Kendrick Lamar Calls MTV's "Hottest MCs" List "Important For Hip Hop"

Kendrick Lamar addresses the importance of MTV's "Hottest MCs in the Game" list.

With MTV rounding out the top five artists on its annual "Hottest MCs in the Game" list, one of last year's biggest stars gives his take on the competition.

In a recent interview with Rap-Up, Compton upstart Kendrick Lamar weighed in on the importance of MTV's list, saying that it helps keeps emcees competitive with one another. He also discussed Kanye West's recent complaints of his place on the list, agreeing that the Chicago rapper deserves a spot higher than #7.

"It's very important for Hip Hop," he explained. “I love that they have debates like that. We need that. It’s competitive. A lot of people forget out here, even though we doing these collaborations and stuff like that and we cool, at the same time, this is still rap. It’s still competitive and I’m trying to compete with everybody to be the best, and that's how I feel everybody else should think about it. When people feel like they need to make their comments, I feel that’s needed. You’re supposed to feel like you’re the best because if you don’t, you're gonna get stepped on because it’s a jungle out there.” 

He added, "Do I think he deserved a higher spot? Definitely. It’s Kanye. He’s been putting in work for years.”

Yeezy isn't the only artist who's taken umbrage with his spot on the list. K. Dot's "Fuckin' Problems" and "1 Train" partner A$AP Rocky echoed similar sentiments, saying that he deserves the #1 spot on the list.

Check out the full interview below.

RELATED: Sway Explains Story Behind Kanye West's TV


  • Anonymous

    where are the niggas like mos gef ,black thought ,common, ab soul,nasir jones

  • Anonymous

    "even if you're talking currently active how can they miss people like O.C, A.G, Guilty Simpson, Budden, Royce, Banks, Raekwon, Vinnie P, Bumpy Knuckles" Those rappers aren't popular, and not in demand. Defeats the purpose of an MTV list don't you think?

  • Brizz

    Important to hiphop? Meh...

  • Anonymous

    They should change the name of the list from Hottest MCs to Hottest Rappers because there's a big difference between an MC and a rapper and half the motherfuckers aren't even MCs.

    • Anonymous

      true dat nigga these mtv mother fucker aint knowin no shit just crating feud

    • Anonymous

      Where you at?, c'mon where you at? This is the difference between emceein' and rap Rappers spit rhymes that are mostly illegal Emcees spit rhymes to uplift their people Peace, Love, Unity, havin' fun These are the lyrics of KRS-One..

  • juhbjubbnjn

    the game and bam like to run threw woodss lmfaoooooooooo haaaaaa

  • Anonymous

    Pusha T shoulda been numero 10 NOT WEAK "R.obert I.s D.ead" MILL!

  • uhuujhujhki

    dx 21 from star and buck wild likes hip hop dx lolll wheres star att haaaaaa lmfaoooooooooooo that niga got hiss azz beattt loll

  • WTF

    FIRST and foremost....this hottest MCs list is garbage and it aint essential nor important to hip hop.....furthermore fuck what anybody on MTV thinks...its you the listener who speaks of who's the greatest....most da niggaz on the list (if not all) could get smashed by other artists....its jus tha dickriders.....they aint put yelawolf on but im sure he could eat Kendrick...jus as he outshined everybody on dat train track...(train track, lol)...but fuck most of all these niggaz tho...real shit....this list just goes as an example that MTV doesn't understand (still) the art of hip hop, rap, and or urban music.....furthermore MTV HARDLY EVER PLAYS MUSIC...I see another reality show imma crack my fuckin tv....fuck a teen mom (no rape charge)'s amazing how a channel called music television (that hardly plays fucking music)...has these artists panties in a bunch....MTV could be the same reason Nas could get recognized as the greatest Lyricist of all time but still not get a grammy....blame bitches like MTV....fuck them!!!

  • Samwise G

    I love Black Hippy but I cannot give K Dot a pass on this one. Really disappointing stance on one of the worst things hip hop has produced, MTV's hottest MC's list.

