The Rap Game’s Hottest MCs …2012

Every year, around February, MTV announces their annual Hottest MCs in the Game list.  It ranks the top ten hottest rappers of the last year.

It’s always wrong.

So, I’ll preempt them, and give you the real top ten Hottest MCs of 2012.

To be clear, this is the hottest MC from January 1, 2012 to December 27, 2012 (today).  No prior works will be considered.  

By my calculations, there were 58 “relevant rappers” in 2012.  So, let’s start cutting it down.

If you’re not played on Hot 97, you don’t really matter (think, “if a tree falls in the woods and no one sees it” maxim), That immediately cuts 18 rappers off the list, leaving 40 remaining MCs.

If you didn’t do anything substantial in 2012, you’re disqualified.  This eliminates another 15 MCs which includes gods like Jay-Z (sorry Glory and one verse on Cruel Summer doesn’t count as “substantial”) and Three Stacks (Dear Andre, Anyone who’s started listening to rap music post-2006 thinks your name is “Featuring Andre 3000,” you’ve sort have become irrelevant to an entire generation of rap fans, sorry but it’s true).

This leaves us with 25 surviving rappers.  If you’ve been hanging out with Maroon 5, you can get the hell off this list.  That goes double for anyone who’s featuring Paramore or Taylor Swift on their records.  Which leaves us with 23 rappers.

Cutting four more rappers that released decidedly disappointing albums or mixtapes (Jeezy, Lupe, Big Boi, Waka) this year leaves the number at 19.

If you stole your whole sound from 808’s and Heartbreaks and never credited your sources, I have no respect for you.  (If anyone doesn’t know who I’m alluding to, I’m alluding to Future.  Fuck Future.)

If you routinely have the worst verse on any posse track you appear on, you’re out (looking at you Big Sean).

If you’re name consists of a European nation and a mid-western state, I can do without you.

If you only had one really good song of 2012, and it was about strippers you’re also out (cough-Tyga-cough-Juicy J).

If I can’t stand you, you’re out.  That’s you Wale.

That leaves 13.  The last three cut, for no really good reason, are Earl, Tyler and Nicki in that order.

That leaves us 10.

The Ten Hottest Mcs in the Game (according to me).

10.  Meek Mill

Best Moments of 2012:  Burn, Amen, Young & Gettin’ It, So Sophisticated 

Meek dropped Dreamchasers 2 (one of the better mixtapes of 2012) and then released his debut album Dreams and Nightmares (which was very sneaky good).  He may or may not have gotten with RiRi and he may or may not have thrown a champagne bottle at Chris Brown’s head (coincidentally, these are #2 and #6, respectively, on my 2013 New Year’s resolutions list).  He’s also become one of the best “shout rappers” out right now.

9.  Pusha T

Best Moments of 2012:  New God Flow, Mercy, Exodus 23:1, Don’t Like Remix

Pusha went all Omar Little on Young Money in 2012, making it his mission to just be a pain in their ass, which shook up Wayne enough for him to release a terrible response diss track (like really terrible).  There was four good tracks on Cruel Summer, Pusha was on three of them, that was not a coincidence.  Good year Pusha.

8.  A$AP Rocky

Best Moments of 2012:  Goldie, Fuckin’ Problems, Bath Salt

With Kendrick Lamar being old news, A$AP Rocky has now officially taken the perpetual rap mantle of “Next Big Thing.”  He toured with Drizzy this summer, overtook Kanye as the consensus best dressed rapper and got Iggy Azalea to tattoo his name on her – so you know it’s real – (he then subsequently broke up with her).  He’s debut album is set to release next month (although it’s already been leaked), he’s got a ton of internet buzz behind him and now he’s starting to get a real radio push behind him too.

7.  Drake

Best Moments of 2012:  Stay Schemin, No Lie, Pop That, Amen, Diced Pineapples,  Fuckin’ Problems, We in This Bitch 1.5

Drizzy didn’t release any of his own stuff this year, instead he just jumped on every other rapper’s Summer jam, did his thing, then ghosted.  He’d be much higher on this list if I hadn’t seen him be so terrible live (which I had heard before, but didn’t want to believe.)  Also quick thing about Diced Pineapples, is there any other song that that sounds so perfect for a Drake verse that doesn’t have a Drake verse?  Why only a hook, Ross?  There is no doubt in my mind that Drake recorded a verse so out of this world that Ross and Wale just looked at each other and knew if it was ever released Drake would become an unstoppable mammoth, leading to Young Money taking over the world.  Then Rick Ross, in his ultimate wisdom, decided to take the tape of Drizzy’s verse, lock it in his favorite Maybach and drive it off the Venetian Causeway, giving it a water burial off the coast Miami Beach to ensure it will never be heard.  Thereby, saving us from a second slew of #YOLO Facebook statuses, “OVOXO” being screamed on college campuses across the country and an entire Drake-ification of America’s youth.

6.  Chief Keef

Best Moments of 2012:  I Don’t Like, Love Sosa

In 2012, Keef released four mixtapes, an album, caught a charge, and had a kid.  He’s only 17.  He’s also the scariest rapper on this list.  All Facts.

5.  Nas

It’s impossible to find an embarrassing picture of Nas on the Internet

Best Moments of 2012:  The Don, Daughters

Nas stayed relevant into his 40th year, which is an accomplishment in itself.  Life is Good was one of the better hip-hop albums of the year receiving universal acclaim and even grabbed a XXL rating.   I’ve personally never been a huge Nas fan, but I got to give one of the greatest ever his props.

4.  Kanye West

Best Moments of 2012:  Mercy, Clique, New God Flow, Diamonds (remix), White Dress

A down year by Kanye standards, but Mercy and Clique alone put him somewhere on this list and delivering us 2 Chainz puts him on the top half of this list.  My opinion, I think Kim is killing Kanye the artist and this will probably be his last time this high on this list.  It’s just my opinion, but it’s also a fact.

3.  Rock Ross

Best Moments of 2012:  Stay Schemin’, Pop That, Diced Pineapples,  Take it to the Head, So Sophisticated, 3 Kings, Sixteen, Hold Me Back

It should be noted that the top three on this list are so high above the rest it’s not even fair.  One collab album, two mixtapes and one solo album, 2012 was a busy year for the bawse.  From best to worst it goes, God Fogives, I Don’t, Rich Forever, The Black Bar Mitzvah, Self Made Vol. 2.  That’s over four solid hours of rap music, to put that in perspective, that’s nearly double all the music in Dr. Dre’s discography.

2.  2 Chainz

Best Moments of 2012:  All of them.

Tity Boi has officially replaced Lil’ Wayne as the “hardest working man in hip-hop.”  Tauheed Epps is the best dancer in hip-hop, right now.  2 Chainz is also the tallest goofiest rapper in hip-hop, umm, ever.  That’s all I got to say about that.

1.  Kendrick Lamar

Best Moments of 2012: Everything on Good Kid, Maad City

Read thoughts here.

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