March 6, 2013

Oh dear. Oh jeez. Kanye West and Danny Brown, by all accounts two of the best musicians working today, did something very un-best by responding to their perceived snubbing by the annual MTV’s “Hottest MCs in the Game” list… they fell for a list, just like every perspective-less teenager, anonymous Internet commenter and mad Dad since the beginning of time, folks who saw an arbitrary placement on an arbitrary hierarchy judged by arbitrary criteria and decided, “This cannot stand.”

In Kanye’s case, the #7-ranked MC called Hot 97′s DJ Enuff and chalked the low placement to his atypical aesthetic. “What happens with these type of judges and people who are viewers, when you come in, I had the pink Polo and the backpack, then I’m checking all the boxes for that Tribe Called Quest-era and J Dilla and all that, so they champion it,” he said. “They don’t like Givenchy-Kanye. They don’t like Kanye in a kilt. They don’t like Kanye in a relationship.” Fair enough! People have a hard time dealing with Kanye’s leather kilt, it’s true. Counterpoint: It’s a stupid list.

Danny Brown, on the other hand, wasn’t listed at all. He went another route by recording a song called #HottestMC, which takes aim at the whole concept. Fair points! Still, the easy counterpoint: It’s a stupid list. 

The point, as always? Don’t get mad at lists. They’re lists. They’re dumb. It’s like getting mad over the Grammys. Which, yeah, Kanye has done—so I guess we shouldn’t be so surprised. Still, the fact that MTV is linking to the news about Kanye being mad should tell you about the purpose of listmaking.

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