By Rahman J Dukes
Back in October 2009 the MTV Brain trust tapped Wu-Tang Clan rapper Raekwon the Chef as one of it's "Hottest MCs In The Game." Rae was fresh off an impressive run that included countless mixtape appearances capped by the release of his much anticipated "Only Built For Cuban Linx II" album. The street soundtrack to Al Pacino's film "Scarface" delivered on it's promise to create a similar sound transporting music listeners back to one of rap's hottest summers as if it were 1995 all over again.
As the Brain Trust set the wheels in motion to unveil this years list starting on May 18th, once again Raekwon finds himself in the spotlight. A few accolades to name: the legs of "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II" hop-scotched into 2010 thanks to the success of various singles and videos ("Surgical Gloves" and "Catalina"), the Rock The Bells tour with his Wu-Tang familia performing their own classic "Enter the 36 Chambers" in it's entirety and the announcement of his follow-up album "Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang" slated for a year end release all positioned Rae for another banner year. But if you ask the purple tape holder it's his fellow rap veterans who should also be celebrated alongside himself.
"All of them are winners to me, honestly," Rae told MTV in Atlanta. "I can't say who should get it and who shouldn't, because [Big Boi and Bun B] are both superstars to me. Whoever gets it, they deserve it."
According to the Chef, the secret ingredient for rap's more tenured artists to stay relevant is centered around self-motivation.
"I think it's all in the mind," said Rae. "If you're somebody that really paved the way in the game, it's all on you. And that's something that I had to [realize] at the end of the day. It's like, 'I just want people to know I still love this. I'm in love with this.'
It's like being with a woman that you care about, that you really love — no matter how far you're away from her, you still love her."
Who do you think will the 2010 Hottest MCs? Tweet us at @MTVRapFix or tell us in a comment below!