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 Lil Wayne Reacts



 10. Jim Jones



 9. Common


 8. 50 Cent


 7. Jay-Z



 6. Young Jeezy



 5. Kanye West



 4. Andre 3000



 3. Game



 2. T.I.



 1. Lil Wayne



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  The Brain Trust Speaks



  Where's Nas?



  Honorable Mention


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





  The Greatest Hip-Hop Groups Of All Time



  The Greatest Hip-Hop MCs Of All Time



  The Greatest Hip-Hop Albums Of All Time


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

Yams, 29
Asheville, NC

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hy He's Hot
Exhibit one: his long reach and indomitable star power. Not too many acts on this list are famous or crafty enough as showmen to rip the stage at New Jersey's Giants Stadium with Swizz Beatz during the hip-hop mega-fest Summer Jam concert — and then turn around a few weeks later at the same venue and catch more wreck with the Police and John Mayer during the rock-heavy Live Earth concert.


Exhibit two: determination. Obviously talent has a lot to do with it, but Mr. West prides himself on being rap's most un-wack artist and isn't afraid to put in the work to be sure it stays that way. Kanye has admitted that last summer, when he appeared on the records "Impossible" (featuring Twista, Keyshia Cole and BJ) and Pharrell's "Number One," the lukewarm reaction to the songs wasn't quite what he bargained for. Then there was the infamous MTV Europe Music Awards incident (in which he threw a tantrum over losing the Best Video award) and all the backlash he was receiving on blogs. So there he was: a multiple Grammy winner, production genius (just ask Jay-Z) and self-professed fashion guru with no heat on him — at least not the kind of heat he wanted. Sure, he was performing for 60,000-70,000 people a night in stadiums across the world opening shows for U2 and the Rolling Stones, but even the Louis Vuitton Don knows that if the streets — and granted, he probably has the most diverse fanbase of anyone on this list — aren't screaming your name, you're only going to go so far.

So Kanye started the campaign for his forthcoming Graduation album from the ground up a few months ago. He jacked Rich Boy's "Throw Some D's" (an early contender for song of 2007) and made it his own by replacing the Alabama rapper's easy speak about vehicles with his own humorous take on breast augmentation. A straight-to-the-Net video followed and all of a sudden, his climate started warming up. After a few other underground offerings, Kanye's real turning point came in late spring when he dropped the first record from Graduation, "Can't Tell Me Nothing," a sharp-witted slugfest of punch lines ("I'm just saying how I feel man/ I ain't one of the Cosbys, I ain't go to Hillman") where once again he shows mic improvement and brings the everyman mentality into the mix. Who can't relate to the chorus where he dreams about getting his "money right"? 'Ye should have a bit more to spend on his clothes over the next few months — the remix to "Can't Tell Me Nothing" with Young Jeezy displays even slicker rhymes ("K. Slay-ed 'em") and more swag. His new single "Stronger" is becoming such a big summer anthem, it was even heard on a recent episode of "Entourage."

Kanye's final trump card is not that he's still shining as one of hip-hop's top producers (his work on Common's Finding Forever has been lauded as classic), but he's thrown himself in the ring with 50 Cent for a showdown at stores on September 11, when both their LPs drop. It's going to be tight, but with 'Ye playing Rocky Balboa to SoundScan killer 50 Cent's Clubber Lang, some are saying West may actually win in the first week.

Co-Signer: Game
"Top MCs? Kanye West. I think because he's a producer also, a lot of people discredit him for what he does. But he's dope time and time again. He creates hits for other people and for himself. It's not like he's a stingy producer and keeps all the hits for himself like other producers out there. But Kanye is dope. When I see him, I feel like I'm in the presence of a legend. When I look at artist that I f--- with, I look at it from a fan's standpoint. I really got a lot of respect for that dude. I hope people get the picture on his next album if they haven't already. I think his contribution has been catastrophic, I'm glad to coexist with a MC like that."

Blistering Ballistics
"Class started two hours ago, oh, am I late?/ You know I already graduated/ And you can live through anything if Magic made it/ They say I talk with so much emphasis/ Ooh, they so sensitive/ Don't ever fix your lips like collagen/ Say something, you gon' end up apolog'in" ("Can't Tell Me Nothing")

Hot Streak

  • Albums

  • N/A (Graduation comes out September 11)

  • Selected Mixtapes

  • Can't Tell Me Nothing

  • Singles

  • "Can't Tell Me Nothing," "Stronger"

  • Street Bangers

  • N/A

  • Key Guest Appearances

  • Rich Boy's "Throw Some D's" unofficial remix, Ne-Yo's "Because of You" remix, Game's "Wouldn't Get Far," Nas' "Still Dreaming"

  • Business Ventures

  • CEO of GOOD Music; executive producer and producer of Common's Finding Forever; CEO of Pastel clothing line

  • Tours

  • Opened dates on the Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang Tour and U2's Vertigo Tour


NEXT: Jay-Z says of the next MC: 'Right now he has that hunger, and he sounds great.'...
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From old-school players like Young Hov to new-school playas like Young Jeezy, these are the biggest MCs running the rap game.


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