Kanye West has been crowned MTV’s “Hottest MC in the Game” for 2016.
The always contentious list was unveiled during an MTV2 special on Friday (Dec. 16), with Drake coming it at No. 2, Chance at No. 3, Travis Scott at No. 4, and Future rounding out the top 5.
Coming back after a four-year hiatus, Charlamagne Tha God led a Brain Trust that included Nick Cannon, Joe Budden, radio personality Letty Martinez, Epic A&R Sickamore, podcaster Taxstone, and more.
According to Charlamagne, the criteria used for the list included bars, business dealings, impact, style, and social media presence.
Budden, who beefed with the 6 God this year, explained why Drizzy deserved the No. 2 slot. “I think Drake’s superstar is too enormous for me to put Chance above him yet,” he said. Coincidentally, Joe’s beef with Drizzy might have also helped him climb to the second spot on the list.
— MTV2 (@MTV2) December 17, 2016
“His ‘No Shopping’ verse is amazing,” said Martinez. “He has people dissing you. He has a 10-year-old dissing you, a drunk girl at 1OAK dissing you. He has whole stadiums full…He does it like a lot of people can’t do it in mainstream rap.”
With Young Thug (6), YG (7), Kendrick Lamar (8), Lil Uzi Vert (9), and 21 Savage (10) making the list, the panelists also offered up some honorable mentions. Dave East, Lil Yachty, Vic Mensa, Kevin Gates, Remy Ma, Big Sean, and Young M.A. all earned nods in that category.
After the list was finalized, Budden offered some parting words: “I gotta agree with the fans,” he joked. “This list trash.”
MTV’s “Hottest MCs in the Game” launched in 2007 as a program hosted by Sway Calloway. This marks the first year that rappers are in the Brain Trust and the second year that Kanye is on top. He previously earned the crown in 2008.
MTV’s Hottest MCs in the Game 2016
1. Kanye West
3. Chance the Rapper
4. Travis Scott
6. Young Thug
8. Kendrick Lamar
9. Lil Uzi Vert
10. 21 Savage