  • skillz

    the list important cause they trying to see what the public thinks fuck the list

  • underground detroit

    imagine if eminem with a black milk beat or black milk with a dre beat hip hop sucks

  • T

    apollo brown - the reset

  • T

    elzhi ft royce da 59 - motown 25

  • Phantom

    THE REAL TOP 10. 1. Wayne 2. Kanye 3. Cole/Kendrick (too close to call) 4. Drake 5. Lupe 6. R-Les 7. Hov 8. Nas 9. Big Sean 10. ASAP

    • Big Dan

      At the end of the day its all subjective so can't knock your opinion, but really, this list needs work. How did Ryan Leslie make it on there? I think if he stopped being so alternative and made straight rap songs instead of Euro trash, he could actually out write everybody on the list, but now I would not call him top 10. J Cole is not proven yet. He came out with a nice buzz and I think that's what he is riding on. I will confess, only song I've heard from him, other than his guest turn on Miguel's single (on which he was quite good), is that Paula Abdul sample that was his single and that was very amateurish. Ye got some skills I guess and I like him, but like I listen to songs with him and other people and he almost comes off looking stupid. Ni#^# in Paris and Church in the Wild..I listen to these songs and Jigga is coming strong and then here comes Ye with straight garbage/pornography. He gets slayed on Church in the Wild. Heck, even gay boy with the Chorus on the song out did him. There is an exception however....On Run This Town, I think he kills Jay-Z and that's the Kanye that I like. Big Sean? As far as the MTV list, maybe we need to reread the title. Notice they said Hottest MCs, not Best MCs, so year, if you just came out and had a big year, you're a hot MC. So maybe we should not be knocking the list.

    • DJ85

      How is Future ahead of Lupe? WTF... isn't he a singer anyway

    • Anonymous

      oddisee > j.cole

    • Anonymous

      bunch a fakes

    • Anonymous

      nah learn what real skillz are

    • 80'sChild

      First of all glad to see that lil wayne isn't on the list. The only list he belongs on is the "Most Bi-polar Artist" list. Glad to see that HOv didn't make it as well. He's passed this hottest list crap already anyway. It's basically "understood" that he's king, so for him to be on the list, it just wouldn't make any sense. I feel the same way for Nas. Dude is a legend, theerfore, he shouldn't be on it as well. It's great for him to still be recognized at this point of his career, but Nas is a different breed and is a real lyricist. For him to be on a list with a bunch of bumz is a slap in the face in my opinion. Kanye, Drake, Rozay - top 3 - everyone else get's the gas face!

    • Anonymous


    • phantom

      Ryan Leslie.

    • Anonymous

      who the hell is R-Les?

  • Anonymous

    yelawolf should have made the list everything he drops is dope!!

  • reveu

    mtv and music are two things you dont hear about anymore so this list is pretty much irrelevant.

  • swphillyp

    This a list of the hottest in the game nothing more nothing less. 2 chain is hot simply put but is he dope nope, is he even a rapper i dont think so lol. So don't get mad or bent out of shape at what the radio is playing.

  • sam snead

    I have no problem with the #1 spot but 2 chains being #2 makes the whole list invalid

  • Anonymous

    Kendick suck butt

  • Anonymous

    Shut the fuck up MTV. You have shit to do with Hip Hop!

  • Harlem's Reckoning

    First, congrats to Kendrick. However, we didn't need no wack ass list to know that K. Dot is on top right now. This was more of an attempt by MTV to try and maintain its placement in Hip Hop because generally, nobody gives a flying fuck about MTV. They should try making a list of who makes the best music overall, regardless of popularity. That way I could watch Sway's huge fucking head explode.

