Album sales aren't the only measure of a hot MC. Meek Mill doesn't have a solo LP on the shelf, but the Philadelphia flame spitter has made his presence felt in a variety of other ways.
Thanks to "Ima Boss," his inescapable single with Maybach Music CEO Rick Ross, Meek has maintained a deafening buzz on the streets and impacted the game like no other MC in his class. Meek Milly meets all of the criteria to be considered one of the "Hottest MCs in the Game." His in-your-face lyrical delivery and fresh-off-the-block style have all helped earn him the #7 spot on the "VII" edition of the list.
Meek started off his year right, landing a spot on XXL's 2011 Freshman cover before most rap fans could even pick him out of a lineup. But those unfamiliar with Milly quickly learned who he was when Ross signed him to Maybach Music Group. And then his single "Ima Boss" began to catch fire in the streets. From the song's opening bars, Meek separated himself from other rap rookies by putting his gangsta on full display, daring his adversaries to come for him ("They say they gon' rob me, see me never do sh--").
"For me, Meek is that real, real street music," MTV News editor/writer Rebecca Thomas said. "As much as I'm a Drake fan, a [Big] Sean fan, all those people, I just think there are days you wake up and you need to hear 'Ima Boss.' If you didn't feel 'Tupac Back,' if you didn't feel 'Ima Boss' all last year, you're dead."
It wasn't just the fans that felt Meek either. Everyone from Fabolous to Jim Jones repurposed the "Ima Boss" beat for their own freestyle needs. The omnipresent single peaked at #17 on the Billboard Rap chart, but its run in the streets and the clubs made it seem so much bigger. Mill didn't ride just the one single, though: On "Tupac Back," he resurrected the spirit of the fallen rap legend, and with "House Party," from his Dreamchasers mixtape, Meek has created quite the track record.
Last year alone, Meek signed a deal with Ecko Clothing to launch his own Dreamchasers line, was named one of MTV Jams' Fab 5 artists, won MTV2's Sucker Free's Who Got Next award and snagged a #1 rap album with his appearance on MMG's Self Made, Vol.1 compilation.
"You need dudes like Meek to hit the reset button every now and then on the game just to let them know like, 'Yo, this comes from the streets,' " said Rahman Dukes, MTV News' director of hip-hop news. "He's just as responsible for building that MMG Empire as Ross is."
Tune in to MTV2 on Sunday, February 19, at 10 p.m. ET/PT to catch "MTV2 Presents: Yo! MTV Raps Classic Cuts," then watch "Hottest MCs in the Game VII" immediately after at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT before capping the night off with "Sucker Free Certified" at 11 p.m. ET/PT.