"MTV, Thanx for this nod of appreciation," Jay wrote. "Although I don't strive to be 'hot' for any particular year, I thank you for the acknowledgment. My whole goal is to be recognized as the best ever. I created the term 'best rapper alive' as a sign of respect to my fallen comrades (Biggie and Tupac). I believe I've allowed a significant grace period, and I believe I would not be respecting myself if being the absolute best was not my goal, and that's why I continue to push myself until exhaustion ... salute.
(Editor's note: Eminem's absence from the Top 10 is explained right here.)
Rick Ross, who finished at #5, said no one is more deserving of the top spot than Jay.
"I most definitely agree with Jay-Z being the Hottest MC," Ross said. "He's affected the top five directly or indirectly. He signed Kanye West. He signed me to Def Jam. He influenced Lil Wayne and co-signed Drake. Jay most definitely has had the biggest impact on the game and the culture."
Ross was extremely pleased with his own ranking. "It's an honor to be in the top five," he said. "It's a monumental moment. I remember always watching 'Yo! MTV Raps' and seeing Fab Five Freddy. The Hottest MCs list carries on in the tradition of representing real hip-hop. I think the list was great. Everybody on there is real competitive. It's always great to get recognized for your accomplishments. Each year, I sit down and watch the debates and the rankings. MTV is really on point."
On Sunday, Drake said being #3 was an extreme honor. "I'm at such an early stage in my career," Drizzy said via phone. "I'm still learning from all these MCs that are on the list. Personally, I'm honored to be anywhere. There's no number where I think I should be. I'm not gonna sit here and be like '3!' It's just an honor for MTV to even bring up my name. That's crazy. That's really crazy, man. That's something to celebrate. We gotta celebrate tonight. I don't mind being #3."
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