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.” 

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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.

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