Lil Wayne

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There's no hardware to prove that Lil Wayne is the best rapper alive. But right at this moment, he's certainly the most nominated rapper around.

Tha Carter III's mastermind has scored a leading 12 nominations heading into the third annual BET Hip-Hop Awards next month, including nods for Hustler, Lyricist and MVP of the Year. His chart-topping "Lollipop" is up for Track of the Year, Best Hip-Hop Video and—yay, 21st century—Hottest Ringtone.

After becoming the first album since 50 Cent's The Massacre in 2005 to move 1 million copies in one week, Tha Carter III has gone on to sell more than 2.5 million copies—both statistics that make Lil Wayne a solid favorite to take home that MVP trophy.

No slouch but still in second place is Kanye West with seven nominations, among them CD of the Year for Graduation and Track of the Year and Best Hip-Hop Video for "Good Life."

The paparazzi's favorite MC and Lil Wayne will also face off against each other for MVP, Lyricist and Best Live Performer honors.

The once-retired Jay-Z, who's up for six awards; DJ Khaled, the multitasking "I'm So Hood" rapper who's got five nods, including top DJ and Hustler; and T.I., who was arrested hours before last year's show but has another shot to pick up three statues, round out the field for MVP of the Year.

Also represented among the cream of the hip-hop crop with a chance to bring home at least one piece of hardware are Chris Brown, Common, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Akon, 50 Cent and Lupe Fiasco.

Meanwhile, one of these just-bursting-on-the-scene talents—Ace Hood, Flo Rida, Maino, Rocko or Shawty Lo—will walk away with the award for Rookie of the Year.

Rap and fashion mogul Russell Simmons will be the recipient of this year's "I Am Hip-Hop" Icon Award for career achievement.

Comedian Kat Williams has been tapped to host for the third straight year and performers will be announced at a later date. The festivities take place Oct. 18 at Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center, with BET set to televise the ceremony Oct. 23.

Here's the complete list of nominees for the 2008 BET Hip-Hop Awards:

Best Hip-Hop Video:

  • David Banner f/ Chris Brown and Yung Joc, "Get Like Me"
  • Common, "I Want You"
  • DJ Khaled f/ Young Jeezy, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Big Boi, Lil Wayne, Fat Joe, Birdman and Rick Ross, "I’m So Hood (The Remix)"
  • Lil Wayne f/ Static, "Lollipop"
  • Snoop Dogg, "Sensual Seduction"
  • Kanye West f/ T-Pain, Good Life"

Best Hip-Hop Collaboration:

  • David Banner f/ Chris Brown and Yung Joc, "Get Like Me"
  • DJ Khaled f/ Young Jeezy, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Big Boi, Lil Wayne, Fat Joe, Birdman and Rick Ross, "I’m So Hood (The Remix)"
  • Flo Rida f/ T-Pain, "Low"
  • Plies f/ Ne-Yo, "Bust It Baby Pt. 2"
  • Kanye West f/ T-Pain, "Good Life"

Best Live Performer:

  • Busta Rhymes
  • Jay-Z
  • Lil Wayne
  • T.I.
  • Kanye West

Lyricist of the Year:

  • Jay-Z
  • Lil Wayne
  • Nas
  • T.I.
  • Kanye West

Video Director of the Year:

  • Gil Green
  • R. Malcolm Jones
  • Rage
  • Chris Robinson
  • Hype Williams

Producer of the Year:

  • Akon
  • Bangladesh
  • David Banner
  • J.R. Rotem
  • The Runners

MVP of the Year:

  • DJ Khaled
  • Jay-Z
  • Lil Wayne
  • T.I.
  • Kanye West

Track of the Year:

  • "A Milli," Lil Wayne produced by Bangladesh
  • "Dey Know," Shawty Lo produced by Balis Beatz
  • "Good Life," Kanye West f/ T-Pain produced by Kanye West and DJ Toomp
  • "Lollipop," Lil Wayne f/ Static produced by Jim Jonsin & Deezle
  • "Roc Boys (And the Winner Is)," Jay-Z produced by Sean Combs & The Hitmen

CD of the Year:

  • American Gangster, Jay-Z
  • Tha Carter III, Lil Wayne
  • Lupe Fiasco’s 'The Cool', Lupe Fiasco
  • Untitled, Nas
  • Graduation, Kanye West

Rookie of the Year:

  • Ace Hood
  • Flo Rida
  • Maino
  • Rocko
  • Shawty Lo

DJ of the Year:

  • DJ Drama
  • DJ Felli Fel
  • DJ Khaled
  • DJ Tony Neal
  • DJ Greg Street

Hustler of the Year:

  • 50 Cent
  • DJ Khaled
  • Jay-Z
  • Lil Wayne
  • P. Diddy

Alltel Wireless People’s Champ Nominees:

  • Lil Wayne, "A Milli"
  • Lupe Fiasco f/ Matthew Santos, "Superstar"
  • Plies f/ Ne-Yo, "Bust It Baby Pt. 2"
  • Rick Ross f/ Nelly and Avery Storm, "Here I Am"
  • Young Jeezy f/ Kanye West, "Put On"
  • Yung Berg f/ Casha, "The Business"

Hottest Hip-Hop Ringtone of the Year:

  • "Low," Flo Rida f/ T-Pain
  • "Lollipop," Lil Wayne f/ Static
  • "Bust It Baby Pt. 2," Plies f/ Ne-Yo
  • "Umma Do Me," Rocko
  • "The Business," Yung Berg f/ Casha

Best U.K. Hip-Hop Act:

  • Chipmunk
  • Dizzee Rascal
  • Ghetto
  • Giggs
  • Skepta
  • Wiley
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