ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — "With or without an album, I belong on that list. I'm always hot," [artist id="1043"]Busta Rhymes[/artist] proclaimed a little while back, reflecting on MTV News' past two Hottest MCs in the Game lists.
In 2007 and 2008, Busta Rhymes didn't make the cut, chiefly because he didn't have a new album out. But when it comes to the art and essence of MCing, the vet of two decades is undeniable. Busta is still arguably the best pure live performer in the game. There's not a crowd he cannot move. Bus also kept his presence up on the radio and in the clubs this past year with "Arab Money" and "Respect My Conglomerate." Will the MTV News Hip-Hop Brain Trust agree that the famously energetic legend dominates the competition? We'll see soon. (To see what it takes to make the list, check out our Hottest MCs criteria.)
In the meantime, Bus moves forward and keeps feeding the fans. Having just released his Back on My B.S. album in May, the New York rapper is hoping to come back out in December with a new LP. The kid is prolific.
"You definitely beat everybody to the question, and I'm gonna answer it," he told MTV News on Sunday. "The new album is 80 percent finished, and it's called The Chemo. It's the first time I'm announcing the name of the album. It's self-explanatory. We're coming to kill the cancer in music. I ain't trying to offend anybody. I think it's real important that we keep. ... We gotta re-establish the understanding that the perspective of hip-hop is to make music that always felt undeniable and unprecedented and we set a standard. And we always made sure we supplied the demand of being the ultimate cutting-edge form of entertainment that we always have and will always be. We always did a good job at doing that.
"I feel that starting to happen again with the likes of the Raekwon Cuban Linx II, and a lot of projects are starting to feel like they're coming again," Busta continued. "A lot of projects are feeling like they remind us of what hip-hop is really supposed to feel and sound like."
Busta salutes the recent effort of fellow veteran Jay-Z and said his own album will continue that message.
"The Chemo album is one of them albums that feels like what hip-hop is supposed to feel like, not what it's made out to be by the people in these positions at the executive level," Rhymes said. "Again, that's kinda what I liked about the Jay-Z 'D.O.A.' Not that he was anti-Auto-Tune, but the fact he made a record that was pro-hip-hop. 'This might offend my political connects/ This ain't for the radio.' It still got burnt on the radio. It still got embraced by the hierarchy of hip-hop as far as music goes. It's still good to see that we can still dictate how the game is supposed to look, sound, feel, taste. That's really what hip-hop is supposed to be like. So bring it back to that."
Busta was out in New Mexico over the weekend performing as part of the "New Mexico Takeover 4" concert. Rick Ross, Bun B, Flo Rida, Twista, Warren G, Play-N-Skillz and Pitbull all took the stage as well.
"The show was crazy," he said. "At the end of the day, the most rewarding feeling is when you go to cities you don't go to often and they embrace you like they miss you. So tonight felt like we was missed, and it was the rewarding feeling you want when you're rocking shows."
Who do you think is the Hottest MC in the Game? Don't forget to vote from now through September 21 to have your voice heard.