A panel of MTV figureheads and editors under the sobriquet “MTV News Hip-Hop Brain Trust” have produced the self-proclaimed ”most authentic, most controversial, and most debated list in the music industry today,” after the unveiling of the 4th annual 10 Hottest MCs In The Game. The whole affair weighed concrete and abstract arguments for each MC, including street buzz, club buzz, chart sales, and where each MC sits on the collective unconscious of every single person in the world. Apparently talent had something to do with it as well. Here’s what they came up with:
Eminem took the number one spot with panelists citing his record sales, comeback power, and his co-headlining tour with Jay-Z, which played gigs in Detroit and New York City. “Detroit hasn’t screamed this loud at a baseball park since Kirk Gibson was hitting home runs in the 1984 World Series.” said panelist Shaheem Reid. His #1 spot this year marked Eminem’s first ever appearance on MTV’s list. Previous #1 spots were held by Jay-Z in 2009, Kanye in 2008, and Lil Wayne in 2007.
Despite the rampant incestuousness of the roundtable discussion, many of the MTV staffers had insightful and intelligent things to say about each candidate.
Jay-Z didn’t even release a full-length album this year, but panel member Jayson Rodriguez pointed out that, “What Jay does better than anybody is he leverages his past legacy to do things now.” Lil Wayne has been in prison since March, and Brain Trust cited Weezy’s “….flow, lyrics, impact, buzz, sales, not to mention the intangible: That’s ultimate star power when a dude’s been gone away for this long and we’re talking about him as if he’s still here.” And Nicki Minaj is the first female MC to ever be on this list, to which Rodriguez credited to her “…not trying to be the Foxy Brown to Jay-Z, the Lil’ Kim to Biggie. She has her own language, with like the Nicktionary, all these Barbiez. She’s trying to be a leader herself, and I think she’s sort of amplifying her own star power with these things she’s creating.”
You could quibble with rank order, and possibly argue for the inclusion of Freddie Gibbs or Wale, but in the end the list appears to be an accurate representation of what’s “hot” in something referred to as a “game.” But just wait until CoS’s year-end lists to really get your panties in a bundle, because those lists are definitely going to be the most “Most Authentic, Most Controversial, Most Debated Lists in the Music Industry Today.” Guaranteed.
Check out the the full (by full we mean edited for TV) discussions by the panel for the top 5 below: