When MTV revealed the finalists for its Hottest MCs list, J. Cole was noticeably missing from the lineup – an omission that had fans criticizing the network. But Cole took the news with grace, explaining that if it hadn’t been him, people would be criticizing MTV for leaving off someone else.

“Yeah, I saw the list. I don’t know. A list is a list, you know what I’m saying? Whether I’m on it or not. If I was on that list, they’d find another person to be up in arms about,” he explained. “I’m very happy at the fact that my fans and people who aren’t really big fans but they just know… I’m happy to see that reaction from them. But if it wasn’t me, it’d be somebody else. Like, how did you forget emcee such and such? That’s just the nature of the list. So imagine when the top 10 is really announced, I’m sure there’ll be drama then. But do I deserve it? Yeah, of course. Even when I didn’t deserve to be on it, I thought I deserved to be on it a couple of years ago, when I really wasn’t as hot as I might be right now. But it’s all good.”

Cole, who is prepping the release of his music video for “Nobody’s Perfect” with Missy Elliott, took a hit last night at the Grammy Awards, losing Best New Artist to Bon Iver.

Watch the full interview below.

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