For a guy who boasts about not caring what people think of him, Kanye West really, really seems to care about what people think of him.
Earlier this week, MTV posted the bottom six entries in its list of the 10 “Hottest MCs.” Drake is tops so far at No. 5, followed, in order, by Big Sean, West, A$AP Rocky, Future, and Meek Mill. We wouldn’t want to finish behind the guy who released 2011’s charisma-free Finally Famous, either, so maybe it’s no surprise West saw this as the occasion to make a rare return to the practice of “letting people interview you, sort of.” (In fact, West didn’t rank at all on SPIN’s REAL Hottest MCs in the Game list.)
Yeezy called up Hot 97’s DJ Enuff, as you can hear below, and complained about his placement on the list. He did say he and Big Sean should’ve been in the top five, so the protégé outpacing the master must not bother him. But he questions being criticized for, well, basically anything at all. “I feel like in order to put me at No. 7, they had to bring up things they didn’t like, like the Cruel Summer album,” he said, before listing the various songs he released last year that he says were better than anybody else’s.
West went on to complain that the problem is one of image, as his public persona has moved away from beloved influences like A Tribe Called Quest and J Dilla to wealthy-eccentric-who-only-gives-interviews-about-perceived-snubs. “They don’t like Givenchy Kanye, they don’t like Kanye in a kilt, they don’t like Kanye in a relationship,” he said. To be fair, there were plenty of people who questioned West’s rapping — though not, let’s agree, his taste as a producer — even in the pink-polo era.
The hottest bar of the past 12 months, according to West, was on his song “Cold,” formerly “Way Too Cold,” formerly “Theraflu,” when he rapped the following about Kim Kardashian’s husband, Kris Humphries: “Lucky I ain’t have Jay drop him from the team.” There you have it, folks. Music can stop now; human civilization has peaked. Then again, West also said the No. 1 rapper right now is Lil Wayne, which suggests it’s 2007, which, everyone buy a bunch of rare Phoenix vinyl because they’re going to be pretty popular in a few years.
Rocky has a bit less reason to be miffed than ‘Ye, but he, too, argues he should be No. 1. “I’m the one who made the John Lennon shades with the glasses,” he said in the video interview below. “Who brought gold teeth back?” The A$AP Mob rapper also pointed out, more relevantly, that he listens to Southern rap, East Coast rap, and West Coast rap, without close-mindedly discriminating as so many MCs have done throughout the years.
All of that, and MTV hasn’t even put out the top four slots of its list yet. This is why top 10 lists exist, folks. Thin-skinned artists and fans act like they matter, so they do.