You think you know, but you have no idea.
Sure, the MTV Brain Trust announced the final 2010 list for the Hottest MCs in the Game last Sunday (October 24), but there are parts you didn’t see. For every Lil Wayne mention, there was another MC that someone felt deserved to a slot on the Hottest roundup but didn’t make it. So this week, we’re serving up the bubble list, comprised of MCs some of the Brain Trust thought earned a Hottest spot but didn’t garner enough votes.
“Wiz clearly has a huge Twitter game, when he dropped [the mixtape] Kush & Orange Juice he was a google trend for about three days and no one really knew who the dude was,” said MTV News’ Steven Roberts. “Once he dropped it, people got to see what Wiz was about. He had these sold out shows and if you look at his peers, the J.Cole’s and the other freshmen, he’s selling out tours and these guys can probably barely sell out tours by themselves.”
“We had our Hottest Breakthrough MC competition this year, which was voted on by the fans, and he came in #1 thanks to Taylor gang,” said Sean Lee.
Wiz Khalifa, born Cameron Jibril Thomaz, began his career in 2005, eventually signed and parted ways with Warner Bros. Records before releasing his breakout mixtape Kush & Orange Juice in April 2010. As he toured around the country with Yelawolf for their Deal or No Deal tour, Wiz expanded his fan group called “Taylor Gang,” for his love of Converse sneakers. No, really, they’re everywhere.
“You never know where you gon’ see [the Taylor’s],” said MTV News’ Shaheem Reid. “We were out in California in the parking lot of Rock The Bells, and like four or five dudes rolled up on us and I’m like ‘Sway, those your peoples? We ’bout to start beefing? What’s going on?’ And they was like ‘Yo, yo, Yo!’ and we were like ‘What’s up?’ [And they said] ‘Taylor Gang! Thank ya’ll for the support!’ ”
“They hooked us up with a couple of hoodies and we were gone,” added Sway, with a laugh.
And the fans can’t always contain their excitement. Earlier this year, one audience ran over the stage’s barricades during a Wiz show and the MC had to remove himself from the situation.
“He’s so hot that he did a show and the fans rushed the stage,” said Hillary Crosley, RapFix blog editor. “He had to run off the stage because the fans were screaming [and so excited].”
In addition, the Pittsburgh rapper is using a blueprint that’s usually reserved for small rock bands to grow their fanbase.
“That’s the thing about Wiz, we can talk about a lot of these artists but Wiz is one of those guys that’s a cut above,” said MTVU’s Yomi Desalu. “He’s doing it all by himself. You don’t really see that, how he’s doing it, in hip-hop. It’s kind of like an indie-style of building this whole social networking platform, doing the touring, I had him on my list and I’m kind upset that he’s not making the top 10 because of what he’s been able to do on his own with the Kush & Orange Juice, like Steven said, was a killer mixtape.”
“This kid comes from Pittsburgh,” added Desalu. “When you think of Pittsburgh you think of steel town, the Pirates and maybe Dan Marino, you don’t think of hip-hop.”
However when Wiz comes up in conversation, hip-hop fans do think of the term ‘Taylor Gang.’
“He’s definitely building a brand [with Taylor Gang],” said Desalu. “He’s engaging his fans, they feel like they’re a part of something. I saw him at Rock The Bells, he headlined the small stage and literally there was a shift of all the fans from the big stage to come and watch Wiz on the small stage.”
Not to mention, Wiz Khalifa, like his music, is focused on having a good time.
“And at the end of the day, he’s just having fun with it,” said Crosley. “He’s just having a good time, he’s not salty and he’s not jaded.
Still, Wiz didn’t make the list for a reason and MTV News’ Jayson Rodriguez began that discussion.
“With Wiz, I agree about him building up his movement, it’s really like six years in the making,” said Rodriguez. “He’s really been doing it step-by-step and he’s not missing any marks. But I think for him, he should’ve won Hottest Breakthrough because it’s really there for what he’s about to do but I think he’s still missing that record. And although Kush & Orange Juice is a solid mixtape, it wasn’t a game changer like [Drake’s] So Far Gone, it wasn’t a No Ceilings by Lil Wayne. And I think with him, ultimately, he’s just lacking that record where people can point at him like ‘I like Wiz Khalifa and this is that record.’ That’s the one thing missing from his arsenal that he’s missing to catapult from Hottest Breakthroughs to contending for a real Hottest MCs position.
Later, Tuma Basa changed his mind around #7, which was Lil Wayne, and decided that Wiz should’ve made the list. Of course, Yomi and Hillary threw their hands up in frustration because the two diehard fans were out-voted but Tuma’s addition might’ve changed the outcome. However it was too late and the MTV Brain Trust stands by the final decision of 2010’s Hottest Mcs in the Game.
“We all agree that Wiz is a master of his own universe,” concluded Sway. “But in order for him to grow, he’s going to need to step out of that universe and maybe take a few chances to expand his brand.”
Do you think Wiz Khalifa earned his spot on the bubble list, or should he have made the Hottest MCs in the Game? Tweet us at @MTVRapFix or tell us in a comment below!