Who better than MTV to tell us who the hottest MCs of 2008 are? Last year they conducted a roundtable with otherwise qualified MTV producers, correspondents and editors branded "The Hip Hop Braintrust," who used the following qualifiers to determine their Top 10. One of them, sadly, is "swagger":
...we decided to break down what's going on today--as in not now,
but right now! We looked at the work of the most prominent MCs of the
past year or so and factored in the following: straight-up skills,
success (both musical and entrepreneurial), impact on the game and
swagger: an MC's cool factor and how they carry themselves on and off
To be sure, any "Hip Hop" that lands on MTV's radar is bound to be some straight-up trash. Check out last year's list with my comments after the bounce.
-  Jim Jones: Based on the above algorithm, I could see why. Not.
-  Common: They only put him on here so people like me wouldn't complain. I see you, MTV.
-  50 Cent: This surely followed a phonecall in which Tony Yayo threatened the children of MTV staff.
-  Jay-Z: This was on the strength of Kingdom Come?
-  Young Jeezy: He was boring and irrelevant when he came out and he still is. Next!
-  Kanye West: I can't deal with her right now.
-  Andre 3000: Andre has always been a dope performer and lyricist, but the Andre 3000 of 2007? Yeah, we're still waiting for "2 Dope Boyz in a Cadillac Part Deux."
-  The Game: All jokes aside, The Game is pretty dope, musically. But he's kind of a douche.
-  T.I.: Hell, why not? Even I liked him at some point. FREE T.I.!!!! Sike.
-  Lil Wayne: I'm almost certain he'll earn the top spot again this year. It's no secret that everyone thinks Weezy is the second coming of Christ. I just laugh at him.
So, 80% of last year's list was based on who made the news, who threw a temper tantrum, who was jail-bound, and who, in general, just wouldn't shut up. Way to go MTV, for perpetuating the notion that a Hip Hop artist's imaging and ability to make music bloggers froth at the mouth has more bearing on their relevance than any actual skill and originality. Now play a video.
The 2008 Edition kicks off this Friday. Be very afraid. Also, are there any true MCs even left in the mainstream? Discuss.
Hottest MCs In The Game 2008 [MTV]