  • Dom

    *tear, tear* Rap's current state is an atrocity! The genre lacks talent SO BAD, we have to choose artists based off their level relativity in order to fulfill a TOP 10 list! Again rap has become all about the artist that has the most publicity leverage oppose to the actual quality of their music! IMAGE IS THE FOCUS-MUSIC QUALITY IS THE BYPRODUCT FUCK "SWAGG"

  • jester

    XXL Freshman is more important

  • Anonymous

    Everyone has opinions man! Thats why i love this shit. Personally I'm a big fan of kendrick and i believe he deserves that spot.

  • 490717

    Screw top 10 lists. Heres a list for you Things I'm tired of: Rappers claiming they top five DOA Rappers crying if you dont say they top five DOA Rappers acting like a Grammy means Dick Rappers acting like MTV knows shit Rappers acting like RnB Divas and wide receivers Rappers acting like rapping about how you rapping better than all other rappers is cool Rappers acting like they aint one fake album from thru

  • Dhiven

    Hip hop is now global. Just because some of you still ride in the streets think some shit is hot, doesn't mean that is the view of the rest of the world. MTV is global. Africa, Asia, Europe. Totally agree with that list so far. Kanye West hasn't done shit in the past year to be considered to be in the top 3. Only thing that was popping in South Africa was Mercy and Clique and those were of his compilation album with GOOD MUSIC



    • Anonymous

      drake is the only thing keeping lil wayne hot right now. who do you think wayne calls whenever he needs a hot single?

  • Anonymous

    Let it be known tho, Flo Rida is the hottest one right now. Notice I said HOTTEST, not the best. Nigga mastered the art of the crossover. He's the Ja Rule of this era, with the exception that Rule was R&B and Flo Rida is Techno.

  • Anonymous

    okay, officially not a fan. kill yourself...

  • Anonymous

    Let the streets define who's the hottest MC and do away with this wackness already!!

  • Anonymous

    Don't care about the list because they be having some wack niggas on htere, but congrats to Kendrick. The amount of Ws this nigga gets is crazy.

  • Anonymous


  • 10 Dope Albums No One Gives A Fuck About

    01 Big Bear - Doing Thangs 02 Shamako Noble - The Return Of The Coming Of The Aftermath 03 Gangster Crew Posse Syndicate - Are You Down With Me Nigga 04 Messy Mary - Messy Situations 05 Miilkbone - Da Miilkrate 06 Flo Rida - Mail On Sunday 07 Hard Boyz - A-Town Hard Heads 08 Pooh-Man - Funky As I Wanna Be 09 Brotha Lynch Hung - Season Of Da Siccness 10 Young Droop - 1990-Hate

    • Lyonel

      Who the fuck is Sharako Noble? You must have made half these niggas up.

    • calibeatbox420

      How long did it take for you to compose this funny ass list???? This shit is too funny. Thanks for the good laugh....

    • Anonymous

      i never heard that big bear album but i got the album cover saved on my computer and it is AMAZING to say the least!

