[artist id="3066140"]Kid Cudi[/artist] and [artist id="3123015"]Asher Roth[/artist] are two MCs that are soaring. They're really earning respect in the rap game. Little by little, these two friends have been making their own way, carving a niche for themselves as their careers take off. Asher was able to sell records even during the recession, plus he got critical acclaim for his debut. He was no one-trick pony, able to prove there was more to him than his breakout hit "I Love College." The kid is lyrical. His words can rock crowds, like he did at the recent Hangover Tour with Cudi and B.O.B. Or his upcoming trek with Blink 182. Add all that up with his multiple VMA nominations and Roth has a nice package to up against other MCs as far as making the 2009 list of Hottest in the Game goes.
Cudi's credentials aren't too shabby either. He's repping for his hometown of Cleveland. Just like LeBron James put the city's sports back on the map, Cudi is bringing the ears back to Cleveland's rap scene. His "Day 'N' Nite" has few rivals when you think of high-quality, massively popular rap jams of the last year. Cudi's a double threat: He sings and he raps, plus he has the backing of Kanye West (Ye appears on Cudi's heavily rotated "Make Her Say") and the respect of big-dawg peers like Jay-Z (Cudi appears on Jay's upcoming Blueprint 3). But are Cudi's current kudos enough to land him on the Hottest MCs list? His debut LP, Man on the Moon, doesn't come out until late September. Both Cudi and Roth have their own criteria when choosing Hottest MCs: being nice on that mic.
"What are you saying?" Cudi declares of his main prerequisite. "It's down to what you're saying right now. We've heard it all before. The OGs have said it before. The Jay-Zs, Nas, even the DMXs, the Jermaine Dupris. They've done it all before. Now it's like, what are you saying?
"It's like, what are you bringing to the game" Roth offered. "Are you adding to it? This is culture, man. This is a movement of people that's a common cause. You need to be adding to it rather than taking away from it. Are you original? Are you having fun? When I look at the top 10 MCs, I look at substance, people who bring something to the game."