Kanye West broke his self-imposed media blackout on Tuesday night (February 5) after discovering that MTV’s Hip-Hop Brain Trust had voted him our #7 Hottest MC in the Game. In one of the more heated roundtable split-votes in recent memory, ’Ye was bested for the #6 slot by his G.O.O.D. protégé Big Sean.
West called Hot 97’s DJ Enuff, telling the New York radio staple in a phone call that “more than anything, I’m happy for Sean.” Still, the Chicago rapper took issue with his placement on the power ranking, admitting, “Yeah, #7 bothers me.”
MTV’s “Hottest MCs in the Game VIII” takes the temperature of who’s hot right now. The ranking is based on criteria, and a majority vote — a vote that does not include moderator and MTV News Correspondent Sway Calloway. Panelists must consider and weigh in on lyrics, impact, sales, buzz, style (also known as flow) and the intangibles, like star quality.
“That was cool,” he told Enuff initially about his #7 position, ahead of Meek Mill, Future and A$AP Rocky. He argued, however, that the Detroit MC, “should be on top 5,” citing “the way he just be bodying records, like the way he started off that ’Mercy.’ ”
“To me, I feel like in order for them to put me as #7, they had to bring up things that they didn’t like,” West explained. “Like they didn’t like the Cruel Summer album, and I’m like, ’That’s just [a] compilation — it ain’t all rappers on G.O.O.D. Music.’
“I mean, Cruel Summer got “[I] Don’t Like” remix, “Mercy,” “Cold,” “New God Flow,” oh and “Clique”! You can’t name five records like that on no album,” he continued. “But they wanna dis me, and be like, ’He did Cruel Summer, and he can’t say he ain’t part of it ’cause he did eight records. … Ain’t nobody bringing up that [Rihanna] “Diamonds” remix verse, like there was no verse in a year that was f—in’ with that verse!
“I don’t know, it’s definitely not based on a body of work. It possibly could just be like overall rap-MC-swag, you know what I’m saying? Sean is a great rapper, period; it checks all the boxes. What happens is with these types of things … as soon as you come in like, I had the pink Polo and the backpack, then I’m checking all the boxes of that Tribe Called Quest era and J Dilla and all that, So they wanna champion it,” Kanye theorized about the panel’s supposed hip-hop purist bent. “They don’t like ’Givenchy Kanye,’ they don’t like Kanye in a kilt, they don’t like Kanye in a relationship.”
“I don’t think it’s them really going bar-for-bar: I said, ’Lucky I didn’t have Jay drop him from the team!’ ” he said, quoting a line from his track “Cold,” which alluded to his girlfriend Kim Kardashian’s short-lived marriage to Kris Humphries, who now plays for minority owner Jay’s Brooklyn Nets. “Ain’t no bar, ain’t no bar in the entire past four months hotter than that bar. That’s one bar! I come from this battle rap; that’s how I grew up. I’m from Chicago.”
The press-shy rapper paused for a moment before revealing a previously unknown — and so bizarre it became a worldwide Twitter trend tonight — connection to Sway.
“I gave Sway his first TV, man. He came over my crib in Newark, New Jersey,” ’Ye explained of his early years living in the Garden state while he crafted beats for Hov and Roc-A-Fella artists like Beanie Sigel. “I was getting a new TV and I gave Sway his first TV.”
With that revelation, West seemed to catch himself, telling Enuff, “I didn’t want to even call to talk about this #7 list, I just wanted to tell everybody I gave Sway his first TV — and he need to remember that” before the phone went dead.