Last week MTV2’s #HottestMC list had the internet going crazy. I had predictions of the internet exploding the closer MTV2 got to releasing the Top 5. While many fans across the country engaged with MTV2’s @RobMarkman on twitter about how inaccurate the list was, at a first glance I really agreed with the choices and positioning of the MCs. While Kendrick Lamar was the safe Hip Hop answer for #1, and the positioning of Nas was questionable, I was content with the list. THEN, I got into a heated debate with a Jay Z fan about why Nas should be on the Hottest MCs list and started forming my own list shortly after that.
With the ears of a DJ, I’ve had the opportunity to travel the country this past year to spin and hear other DJs play music in a variety of settings. As someone who is fully indulging in different aspects of the music industry including radio, club DJing & promoting, blogging and fashion, I have had a chance to look at many of these artists in different perspectives than the average fan.
With that being said I present to you International Nasty’s #Hottest MCs List
1. 2 Chainz
4. Rick Ross
5. Big Sean
6. Meek Mill
10. French Montana
Honorable Mentions: Pusha T, Wale, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Jay Z, Juicy J, Trinidad Jame$, Young Jeezy, T.I
The question is, why would MTV2 rank Kendrick Lamar at #1, and I rank him in the bottom half of my Top 10 list? While Kendrick Lamar undeniably put out one of the best Hip Hop debuts in recent history, he was an artist that was very easy to escape. My #1 pick, 2 Chainz was an artist regardless if you were a fan of his or not, you were going to hear his songs on a daily basis against your own will. Other artist who weren’t easy to escape on the radio, in the clubs, or just in everyday passing were Drake, Rick Ross, Big Sean, Meek Mill, Future and French Montana. Kendrick Lamar and Nas were two artists on both lists who made their cult like fan bases were more than satisfied with their albums good kid, m.a.a.d city and Life Is Good. Kendrick Lamar and 2013 Nas have similar J Cole cult like fan bases. The fans of these artist will come out in the hundreds of thousands to support their flagship lyricists first week without having a major radio smash because the quality of product is proven. Unfortunately for Kendrick Lamar and Nas, lyrics is only 1 of 6 sections of criterea for MTV2’s #HottestMC list. While both of their albums impacted Hip Hop this year the album may have meant more to their fans than the casual listener.
Another artist who took a tremendous leap on DJ International Nasty’s #HottestMC list was A$AP Rocky. While 2 Chainz had the biggest year in Hip Hop out of any artist, Harlem’s A$AP Rocky was able to effect the culture as a whole, musically and non musically. A$AP Mob’s fans are similar to the Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Gang cult. A$AP Rocky is the current President of Trill, Gold Grills, Chopped & Screwed, High End Fashion and is ultimately a voice for the new Hip Hop youth. While all of the intangibles made A$AP Rocky hot, he put out my favorite Hip Hop album of 2012 and was able to kill everything in between the clubs and the radio with the smash single ‘Fuckin’ Problems.’ Another notable action of A$AP Rocky this year was being a true leader for the new school Hip Hop artists by doing collaborations with artist such as Danny Brown, Joey Bada$$, Action Bronson, Schoolboy Q and fellow A$AP Mob member A$AP Ferg.
Despite Yeezus Christ giving Sway his first TV, Kanye West did not make DJ International Nasty’s list as he ranked #7 on MTV’s #HottestMCs list. While Kanye West certainly remained a house hold name this year, it was for everything but rapping. The stars of Kanye West’s GOOD MUSIC Cruel Summer compilation and lead singles were clearly Big Sean, 2 Chainz and Pusha T. Yeezy was able to use his musical capital in 2012 to allow MCs such as Big Sean, 2 Chainz and Pusha T to have a better 2013. This has been proven with the recent success of all three artist. While Kanye did have memorable verses last year, impregnating Kim Kardashian, Yeezy 2 hype and epic concert rants have out shined his music recently. If Kanye West is able to make MTV2’s #HottestMC list then Jay Z shouldn’t be too far behind in the ranking with all of the publicity Mr. Carter had outside of music in 2012. Hello Brooklyn signed Blu Ivy, kisses from Beyonce.-wn?