'X Factor' MC Astro Calls Drake's Take Care 'A Classic'

'I feel like I'm trying to be a part of that group that brings hip-hop back,' pint-size rapper tells MTV News backstage.

While many of his fellow contestants were getting dinged for not going hard enough on Wednesday night's rock-themed episode of "X Factor," that was not a problem for pint-size sensation Astro. The swagtastic 15-year-old rapper with the heart of a champion put up another great performance with a cover of Diddy's "I'll Be Missing You."

And though he's lamented that hip-hop is dead and he's the one to bring it back, Astro did make an exception for one artist he thinks is killing it right now.

"You can't not say Jay-Z," he told MTV News' Jim Cantiello after the show when asked to name anyone besides the Jiggaman who is on top of their game right now. "That has to be included. Jay, Kanye, Lupe [Fiasco], Pharrell ... Drake? That album is classic," he added about the Canadian MC's just-released Take Care. "Everything from the artwork, the inside pictures. Drake is awesome, and I feel like I'm trying to be a part of that group that brings hip-hop back also."

Astro — whose song fit the rock theme if only because Diddy sampled the Police classic "Every Breath You Take" — paid homage to a number of fallen hip-hop greats during his performance. Surrounded by huge video screens scrolling the names of late rap icons including Tupac, Heavy D, Left Eye and Jam Master Jay, judge L.A. Reid's protégé delivered another performance beyond his years. With a pair of boom box medallions on his chain and Beats by Dre headphones around his neck, Astro got all thumbs-up from the panel.

"Can you just suck for once?" Paula Abdul pleaded. "I don't think you can. You are phenomenal. You are amazing. You are ready right now. In the studio, selling millions of albums."

What did you think of Astro's latest performance? Let us know in the comments!