We're less than a week away from revealing the 2008 "Hottest MCs in the Game," which airs Friday night on MTV at 10 p.m. ET. Readers are already voting in our poll and anticipation is building fast — but as we found out last year, your favorite artists are huge fans themselves. We reached out to a number of acts and asked them the simple question: Who should be on this year's list?
"I think Lil Wayne," Game told us last week on the set of his video for "Pain." "Kanye," he continued, "Lupe Fiasco had a good year. And ... me at #5 again. I'm just that good!"
"Lil Wayne is hot with his metaphors," Keyshia Cole, who was also on the set, said about last year's reigning #1 Hottest MC. "His delivery is hot. All he has to do is stay at it. Kanye could be a Hottest MC this year. He puts a lot into his craft performance-wise and in the studio. He delivers. So does Lil Wayne."
Jermaine Dupri said Jay-Z or Andre 3000 has to be #1. "I don't know my full top 10, but I feel like Andre ... Of course, Wayne is in there, Jay-Z is going to always be in the top five — I just worked with him on Usher's album. He's still #1. If we got to say people putting out new music, I got to say Andre's number is one right now. I would have to think about it, though — it's kind of hard, there aren't a lot of MCs right now."
"I would definitely have to say myself!" Rocko said. "I would have to say Wayne, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, T.I., Shawty Lo."As for Snoop Dogg, Kanye West was the first name he mentioned. "Lupe Fiasco is dope," he continued. "I love his delivery and how he get down. I think he should be on the list. Definitely Common should be on the list because he goes hard. Who is coming out the South?" he wondered, before trumpeting a certain versatile MC from Atlanta. "Oh, definitely Luda — got to put Luda on there. That is my boy! To me, Luda is going to always be one of the dopest, because no matter what, Luda always stays around. There are a lot of rappers that come out of Atlanta, but they don't do what Luda do. Luda stands the test of time; Luda is like how I am. No matter if you have music out or not, he should always be in that top 10, because he's hot and you can catch on somebody's song. Somebody is always going to call him [for collaborations], because they're going to need to be next to him, because he always hot."
"Common was on that last list, right?" Busta Rhymes asked on the set of his "We Made It" video. (Yes, he was.) "All right, good. I think Papoose needs to be on that new list. I think [my artist] Reek the Villain needs to be on that list. I definitely think Lil Wayne needs to stay on the list; 50 needs to stay on the list; Hov should stay on the list."
Obviously, Common feels like he should be #1 no matter what. However, when it comes to his peers, his picks vary from legends to new icons.
"I'd definitely put Kanye West in there, and not just because he's my guy, but I really sit and listen to lyrics and be like, 'Man, he's saying some clever stuff,' " Com told us. "Jay-Z is definitely still ranking in the top five with me. He's just got it. Andre 3000, I think he just brings verses that ... we don't hear anybody rap like that, and that's just incredible. I think Lil Wayne definitely has been sparking it. I definitely give him a top-five ranking, because when I listen to him, I get that energy like when I heard MCs back earlier in the '90s, with the freedom he's got with his MCing. So that would be top 5. And Nas! Nas is one of my favorites of all time."
DJ Khaled couldn't give us a full top 10, but he said if his good friend Rick Ross doesn't make the list, the Brain Trust are crazy.
"I'm going to be real with you: Rest in peace to Biggie; rest in Peace to Pac. [They're] legends, #1 MCs. Rick Ross is one of them dudes," the charismatic radio personality declared. "I know it's hard for people to say, because the people I named are such legends, but I got to keep it real. He's one of them dudes."
Yung Dro cosigns on Ross as well. "His boldness, being able to critique your moves — where it takes you a couple of days to say, 'Ross said that!' Ross has got swag, baby. You ain't got to put it on him. That swag stand out like my truck stands out.
"They better stop sleeping on Webbie and my boy rick Ross," Dro added, naming other MCs he wants to see on the list. "You got to love him. Rick Ross is a very humble boss. That's what we need, some spirit. Some of these cats don't know where to go. Of course, Lil Wayne.
"My boy Webbie, though. Webbie brought that gutter. Webbie brought that 'I'm so gutter with it that I don't care about nothing else. I'm going to ride my gutter-ness out, and I'm going to make ya'll get on it.' That young cat is going somewhere. I like his drive."
The debate could go on forever — or at least for another year. People are still arguing about who did and didn't make last year's Hottest MCs list. If you thought last year was controversial, 2008's Hottest MCs list will get you riled up twice as much! The drama sets off Friday at 10 p.m. on MTV. You can also log onto to mtvnews.com directly after the show to read more about the round table arguments and the MCs they debated about.
Now that you've checked out our "Hottest MCs in the Game" show, we want to know what MCs you're feeling! Keep the debate rolling by submitting your own top-10 list below or heading to YouRHere.MTV.com to upload your video reaction. And the hotness continues: You can check in on last year's top 10 and see this year's complete list on our "Hottest MCs" page.