Close this search box.

MTV Base Roundtable: SA’s Hottest MC’s List 2017

MTV Base is back with its polarizing roundtable which explores South Africa’s hottest MC’s for the period of November 2016 to date. This year’s panel consists of Slikour, DJ Speedsta, Caron Williams, Fred Kayembe, Thabiso Khati and iFani. Each of the panelists are tasked with compiling individual lists, based on the below criteria, which are then combined to form one list which is debated on the show. Part 1 of the MTV Base Roundtable will be aired on Thursday 30 November and part 2 on Friday 1 December at 18:00 on DStv channel 322. Check out for more info.

Criteria (Directly from

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 i.e. 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?

Follow the conversation by following @MTVBaseSouth and #BaseHottesMCs

Share this post

Related Posts