MTV Base Roundtable: SA's Hottest MCs 2017

MTV Base Roundtable: SA's Hottest MCs 2017: About

Presenting this year's MTV Base SA Hottest MC's of 2017:

MTV Base Roundtable: SA's Hottest MCs 2017, a no-holds-barred top 10 countdown curated and compiled by MTV Base and SA Hip Hop industry giants.

For the fourth year running MTV Base has appointed a panel of industry experts to judge Hip Hop's "King or Queen of the scene" for 2017. This year's session will be mediated by TV & Radio Personality AyandaMVP, host of 947's 10am to 1pm slot. She's also a club DJ specialising in hip-hop, and she'll bring her knowledge of the genre, her quick wit and cool style to the #BaseHottestMCs' party with input and insights from the following panelists:

  • Slikour (Owner of SlikourOnLife)
  • Thabiso Khati aka Hip Hop Scholar (Longtime Marketing Exec & Artist Manager)
  • DJ Speedsta (Hip Hop Club DJ and MetroFM co-Host of Absolute Hip Hop)
  • Fred Kayembe (Hip Hop Commentator & Co-Founder of brkfst for dinner)
  • Caron Williams (Editor of The Plug Mag, digital music, urban culture & fashion publication)
  • iFani (Hip Hop Artist)

The 6 key criteria that the panelists will weigh up include: impact, lyrics, sales, buzz, style and other 'intangibles' that make them stand out from the crowd (more on this below).


We wanted to hear from you, and hear from you we did! Check out the results of the viewer's choice below, as voted for by you!

  3. AKA
  4. NASTY C
  5. EMTEE
  6. A-REECE
  10. ROUGE

How did your votes stack up with the official list?


In essence the hottest MC of the year needs to fulfill/meet all 6 criteria for the last 12 months

1) Impact: Since hip-hop's humble beginnings, MCing has always been about moving the crowd, and while the culture may have gotten bigger than 1980 park jams, the same fundamental rule still applies. In order to be considered among the hottest, you have to have an impact like Kanye West or T.I., artists who are able to shift the rap's landscape, whether it be with soul samples or their own brand of trap music.

2) Lyrics: Shiny chains, flashy clothes and platinum plaques are all nice, but without formidable bars, it'll be hard for any artist to gain respect in the rap game. Whether you're spitting about "good kush and alcohol" like Lil Wayne or being a good kid in a mad city like Kendrick Lamar, make sure those lyrics are sharp.

3) Sales (Physical and/or Digital): Cash rules everything around and though certain corners of the industry may be experiencing a sales slump, the top MCs are still able to keep the registers ringing. Just ask rappers like Nicki Minaj and Drake, you can't ignore platinum and gold.

4) Buzz: It's not enough to just have lyrics. You can be the best lyricist on the planet, but if no one is aware of your rap existence then your talents will just fall on deaf ears. Are you on the top DJ's playlists, do the blogs cover you, are you trending topic on social media? Who is talking about you and where?

5) Style (both lyrically and the artist as a brand ie swag): Lyrics are important, but they only tell a piece of the story. Without a formidable rap style, those well-crafted bars might as well just be words on a page. In hip-hop, delivery is everything and it doesn't stop in the booth. Spitters like A$AP Rocky and Drake don't only have distinct rap styles; they also have unique looks that influence their respective fan armies. The same applies to the rappers threads, look and overall packaging of the artist as a brand.

6) Intangibles: There are some things that just can't be taught. When it comes to rappers like Kanye West, Jay Z or Nicki Minaj there is a certain star-quality that just can't be measured. What are the other intangible qualities that make the artist that extra special - ie. Endorsement deals? Awards won? Own record label? Own clothing range? Any other business ventures that contribute to the hip hop culture?