Grammy-winning rapper Eminem has finally broken his silence on being snubbed for a slot on MTV’s 2009 “Hottest In The Game” list.
Em said he took his absence as a sign he needed to work harder.
“That hottest MC list that I was left off, it was one of those things that I was glad that I am at where I’m at,” Em said in an interview. “I’m glad I’m in this place now, because a few years ago I would’ve let it bother me more than it did. I took it not as a slap in the face but more so like, ‘Maybe I’m not on that list for a reason. Maybe I’m not doing the things that I need to be doing. Maybe I need to look at myself and step it up.’ I don’t know what I would have thought being in the mind state that I was in. I just felt like maybe I need to do better.” (VIBE)
Last fall, Rick Ross spoke with SOHH and defended MTV‘s decision to not include Em.
“I don’t speak on nobody that ain’t on the list,” Ross jokingly said. “It’s called ‘Get Like Me’ at this point, you feel me? At the end of the day, those are people’s opinions and I respect MTV’s opinions. I respect those brothers over there, you know what I’m saying because I’ve seen ‘em in the streets. If it was some motherf*ckers I never seen at these venues watching the performances, watching what’s going on, I may not be able to respect it but I see [panelists] Shaheem Reid, I see Buttahman, they visible to me. When I see ‘em, it’s [respect] and as far as the list goes, I’m honored to be mentioned. And it is what it is and to me, I feel like the only spot that counts on the list is number one. Second means you were the first to lose. So as far as Jay-Z being number one, I totally concur, that’s one of my white words. I totally agree with that because Jay-Z done influenced so many of the artists on that list. Signing Rick Ross to Def Jam, signing Kanye West to Def Jam, influencing Lil Wayne, co-signing Drake and the list goes on, so most definitely you gotta tip your hat off to Jay-Z.” (SOHH)
Despite landing the number one spot, Jay-Z previously wondered why Slim Shady was not listed.
“MTV, Thanx for this nod of appreciation,” he wrote in a statement. “Although I don’t strive to be ‘hot’ for any particular year, I thank you for the acknowledgment. My whole goal is to be recognized as the best ever. I created the term ‘best rapper alive’ as a sign of respect to my fallen comrades (Biggie and Tupac). I believe I’ve allowed a significant grace period, and I believe I would not be respecting myself if being the absolute best was not my goal, and that’s why I continue to push myself until exhaustion … salute. Sidebar: Kanye moment if I may … Eminem?!?! I think you do the credibility of this list a disservice if you don’t thoroughly explain his omission. As of this second he has the highest selling rap album of the year and a scene stealing verse on the best ‘posse’ cut of the year . (*Hands mic back to Taylor Swift … and nobody was harmed, I apologize in advance.)” (Rap Radar)
MTV later issued a response to the public’s reaction toward Em’s absence.
Eminem’s ranking was one of the most discussed topics at the Roundtable. His hotly anticipated return to hip-hop after a long absence drove first week sales of over 600,000 – the highest first-week of the year so far. He granted a handful of select interviews here and abroad, and was part of a massive moment with Sacha Baron Cohen at the MTV Movie Awards. But then Em retreated to the lab, where he spent the summer crafting Relapse 2. From June to September, Em all-but took himself out of the public eye, while other MCs generated week-to-week heat with mixtapes, guest appearances, performances and Web activity. (M Live)
Check out a past Eminem interview below: