I talk music 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. My website focuses on music. My career/passion focuses around music. Majority of my brain is filled with music history. I would definitely consider myself a music connoisseur. MTV isn’t a channel I watch on the regular. If anything, I barely watch it. But every year around this time, I pay this “music” channel some attention for their yearly special “The Hottest MC In The Game.”
“The Hottest MC In The Game” special is a segment in which a panel of “industry” socialites get together and discuss the top emcees for the previous year. First off, lets dissect the segment’s name. The program is called “Hottest MC.” When we think about an MC (emcee), the first thing to pop into your mind is LYRICS. Lyrics should be the number one factor in making any decision on the top emcees in the game. This is the first and the BIGGEST flaw MTV has on this show. They talk lyrics but barely use them as a factor. There is no reason Nicki Minaj should be deemed better than Jay-Z when talking lyrics. Not to sound bias, but Jay-Z has lines that can make A LOT of Nicki’s line seem rather mediocre, or shall I say rather childish. But let’s move on…
Its clear the list is based on popularity in the industry. All of the big bread winners of the year appear on there. The artist with the big label behind them are the ones who come out on top. Let’s take a look at 2011-2012. It was a good year in the hip-hop world, despite what anyone thinks. People around the world were introduced to a lyrical cannon from Los Angeles named Kendrick Lamar and a swagged out dope boy named 2 Chainz, aka Tity Boi of DTP group, Playaz Circle. Along with these two, the world was re-introduced to Roc Nation signee, J. Cole. These 3 artist will prove the point of my article. I’m gonna try to make this as short as possible. Just follow me…
Kendrick Lamar is a California-based rapper: 1/4 of Black Hippy & signee to independent label TDE, Top Dawg Ent. After playing the backfield as labelmate, Jay Rock jumped to success in 2010, Kendrick popped up on the scene building his & TDE’s brand/awareness. Kendrick has dropped numerous mixtapes with GREAT amounts of tracks on each and more than GREAT content on each. This 23 year old’s talent alone, helped him build a fanbase as big as his buzz which stretches from the west coast to the east coast. Kendrick was deemed the HOTTEST rapper out of California by Dr. Dre & The Game. His flow is different from the average conscious rapper and his concepts make him stand out. Talent being the key to success is scarce nowadays. But this was not the case for the LA emcee.
2 Chainz, aka Tity Boi, is most known as Ludacris’ best friend and 1/2 of rap duo Playaz Circle. 2 Chainz has the biggest buzz in trap rap since Young Jeezy’s debut. He’s 8 mixtapes in, but his last 3 mixtapes, Trap-A-Velli 2, Codeine Cowboy & TRU Realigion, are the ones which have set him to the point he is at now. This Atlanta emcee brings swag and lyrics to the forefront, and most trap rappers usually lack one of the two. 2 Chainz built his fanbase from the ground up. He connected with Street Execs and used his money from trappin’ & his hit “Duffle Bag Boy” to back his career. When I say backing his career: Pressing FREE CDs, Traveling For Shows, Self-Radio Budget, Videoshoots & Online Advertisement. Not too many rappers know how to promote themselves like he did. As a result, his buzz reigns all over the south. It’s impossible to say 2 Chainz isn’t the hottest trap rapper out of the south. 2 Chainz story to success is simply one word: GRIND.
Lastly, everybody’s favorite lyrical tyrant, J. Cole. J. Cole has been around for some time now. After 3 mixtapes, a record deal, the freshmen list, a good first week in album sales & a couple co-signs, he made a name for himself AGAIN. J. Cole was one of hip-hop’s favorite on the underground scene from 2009-2010. It was no surprise when he made it to the mainstream world. J. Cole already had success as a producer before taking over the rapping scene. It was a matter of using connects and showing talent. SHOW AND PROVE. This is exactly what he did. Nothing else needs to be said.
My point of this article is to prove how bogus of a program “The Hottest MC In The Game” is. It’s all based off of popularity through major labels. The panel has only 2 major industry connoisseurs, Rob Markman & Sway. How do you have a show discussing the top EMCEES without any DJ’s or label execs? They could have even used DJ Envy, who deals with artists on an everyday basis. The show isn’t based off of LYRICS or GRINd which is what an MC is all about. The show is really “The Hottest MAINSTREAM ARTIST In The Game.” The panel discusses album sales & popularity. I just named 3 of the biggest artist of the year who didn’t even receive an honorable mention through the whole segment. Its sad. Even the order of the top “emcees” is screwed. Nicki better than Jay-Z?! Rick Ross better than Drake?! MTV needs to re-evaluate their staff and pay attention to the hip-hop world. Anywho, congratulations to all who “won” & made it upon the list. I guess you deserved it, according to MTV….
1. Rick Ross
3. Kanye West
4. Nicki Minaj
5. Lil Wayne
7. Meek Mill
8. Big Sean
9. Wiz Khalifa