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Video: Sway Explains MTV’s Hottest MCs List

Voting ends 9/21.

For the criteria, we factor in the following: How the MC’s words penetrate on the mic: Can their lyrics stab hearts, does their flow enthrall you? Obviously we look at how they implement their talent with the quality of music as well. The music is always primary, but not the only aspect of a Hot MC. We look at their success, both musical and entrepreneurial: Do they sell albums, singles and ringtones? Do they top the charts? Are their records heavily spun on the airwaves? Do they have businesses that flourish? Have they put other MCs in the game? Do companies clamor to get them to endorse products? And finally, there’s the intangible, impact: Of course you can look at metrics such Google hits, Twitter followers and YouTube views — which we do — but do these MCs move the needle on the culture? Can the mere mention of their names start conversations? Do they start trends? How much do they get fans engrossed? What’s their buzz? Keep in mind though, these are the main factors. When the Hip-Hop Brain Trust sits down, passion over a certain issue or artists will ultimately determine who ranks where.

The Hip-Hop Brain Trust is currently comprised of eight MTV staffers — Tuma Basa, Buttaman, Rahman Dukes, Sean Lee, Shaheem Reid, Steven Roberts, Jayson Rodriguez and moderator Sway, who expresses his opinions at the round table but does not vote. Prior to convening, all Trustees will come up with their own personal lists — which we’ll disclose once the entire list is revealed — choosing who they felt were the MCs dominating in their craft. This year we will also tally up a list of the fans’ top 10. There’s a poll running our Web site right now (voting closes on September 21) where we pose the question, “Who is the Hottest MC in the Game?” The top 10 choices from this readers’ poll will be included this year, with Sway representing them at the table. Once all 10 lists are in, we mathematically add the total in one master list. Each rapper gets 10 points for every time they rank #1, nine points for #2, and so forth. Once that is accomplished, the Hip-Hop Brain Trust will sit down at the table and fight it out. Keep in mind, just because an artist makes the master list, that doesn’t mean that he or she cannot be taken off and replaced with MCs from outside the mathematical top 10. Others can rise of fall within the top 10.

We’ve had plenty of controversy over our past lists — Lil Wayne won in 2007; Kanye West in 2008 — and this year’s will undoubtedly be the most controversial yet!

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6 Responses to “Video: Sway Explains MTV’s Hottest MCs List”

  1. pacino Says:

    eminem, rick ross, 50 cent, joe budden


  2. demo Says:

    where the top 10 greatest mc’s of all time list. I wanna see what this ‘brain trust’ thinks about that

  3. Whats Really Really Good Says:

    By these criteria, I would be shocked if Kanye wasn’t #1 again

  4. Lewis Hegeman Says:

    Are they serious!?… 50 Cent is fake commercial formula garbage; Asher Roth is fresh, creative, but too new, and his album flopped; Busta Rhymes is classic and dope, but he aint really come back yet; Cam’Ron is classic and dope, but, oh, so repetitive, and past his prime; Eminem is one of the greatest lyricists ever, but it all went down hill when he decided to get gangster and sing every hook, at the same time; Gucci Mane, um, who is Gucci Mane?; Joe Budden is aight, and hes part of Slaughterhouse, so thats a good look; Kanye West is a whiny bitch; Rick Ross is a fake-ass fat dude; Lil Wayne can come up with some ill shit in that crazy mind, but he’s inconsistent, and his voice is annoying; Lloyd Banks, um, does he still rap?; Ludacris is an actor; Plies, um, who is Plies?; Raekwon is an ill MC, who picks even iller beats, he’s a legend, he’s Wu, but he’s just not mainstream accessible enough; Redman, um, ever see his MTV Cribs episode; Soulja Boy is a joke, period; Young Jeezy is aight; The Game put out a great album, but his namedrops are lame, and he’s easy to forget about when a new album isn’t out; T.I. is a beast, an MC and a musician, but he’s locked up; so who does that leave us with? (A) Drake is more than a Degrassi vet, and the kid can rap. (B) Fabolous proves time and time again that he can do this thing. Good beats, good raps. But just missing that “something”. (C) Aside from my artist, indie rapper AWKWORD, Jadakiss is my favorite MC. Gangster intelligence; politics from poverty. But, unfortunately, he’s just not mainstream accessible enough. (Look out for the “New York Minute” World View remix with Jadakiss, French Montana, AWKWORD and others). (D) Jay-Z runs the game — at age 60, he can still be timely and cool; aint nobody set as many trends; and aint nobody flow so intelligent with such ease. So, simply put, its still his crown to be taken. (E) And my vote, KiD CuDi takes it. This far-out-there MC is gonna bridge the gap between hip hop and every other genre. He brings heart, soul, harmony and sarcastic wit to hip hop. He’s what we been missing (along with B.o.B., Wale and maybe some others).

  5. Lewis Hegeman Says:

    and please accept my apologies… I forgot someone, somehow. Nas has historically bridged the gap between hip pop and revolutionary hip hop. If he just liked better beats, ran his own labels, and didnt have mama drama, i’d say he still ranks #1. if my vote were based on most deserving, and not most accurate, Nas would be it. just go listen to his Untitled (N*gger) album, trust.

  6. Ramon Says:

    “Do they sell albums, singles and ringtones? Do they top the charts? Are their records heavily spun on the airwaves? Do they have businesses that flourish? Have they put other MCs in the game? Do companies clamor to get them to endorse products?”

    That’s a horrible factor to weigh in if we’re measuring that against artistic relevance or art, for that matter.

    Love these lists and am a fan of the collective behind the idea, but MTV should have the necessary boldness and use the embedded power to not have to factor the above in.

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