  • Anonymous

    Why wouldn't the overly dedicated Kendrick Lamar be concerned with his position in the rap game? With his guest verse on A$AP Rocky's "1 Train," K-Dot made it clear that playing second fiddle was of no interest to him. "If I'm not the hottest, than hell must've froze over," he spit in a poignant and measured tone. Well, someone tell Kendrick that the underworld is still intact because the Compton, California, native has just been crowned the Hottest MC in the Game by MTV's Hip-Hop Brain Trust. K-Dot earned the #1 spot in a unanimous decision, while 2 Chainz landed in the #2 slot. While both MCs made indelible marks in the last year, it was Kendrick's artistry and commercial appeal that helped him earn the title. Lyrically, Lamar is an expert spitter who weaves complex rhyme patterns around soul-drenched beats, with as unique a style as rap has seen in years. And while verbal depth isn't usually a marker for rap success, the Compton rapper moved major units when he dropped his debut album, good kid, m.A.A.d city. Released in October on Interscope by Top Dawg Entertainment and Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment, the LP earned Kendrick a gold plaque before 2012 was over and is making its way toward platinum status with more than 700,000 units sold to date. The Drake-assisted "Poetic Justice" just crept into the Billboard's top 10 on the Rap charts, while his platinum-selling commentary on alcoholism, "Swimming Pools (Drank)," hit #1 on the Rap Songs chart. "Every time you listen to the album you get something new. I was worried that he was such a great lyricist that that wouldn't translate to sales and then he blew it out of the water," said RapFix Blog Editor Nadeska Alexis. Off the strength of his music, Kendrick was able to cross over, making a key appearance on "Saturday Night Live" in January that included a collaboration with comedian Andy Samberg and Maroon 5's Adam Levine on the iTunes chart-topper "YOLO." When it came to collabs, however, there was no question 2 Chainz had the rap game on lock, but what Kendrick lacked in quantity he made up for in quality. He turned up on the final verse of A$AP Rocky's Billboard beast "F---in' Problems" and Schoolboy Q's deep and penetrating "Blessed." Then there was Lamar's headlining run on the BET Music Matters Tour, his European run and a Coachella set that saw him perform alongside Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and the infamous Tupac hologram. But even with all of the metrics, it's Kendrick's impact on the game that he'll be most remembered for when the hip-hop community looks back on the year. Artistically, good kid was the album with which all albums were measured by in 2012. Not only did it resonate with fans, it was also a commercial success in an era where albums don't thrive like they used to. "I think he gives inspiration to the kid whose pen game is serious and maybe he's not so concerned with what I wear, or the slang or my ad-libs; he's just going into lyrics," Markman said. "I think Kendrick is kinda shifting the momentum of hip-hop a little bit."

  • Anonymous


    • Anonymous


    • Anonymous


  • Danny

    It would be important if it wasn't a joke, half the guys on there don't belong anywhere near it, even if you're talking currently active how can they miss people like O.C, A.G, Guilty Simpson, Budden, Royce, Banks, Raekwon, Vinnie P, Bumpy Knuckles.. Absolute ridiculous list!

  • werd

    im glad this guys around...i hope he can end that bs rap we been gettin.. like the guy 2 posts down is literally on this guys back. i know his shoulders gotta be heavy right about now

  • Anonymous

    Now everybody serenade the new faith of Kendrick Lamar This is king Kendrick Lamar King Kendrick and I meant it, my point intended is raw Fix your lenses forensics would've told you Kendrick had killed it Pretend it's a massacre and the masses upon us And I mastered being the master at dodging your honor And the chapter that read at 25 I would live dormant at 5 in the morning They raid your spot while Kendrick's performing And if they take everything, know I got

  • Anonymous

    I think hes a great rapper but hes only saying it because hes on it. If he wasnt, he would be dissing the list.

  • kniferpro

    he is carrying hip hop on his back

    • Anonymous

      Danny Brown: More versatile, better lyrically (wordplay, equal footing with content, storytelling, etc.) more creative Killer Mike: Best storyteller currently, better lyrically overall Freddie Gibbs: Variable cadences, kills all tracks he's on, bringing back a subgenre of hip-hop on his own And that's just current rappers.

    • Anonymous

      omg kdot is highly overrated its far more talented rappers than him

  • farell

    lol I think he is a little bit overrated but yeah, he is definitely the greatest right now ! Never heard an album as flawless as gkmc, not since TMMLP in 2000

    • Anonymous

      RAP Music, LiG, #CS, were easily just as good. C4C is much better. Flawless is the worst word to describe GKMC, it had all "good" songs but few "great" ones and the vast majority had something bad about them.

    • lol

      u just contradicted yourself..overrated then praised how flawless his album is... that said hes deserves everythin hes gettin right now as a real MC.. much love to

  • dark111

    one word : outstanding, this man is impressive He dropped an INSTANT CLASSIC and he is already being considered as the best rapper alive. he'll be remembered for sure, he made me forget Pac, Nas & Biggie

  • mobistor55

    Not a big fan of hip hop but his album is of the best Album I ever heard!! Point Blank!! I'm glad to see that the industry considers him as the savior of hip hop and as the new king, he really deserves it ! probably the best rapper alive right now

  • MTV

    None of the pop stars on this bullshit list are important to hiphop besides Esco! And no one is competing, they are all making the same soft, skinny jean, simple minded dumbed down drivel.

