#6: Nicki Minaj
First appearance on the list; first female artist on the list
Her influence — whether it’s through her music and the many lyrical characters she embodies, her fashion sense or speaking out about important issues like child abuse and discrimination — is now strong enough that the MTV News Hip-Hop Brain Trust voted her the #6 Hottest MC in the Game. And, like the true pioneer she is, she’s the first woman to make the list.
Nicki’s appeal wasn’t just limited to hip-hop. Christina Aguilera called on her for “Woohoo,” Sean Kingston recruited her for the reggae-tinged “Letting Go,” Usher tapped her for “Lil Freak,” and labelmate Jay Sean did the same for his pop hit “2012.” And to further cement her status as the top feature artist of 2010, Trey Songz’s “Bottoms Up” is currently #2 on Billboard’s R&B Songs chart. On top of all that, her debut album, Pink Friday, doesn’t even drop until next month.