Rakim, the original God MC, is back and arguably just as ferocious as ever. Prepping for the Oct. 20 release of his new album 'The Seventh Seal,' the man himself sat down with MTV News for a little state of the union address.

"You gotta give it up to Jay. He's holding New York right now," Rakim said. "You have brothers like Fabolous that's holding New York right now. Rap is spread out right now. It's like the NFL last year. A lot of the teams we thought was going to the Super Bowl last year didn't make it. You have young teams that people sleeping on in the playoffs."

We can safely say that these are some kind words from one master wordsmith to another. With Jay-Z name-checking Rakim all over the place recently (see the new single 'Run This Town' and 2007's 'Blue Magic' for a couple examples), it makes a New York hip-hop fan's heart jump to see such mutual respect going down.

Ra continues to shout out some other big city luminaries in his personal Hottest MC list. "Jada, he's the definition of the streets," says Rakim. "Jada, Styles P, the LOX, period. You throw on one of their joints ... I'm in the whip, I try to keep my cool in the whip. I don't like bouncing around, getting my crazy on, but it's certain joints you gotta wild out..."

Finally, while this list seems sort of biased and NY-centric considering the MC's "Rap is spread out" viewpoint, Rakim also digs the artist everyone digs nowadays: the one and only Drake. Good to have you back, Mr. Microphone Fiend.