Hottest Rappers In The Game: Here Is The Top 10 List For 2008..

// May 20th, 2008
Hottest Rappers In The Game: Here Is The Top 10 List For 2008..

01. At Last, We Agree With Kanye West, He Is #1

Why He’s Hot
With all due respect to the Diddys and Busta Rhymeses of the world, Kanye West has surpassed everyone as the best live performer in hip-hop. Grooming himself on stadium tours with Jay-Z, U2 and the Rolling Stones over the years has done him good. Even if West didn’t release another rap this year, he’d still be the hottest for his Glow in the Dark Tour alone.

Without exaggeration, it’s the greatest one-man show put on by a hip-hop artist, possibly ever. Pure expression, no irony, just an irrefutable avowal that he is the game’s most imaginative visionary right now. ‘Ye’s sold-out set is an orgy of lights, classic songs and conceptual genius. You’ve never seen anything like it.

02. Jay-Z Might Not Care, But He’s Still Our #2

Why He’s Hot
Obviously Jay-Z is not cupid, but it feels like he’s indirectly responsible for this recent rash of semi-secret celebrity weddings.

Who are we to doubt love? But once Jay and Beyonce were reported to be married, look how many other celebs have “quietly” gotten hitched. That’s influence, baby! It’s just one aspect of being a hot MC. Jay’s the “biggest star in the world” Kanye West made an entire song about. You wanna speak success, do you? Last November Hov’s American Gangster became the 10th #1 album of his career, tying Elvis Presley as the solo artist with most #1s. Only the Beatles have more, with 19.

03. Lil Wayne Didn’t Reclaim The Crown, But Checks In At A Respectable #3

Why He’s Hot
Simply a master of brayed bars and audacious approach, Lil Wayne’s boundaryless microphone-bogarting has made him hip-hop’s most exciting man to listen to. How many times have you felt like Weezy was just going to jump right out of your iPod and fall on your shoulders? How many times have you tried to figure out how he can use so many different patterns, tirelessly bulldozing through any track? Cruel! Just cruel, we tell ya. He works the hardest and has legions (yes, legions) of fans the same ones who treat the leaked tracks that have flooded mixtapes like precious collectibles who will tell you he’s the most naturally gifted spitter in the universe right now.

04. Rick Ross Bosses Up To #4

Why He’s Hot
Oh, to be loved! Rick Ross’ bossin’ up is one of hip-hop’s most entertaining chronicles right now. Miami’s new emperor has been able to coagulate all the right characteristics: unruffled, husky charm seemingly from the B.I.G. lineage, concretely convincing rap elegy and transfixing influence.

In March he went up against veteran friends Fat Joe and Snoop Dogg in a three-way SoundScan confrontation, resulting in a second-straight #1 debut for the Port of Miami representative.

05. Snoop Dogg‘s Widespread Appeal Makes Him Our #5

Why He’s Hot
It just didn’t matter. Snoop said he didn’t write his lyrics for his latest album, Ego Trippin’. His first single, “Sensual Seduction,” mostly featured him singing through an Auto-Tune device. His next single, “My Medicine,” is a country song. Country! Waylon Jennings, Conway Twitty (with the Afro) and Garth Brooks’ type of country. The intrepid OG is getting away with murder and the Brain Trust members are his enablers. Snoop is in that Holy Land territory where people love him for being him almost more than for what he actually does. What’s wrong with that? Honestly, can anyone really say that they aren’t enamored with everything the Dogg is doing right now?

06. 50 Cent Gets Money And The List’s #6 Spot

Why He’s Hot
Curtis underperformed 50 himself called it a “dud.” Still, it sold more than any other hip-hop release last year except, of course, Kanye West’s Graduation. And despite the false starts that led to his #8 spot on the 2007 “Hottest MCs” list, “I Get Money,” “Ayo Technology” and “I’ll Still Kill” maintained his credibility as a musical commodity to close out the year.

07. Lupe Fiasco Rises From Nowhere On Last Year’s List To This Year’s #7

Why He’s Hot
With swagger that lays somewhere between dope-boy fresh and Louis-Viutton-Don dapper, “He spat the poems that got their domes all geeked up.” Did Lupe have a legitimate gripe about being totally ignored by the Brain Trust during last year’s list and subsequent sidebar convos? Absolutely. Did the trustees tell the world that their list was neither perfect nor definitive? Absolutely. Nevertheless, Lupe made it impossible to overlook him this time (and not just because of the support he’s getting from his peers).

A little less arcane and definitely darker than 2006′s Food and Liquor, his The Cool LP borders on classic contention. His blatant sarcasm didn’t sacrifice his lyrical legerdemain on “Dumb It Down.” The articulation of emotion and attention to detail on “Hip-Hop Saved My Life” makes the song easily one of 2008′s most cherished, and the ample airplay for “Superstar” and many weeks as Billboard’s top rap record re-established Lu’s nascent star power.

08. The List Rolls On With Young Jeezy At #8
09. The List Heats Up With Our #9 Selection, Outkast‘s Andre 3000
10. Even After T.I.‘s Tough Year, He’s Still The #10

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