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Jay-Z Questions Eminem’s Absence on Hottest MCs List

While it was no surprise that Jay-Z was voted MTV’s ‘Hottest MC of 2009,’ their glaring omission of another similarly-revered rapper deserves comment. MTV announced their ’10 Hottest MCs of 2009′ recently, by no means an easy feat, and a small thing to quibble over on a day when President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize and NASA bombed the moon, but their exclusion of Detroit rapper Eminem is interesting, to say the least.

Although Jay had the dubious support of New York Governor David Paterson and Diddy, even Hov thought the matter deserved attention. In a letter to MTV, Jay began by thanking them for putting him at Number One, saying, “Although I don’t strive to be ‘hot’ for any particular year, I thank you for the acknowledgment. My whole goal is to be recognized as the best ever.”

He somewhat humorously added the following aside, “Sidebar: Kanye moment if I may … Eminem?!?! I think you do the credibility of this list a disservice if you don’t thoroughly explain his omission,” Jay continued. “As of this second he has the highest selling rap album of the year and a scene stealing verse on the best ‘posse’ cut of the year. (Hands mic back to Taylor Swift … and nobody was harmed, I apologize in advance.)”

MTV defended their list, which also includes gifted lyricists Gucci Mane, Rick Ross and 50 Cent (50′s hot still? Really?), saying that they had compiled the list “based on an MC’s achievements of the moment, not an entire career. The criteria are based on a combination of mic skills, buzz, commercial success (sales and airplay), business ventures, Web presence, and impact.” To that end, they claimed that Em had simply failed to maintain a consistent enough profile in the media to be considered truly “hot.”

“His hotly anticipated return to hip-hop after a long absence drove first-week sales of over 600,000 — the highest first-week sales of the year so far. He granted a handful of select interviews here and abroad, and was part of a massive moment with Sacha Baron Cohen at the MTV Movie Awards. But then Em retreated to the lab, where he spent the summer crafting ‘Relapse 2.‘ From June to September, Em all but took himself out of the public eye, while other MCs generated week-to-week heat with mixtapes, guest appearances, performances and Web activity.”

We beg to differ. Em’s return to form has been one of the brief highlights in a fairly dismal year for rap. If Em releases ‘Relapse 2,’ this year, as planned, he will have released two platinum albums in one year. Also, it appears they were ranking ‘Hottest MC’s of September, 2009′ rather than the year in full. Rae’s album was great, but was Raekwon one of the hottest MC’s back in January? Fabolous? 50? What’s Jeezy been up to, lately?

Top 10 lists are tricky, especially when your criteria includes “impact” and “buzz,” but in this case, MTV, we beg to differ.

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