Firstly congratulations to every artist that’s on the MTV Base 'Hottest MC's' list. You’ve put in the work and it’s been seen.
Introducing your Official 2019 #BASEHottestMCs List— MTV Base South (@MTVBaseSouth) December 12, 2019
8: @MrCashtime & @rikyrickworld
1: @nasty_csa pic.twitter.com/w7bJvEtN7U
To avoid being a generation that only merits popular moves or personalities over work, I want to please highlight this work;
Big Zulu attracted a whole new audience, genuinely worked with a whole other genre and has had the longest reign on our platform for a downloaded song in 2019, one of the most watched Balcony Interview and possibly the most watch Spotlight. He was also able to hit number one on a niche platform like iTunes without being in a circle of the popular kids. Big Zulu is also a brand ambassador for one of the biggest brands in the mass market 'Brentwood', which is like the Gucci of that world he is from. When on stage, he is able to move audiences that have never heard his songs and his fans ride for him. It’s probably not in the popular culture radar but he reps hip hop in a big way where popular culture is not.
For Cassper Nyovest to not be on the list is ridiculous and diminishes the work he has put in. This year alone; Cassper bagged Samsung, extended Ciroc and was also involved in their moschino campaign. He went on and did an ad with Nescafe where he plugged his family, endorsed an artist that’s not the current wave (Mass The Difference), gets genuine co-signs from global artists (check his comments). Cassper inspired Khuli Chana to complete his current project, Planet of the Have Nots. His single "Move For Me" was a smash hit and even brought Jessica Burciaga all the way from America for the music video. He opened a store in February, not sure if he got any plaques for his music but already this sounds like someone who should be on the list.
Nadia Nakai has constantly pioneered the hip hop female entrepreneur space and this year I believe it all came to life. Her 'Bragga' collection with Sportscene not only did well for the brand but it became integrated in popular culture as a lifestyle piece. The only other person that’s doing that to a maximum without the commercial angle is Riky Rick with his Cotton Fest merchandise. Nadia bagged a deal with the cognac brand, dropped a super solid album which probably had the biggest launch for an album this year, and she went on to release a documentary about the album. She has received organic global co-signs on record and social media, bagged another a deal with Reebok, and got co-signed by Shell. To close it off, Nadia’s work this year was so big, that it overshadowed her album which was also dope.
I am not friends with any of these guys but I do want to say that if we allow popular culture or clout to cloud real work, we won’t respect what it takes to be a success and if we don’t do that everyone is going to chase the mediocre success that mainstream media perpetuates. 'Cause clout=viewership=likes and instant fame. If you remove the individuals I’ve mentioned and only look at the work they’ve put in, you’ll see how their bad days are some artists good days.
Let me know what your thoughts are and the folks you think aren’t seen/popular but are putting in the work.