MTV's Hottest MCs in the Game is a list compiled of ten Hip hop artists deemed to be the "hottest" of that given year by MTV since 2007. Although MTV has stressed that the list is not meant to represent the greatest rappers of all time but the most interesting and culturally relevant artists of that year, the list is met with much controversy and debate each year. MTV named one rapper the "Hottest Breakthrough MC" of 2011 and that honor went to Machine Gun Kelly. Kanye West currently holds the record for most appearances on the list, being the only rapper to appear on the list every year since its inception.
The Hottest MC in the Game List was formed in 2007 and every year a group of Hip-Hop journalists known as "The Brain Trust" debate on who is their favorite rapper of that year. The Brain Trust has been composed of:
- Sway Calloway (on-air correspondent, MTV News)
- Tuma Basa (manager, MTV Music Programming)
- Bridget Bland (producer/writer, MTV Radio Network)
- Buttahman (director, music and talent, "MTV Jams")
- Rahman Dukes (senior producer, MTVNews.com)
- Andrea Duncan-Mao (senior music editor, MTV.com Editorial)
- Sean Lee (supervising producer, MTV News)
- Joseph Patel (producer, MTV News)
- Shaheem Reid (hip-hop editor, MTV News)
- Jayson Rodriguez (hip-hop writer, MTV News)
- Hillary Crosley (RapFix)
- Steven Roberts (MTV News)
- Sheila Grullon (MTV Jams)
- Yomi Desalu (mtvU)
- Ahmed Abdulle (mtvU)
- Mike Masic (mtvU)
- Moe Ahmed (mtvU)
- Rebecca Thomas (writer, MTV News)
- Renaud Jean-Baptiste Jr. (junior copywriter, MTV News)
- Nadeska Alexis (blog editor, RapFix)
- Rob Markman (senior Hip-Hop writer, MTV News)
The Brain Trust judges rappers on the grounds of their artistic execution (lyrical ability, flow), commercial success (charting hits, radio spins, album sales), cultural impact (business acumen, ushering in other big artists), digital metrics (Facebook page likes, Twitter followers, new songs on mixtapes), buzz and other intangibles. In order to be eligible to be included in on the list an artist must have actively released music that year.
Hottest MC in the Game recipients
- °: New entry
- ↑: Up / Re-entry
- ↓: Down
- -: Same
- ° Lil Wayne
- ° T.I.
- ° The Game
- ° André 3000
- ° Kanye West
- ° Young Jeezy
- ° Jay Z
- ° 50 Cent
- ° Common
- ° Jim Jones
- ↑ Kanye West
- ↑ Jay Z
- ↓ Lil Wayne
- ° Rick Ross
- ° Snoop Dogg
- ↑ 50 Cent
- ° Lupe Fiasco
- ↓ Young Jeezy
- ↓ André 3000
- ↓ T.I.
- ° Eminem
- ↓ Jay Z
- ↑ Kanye West
- ↓ Drake
- - Rick Ross
- ° Nicki Minaj
- ↓ Lil Wayne
- ° Waka Flocka Flame
- ° B.o.B
- ° Ludacris
- ↑ Rick Ross
- ↑ Drake
- - Kanye West
- ↑ Nicki Minaj
- ↑ Lil Wayne
- ↓ Jay Z
- ° Meek Mill
- ° Big Sean
- ° Wiz Khalifa
- ° Wale
Annual Hottest MC chart
|Position||Top MC||Year inducted||Appearances||Peak ranking|
|11||Chance the Rapper||2016||1||3|
|26||Waka Flocka Flame||2010||1||8|
|29||Lil Uzi Vert||2016||1||9|
- Kanye West is the only rapper to be on the list every year since its inception. Coincidentally, he is also the only person to be named "Hottest MC" twice (for both 2008 and 2016)
- Nicki Minaj is the first and only female rapper to be included on the list.
- Lil Wayne, Eminem, and Kendrick Lamar are the only rappers to be named the "Hottest MC" the first time they were included on the list.
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- "MTV2 Is Bringing Back Hottest MCs In The Game". MTV.
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- MTV Specials – Hottest – Mc. Mtv.com. Retrieved on 2012-02-14.
- "Kendrick Lamar Brings Crown To Compton As 'Hottest MC In The Game'". MTV.com. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
- "2 Chainz Powers Onto 'Hottest MCs' List At #2 - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV.com. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
- "Rick Ross Masterminds A #3 Spot On 'Hottest MCs' List - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV.com. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
- "Nas Finally Breaks Through To 'Hottest MCs' At #4 - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV.com. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
- "Drake Nabs #5 On 'Hottest MCs' List | News Video". MTV. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
- "Big Sean Tops Kanye West For #6 On The 'Hottest MCs' List | News Video". MTV. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
- "A$AP Rocky And Big Sean Battle For #8 And #7 On 'Hottest MCs' List | News Video". MTV. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
- "Future Debuts At #9 On The 'Hottest MCs' List | News Video". MTV. 2013-03-03. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
- "Meek Mill Kicks Off The 'Hottest MCs' Countdown At #10 | News Video". MTV. 2013-03-03. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
- "Kanye West, Drake & Chance the Rapper Top MTV's 2016 Hottest MCS List". HNHH. 17 December 2016.