  • fifflaren

    Kendrick Lamar... Single handedly bringing the REAL Hip-Hop back!

    • ixellemou

      yep he is, his album is the only uncrompomised master piece (in recent years) that had a lot of success on the mainstream scene. he is bringing real hip hop back

  • SlimnaS

    Not a big fan but I have to admit that this album will go down as one of the best albums of all time for any genre.

  • flore2

    his album is ahead of its time. Perfection from start to finish

  • sinopledavid

    Best rapper since 2pac

  • regnam

    that was funny :p hope he's 1 coz no one can top him right now, NO ONE

  • Omegs

    He is right, it's all about competition. Damn Kendrick is on another level, best album of the decade with kanye's album + Potential GOAT DEA

  • Anonymous

    It doesn't matter, Kendrick is just saying it does because he's on TV and doesn't want to be seen as a negative nelly.

    • Anonymous

      yeah he ain't no bitter ass punk like Asap Copy and Kanye west "nigga i gave you an old tv with no remote 12 years ago why didn't you make me number 1?"

  • Anonymous

    A list put together by MTV for MTV hipsters and pop heads in my opinion Mr. Lamar, is "not important for hip hop." Hip Hop would've still blown up regardless of YO MTV raps. It was just a bandwagon that was hopped on for ratings. I give MTV props for expanding the base of listeners, but only because it was the only outlet at the time. This day in age, who needs MTV? If I was an artist, I would've been MORE butt hurt if say a real hip hop site or genuine hip hop heads didn't think I was worthy. I mean come on, would you take a list seriously with the likes of an artist like Future? It's a joke.

  • Anonymous

    He's only saying that because he know's he's most likely gonna be number one lol. Im really starting to dislike this guy..........

  • ixellemou

    I had the feeling that he tried to make kanye mad ahah btw, kendrick really deserves the #1 spot, best rapper alive but I know it's "hottest" and not "best but come on, Kendrick has the buzz eminem had in 2000, potential GOAT

    • Rattle1

      I agree, GKMC is probably the new Illmatic that was really on another level, best album of the decade with MBDTF

    • Anonymous

      No he didn't, you must not remember 2000 very well. And Kendrick is far from the best rapper alive, he didn't even have the best album last year.

  • polo hova

    Hip-hopdx became the most laziest hip-hop website damn. Everthing y'all post is no less than a day late. On top of y'all post nothing. Damn man wtf happened. 2dopeboyz are schooling y'all.

  • DrebinSlevin

    Seeing as how he's assured the number 1 spot, he can be so chilled about the list.

  • TheSouth

    Stupid Negros!!! It doesn't matter who's number 1, yuo all suck and this genre should die!

  • Anonymous

    Tommorrow, Kendrick will explain why he never watches horror movies with the lights off.

  • ApR3Y6

    Kendrick is the best rapper since 2Pac. Thx god, as MTV,XXL and the source said, he really saved hip hop last year !

  • Anonymous

    Of course he thinks its important he gonna be number 1 on it... i fucks wit him doe

  • FukKenny

    This shit is some stupid prom queen shit. Who gives a fuck who the kids are listening to. The kids are retarded. And FUCK KENDICK LAMAR! MOST OVERRATED MC EVER! besides all of the other lames on this bullshit list Sway's sellout ass made up

  • Anonymous

    kendrick will be number 1 on the list. kanye west doesn't deserve to be on the list. what did he do this year musically. cruel summer wasnt a kanye west album and it sucked.

  • ixellemou

    he is right and he should win; best rapper alive


    The list means nothing to Hip Hop! MTV is a fuckin joke!!!

  • A1 Roger

    This guy music is dope!! Fuck a mtv list tho

  • fuck compton

    This nigga look like a camel

  • Anonymous

    Kendick a stupid ass nigga

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