Rick Ross Gunning For Hottest MC Honors

'I'm thinking I had a dope year. I'm gonna keep it real,' Ross says.

To hear Rick Ross tell it, he deserves to be heading to Hawaii this year, and not just to work on Kanye West's forthcoming album. The Miami rapper likened being tapped one of the Hottest MCs in the Game to Peyton Manning earning All-Pro honors.

And with arguably the best song of the year ("B.M.F. [Blowin' Money Fast]"), the album of the year (Teflon Don) and the mixtape of the year (The Albert Anastasia EP), Ross expects to make the cut later this month.

"I'm thinking I had a dope year," he told MTV News. "I'm gonna keep it real.

"I Iove it, it's like the Pro Bowl to the NFL, everybody wants to get to Hawaii," Ross continued. "It's a roundtable that I could truly say I respect the integrity of the roundtable and the dudes that are actually out there. Because these are dudes that are at the tours, they're at the shows, they're at the awards, they feel what's happening on the streets and they can really gauge the temperature of what's going on for everybody that's at home."

Ross is coming off of back-to-back top five Hottest MC finishes. He landed at #5 last year and in 2008 he was voted #4.

When the Hottest MCs debate debuted in 2007, however, Ross didn't make the list. He recalled sitting at home watching that show and the fire it lit in him once he saw the final tally.

"Of course, a lot of times when you're not in the top 10, you're gonna be sour," he explained. "I was one of the main ones sitting at home like, man, I'm better than that dude at #8, I got him. But everything is about timing. It's about putting up those statistics, putting up those numbers and giving people a reason to argue. Give them points to argue on. I smile a lot of times at the other artists coming up and I reflect, yeah, he did put his groundwork in."