"Hottest Breakthrough MCs of 2010" Candidate: Wiz Khalifa
Call him King Khalifa. "I can do what I want to do," Wiz Khalifa joked. "I haven't been watching sports, but I feel like LeBron right now."
Of course, LeBron "King" James has been a coveted NBA free agent, and Wiz Khalifa has been hearing out offers as well. The Pittsburgh native said, despite the rumors, he hasn't signed with Atlantic.
"There's some things going back and forth," Wiz said Wednesday. "I'm working on the album. There's a lot of people interested in helping make this album and making it what it could possibly be. Anybody who's willing to reach out and lend whatever they can, we appreciate it. But nothing's been official, nothing for sure for sure yet. But I f--- with Atlantic. I f--- with the whole Warner Bros. Music Group, even with everything that happened with the Warner Bros. situation. They are good people over there."
Wiz was signed to Warner Bros. years ago but sat on the bench and never released an album. Wiz, however, has built up arguably the strongest Internet fanbase out of the "Hottest Breakthrough MCs of 2010" hopefuls: his army of followers, the Taylor Gang.
"That's a good look. I appreciate it, man. That's what's up," he said about being a "Hottest Breakthrough" contender. "I'm just excited that people pay attention — but not only pay attention, looking for me to do well. There could be a lot of different opinions about my music and the movement that I'm doing, but everything has been positive, and everybody has been wanting me to do well. I got great fans that continue to express. And they say hard work pays off, and that's what I'm going to continue to do.
"Just staying in the studio, always working, always putting out mixtapes and material for people," he added about how he's maintained a strong buzz. "Capitalizing off of whatever I do. If something does well, you have to keep going after that. You can't get comfortable right there and think, 'That's it.' Constantly working and reinventing myself. Making smart business moves. Having great fans. That's it."
Wiz said his album has a title, but he's keeping it close to the vest. Khalifa — who is currently on the remix of Rick Ross' "Super High" with "Hottest Breakthrough" rival Curren$y ("Ross really just kept it G, dawg. He seen my movement and he seen Curren$y's movement") — did reveal he's looking toward the fourth quarter to drop it and that there will be more visuals from Kush & Orange Juice in the coming months.
"It's coming real good," he said of his debut album. "The sound is crazy. I'm really going in and focusing when I do these records, as far as what I want to hear and what I want to come out the studio. I was comparing it the other day. We got a big gun; we gotta aim and shoot it right. Now that's what I'm doing with the album. I'm not just making a bunch of songs; I'm making the best couple of songs. I know what I wanna hear."
Wiz has been working with his hometown team of producers: E-Dan, Sledgren, Juliano and Big Jerm of ID LABS.
"I always been versatile with my music," he offered. "I try different things. Since I been grinding and working, I try to establish the fact that I do all types of music. I'mma do some cool stuff. I'mma do some radio stuff. I'mma do some underground stuff. I'mma do some club stuff. I kinda established that with my fans. I'm lucky to have this little pocket where I can make radio jams and mixtape songs as well."
Wiz and 19 other up-and-coming MCs are in the running to become MTV News' "Hottest Breakthrough MC of 2010" — and the winner will be decided by you!
Cast your vote for the "Hottest Breakthrough MC of 2010" right here. The top five will be revealed beginning July 19, and the winner will be announced on the "Sucker Free Summit" July 25!