When the MTV hip hop brain trust decided to head back to the round table and draw up the list for the Top 10 "Hottest MCs in the Game" - there was bound to be controversy. From who will take the coveted title, to who should make the top 5, to who should be left off the list completely - it was always going to be one hell of a debate.
Lil Wayne. Sure, he hasn’t dropped a solo LP in two years, but that doesn’t mean he’s not working hard. Quite the opposite. Wayne is in the studio every day. I mean, he must be. How else does he do it? Da Drought 3 mixtape boasted an incredible tracklist and there is no question that he is the most in demand hip-hop artist at the moment, having graced tracks from Ja Rule (the recent ‘Uh Oh'), Chris Brown, Lloyd, Robin Thicke, Mya, Rick Ross, Gym Class Heroes, Young Jeezy, Enrique Iglesias and more. And if you thought it was a case of quantity not quality - you would be wrong. Weezy has the skill, the dedication, the gift and bucketloads of swagger to accomplish both. In my mind, he is the man of the moment.
Just when you thought he was gone for too long, Kanye came back with attitude on "Stronger " and "Can’t Tell Me Nothing." Both tracks, complete with video, were released on the net to mass applause.
T.I.’s latest album, T.I. vs. T.I.P., not only went gold within a week but held onto that #1 spot on the charts for 2 weeks running, proving that the King is expanding his realm well beyond the South.
50 Cent. Now, if there is one thing to be learned about 50 Cent- it’s to never count him out. Even with the rumour mill working overtime with suggestions of trouble within the G-Unit ranks, a delayed release for Curtis and the recent BET performance where 50 "forgot" his lyrics - "I Get Money" is the undisputed hip-hop anthem of the moment. And he’s just getting bigger and better, earning even more money with his Vitamin Water deal and an ever-growing list of the entertainment world's hottest properties, namely Ciara, by his side - all this can’t but help his swagger.
Then there’s Jeezy. This guy is a force to be reckoned with. They tried to ban the Snowman. They failed. Failed miserably. When there were some who thought of him as a fluke, Jeezy continues to go strong with his latest album debuting at the #1 spot on the Billboard albums chart - and with collaborations alongside Game, Kanye and Luda, it seems that Jeezy is more sought after than ever before.
So, already I’ve mentioned 5 of the hottest MCs right now - but what about Game, Andre 3000, Jay Z, Nas and Luda?
Where do they go? You see, its not as easy as it looks. There’s a good argument for all of them.
Game put out arguably one of the best albums of last year and is still going strong despite having the whole G-Unit army against him.
Andre 3000 constantly displayed a god-like skill when it comes to music (not so much when it comes to fashion) on tracks with UGK and DJ UNK, as well as my personal favourite, "What a Job" with Devin the Dude and Snoop Dogg. Andre is clearly hot. But hot enough to make it into the Top 5? Our brain trust thought so.
And then there’s Jay-Z and Nas. This argument is simple. If either Jay or Nas released an album tomorrow - fans and music lovers alike would run out and buy it immediately. No questions asked. That’s heat on another level.
So once you’ve decided who makes it onto your personal Top 10 - then comes the hard part. What order to put them in…?
Who goes No.1?
Does 50 go above Game in the list?
Who’s the Top 3?
Does Jay-Z make the Top 5?
Should Jim Jones even be on the list?
Lil Wayne or T.I.?
Kanye above Andre 3000?
Taking every factor into account, the MTV hip-hop brain trust sat down at the round table to form the official list.
In doing so, they have sparked debate amongst the whole industry. From record label execs to the biggest artists in the game to the kids on the street - everyone is talking!