for that one. Then it'll be about a few minutes later, then to another one. That's really a session with him. I just gathered all the music and went back to my cave and done what I have to do to it.

MTV: So right now it's looking like 2008 for the album ...

Lil Wayne: I wanna sell 5 million records, man. That's my goal. Five million, I'm gonna go crazy. No more interviews after that, Jack. I'm going bananas. ... Nah, I'm just playing.

MTV: Well we gotta do the interview when you do the million the first week.

Lil Wayne: Nah, I ain't expecting to do all that. I ain't expecting all that. No expectations, Jack.

Lil Wayne and friends perform live in New York

MTV: The double-disc Da Drought 3 is arguably the best mixtape of the year so far. You destroyed a lot of your peers' beats. How did you come up with the tracks you wanted to use?

Lil Wayne: I liked those songs. Every song I done, I like it. Every song I done — you can ask my driver — I be writing away in the studio. The radio be on and whatever song comes on, add that instrumental to it. ... I just rap every day. ... Like I told you, I don't say, "You know what? I'm dropping a double mixtape right now." I start recording, [there's so much material,] it's like, "We gotta do two of these. Wow." That's what happened. It took about a month. I wanted to do every song I could. Then every time I go in [the studio], something new was coming out and I'd be like, "I gotta do that one too." I think Mike Jones' ["Sky's the Limit" freestyle] was the last one that come out.

MTV: [Laughing] OK. What's up with the record on Da Drought 3 where you sang over the beat to "Promise"?

Lil Wayne: You talking about the Ciara song? [He smiles.] You better ask somebody about that. I know that track, I know that track. It's my way of saying, "You bad." I like the beat.

MTV: When you're in that booth, we know that you don't write the records down ...

Lil Wayne: Nope.

MTV: ... but some of the patterns that you use we never heard before, and then all these punch lines are coming out of nowhere. Does it all just come off the top of the dome, or do you compose the songs in your head before you go in?

Lil Wayne: Nah, I'd be ... on another different level to be composing anything in my head right now. So I just go in there and make a song up. If I have a concept for something, it's much easier. But I go in there ... [with] just a little beat; [I start thinking,] "What go to that?" I like to make it up right there. Nobody standing behind the mic, everybody just wondering what I'm thinking about. I say, "I'm ready." Then I'll say, "Four more bars, stop ... all right, I'm ready."

Now, on mixtapes, I just kill that sh--. ... I say whatever comes to mind. That ain't freestyle ... 'cause freestyling is dumb to me. Not the battling they do on DVDs and stuff, they be rapping for real ...

MTV: How are all those flows be coming? You might go to a reggae chat, to a spoken-word delivery ... you come different.

Lil Wayne: It's what the song calls for, I guess. I listen to a song, the music, over and over and be trying to feel what I wanna hear on that. I always do my rap from the outside looking in. Like I do my rap as if I'm looking at me rap.

Check out a smoldering freestyle from Lil Wayne's already-legendary show at New York's Beacon Theatre.

MTV: When we talked last year, it was sort of like you had an undercurrent with the fans and the industry like, "Naw, maybe Wayne could be the hottest right now. He's doing his thing." But now, not even a year later, you're like the unanimous, hands-down champ, so to speak.

Lil Wayne: What do I think about that? I told you so. I'm gonna keep telling you. I be trying to remind y'all. Look at what you said. You just said what I told you a year ago, and today [it's] almost a unanimous decision. But don't forget: [Tha Carter II] ain't been out there in two years, now you're crowning me. Scary. ... Be scared. Please do. I'm scared for you.

I don't know what they're gonna do when the [next] album drops. Y'all probably gonna say, "Everybody else, stop rapping." I told y'all a long time ago and y'all just started hearing what I'm saying. Y'all was always hearing me, but y'all wasn't listening. Now y'all listening. I been saying I was the best [since] I was 14. I knew I was the best; I probably wasn't at that time — but I knew. I'm 24. What were you doing at 24? Me, I'm 12 years in.

MTV: The thing that everybody has appreciated about you is that although you've been on so many songs, nobody's tired of you. Usually after the 116th guest appearance, people get a little weary of an artist. But everybody wants to hear even more of you.

Lil Wayne: I done became a little virus now, 'cause everybody be having me on their song. I was just about to be on [T.I. vs. T.I.P.]. I wanted to be on it bad, and they pulled me, 'cause I guess I be on everything. But hey, if you make everything you do great, like I do ... no lie, man. It's like, "You want Michael Jordan on your team?" "Hell yeah! Yeah, I want him on my team, stupid." That's how I look at it. That's why I do everything. Now the only problem I get is people calling me saying, "Universal don't wanna clear it." And [the record company] and I do everything.

MTV: What's the last thing you turned down? You remember?

Lil Wayne: The sheets on my bed. Like the hotel, turn down service. Nah, I don't turn down nothing.


NEXT: Now that you know the Hottest MCs in the Game, meet the brain trust that picked 'em!
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Photo: MTV News

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