MTV explains why their "Hottest Mcs" list overlooked hip hop heavyweights Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and Nicki Minaj, and names them "honorable mentions".
MTV's "Hottest MCs In The Game" list had a lot of people talking, less so about those on the list, but rather those omitted. We've heard Kanye West, Pusha T, J. Cole, and others weigh in on their dissatisfaction or general dismissal of the list, as well as plenty of hip hop fans. As a result, MTV has responded to criticisms of the list by providing explanations on why some of the bigger rappers of today did not show up. The network named Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, and Lil Wayne honorable mentions, and explained that their omission from the list was not due to their lack of talent, but rather their lack of music released in the timeframe or qualification for the criteria of the competition.
View excerpts of MTV's explanations below.
Jay, for one, stayed plenty busy last year, helping to welcome the NBA's Nets to Brooklyn by selling out a string of solo shows at the Barclays Center. There were a number of guest features, too, like G.O.O.D. Music's "Clique" and Rick Ross' "3 Kings," but when it came down to his own material, Hov only dropped one single in 2012, and that was the Blue Ivy dedication "Glory," released right before our penultimate roundtable,"Hottest MCs VII."
"He's been very preoccupied, obviously raising his daughter and raising the roof for the Barclays Center, so that kind of kept him out of the studio," reasoned Yomi Desalu, MTV's VP of Music and Talent Programming.
When it came to our sales criteria, Minaj made a killing with her platinum-selling sophomore LP, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. And while the April LP had notable rap selections like "Beez in the Trap" and "I Am Your Leader," the other half of the album focused more on pop fare like the RedOne-produced tracks "Starships" and "Pound the Alarm." And that was true to Nicki, who transcended typical hip-hop boundaries by becoming the first rap star judge on "American Idol."
"She may not necessarily want to be defined as [just] a rapper," argued Brain trust veteran Steven Roberts. "Just telling from this project that she put out, it's half hip-hop — it wasn't a dedicated project for one thing."
Tunechi didn't have an LP of his own in 2012 but that didn't stop him from hitting the studio to churn out his Dedication 4 mixtape, as well as hit single "No Worries" and current chart-climber "Love Me," both from his upcoming I Am Not a Human Being II.
Wayne also lent his bars to others, dropping verses on French Montana's "Pop That," T.I.'s "Ball" and Juicy J's "Bandz a Make Her Dance." With his 10th solo album slated for a March release, there's a great chance that Wayne will make his "Hottest MCs" return next year. But though he toured the world, racking up record receipts, there's no denying Wayne spent a dominant year chasing pursuits outside music.
Weezy established his skate-influenced Trukfit clothing line as a fashion force to be reckoned with, selling the gear in major retailers like Macy's and Dillards. The YMCMB boss balanced his business ventures, including a partnership with Mountain Dew, with his growing love for skateboarding. It became clear that, at least for now, Wayne's love for the microphone had been surpassed by his love for the decks.