Top-five "Hottest Breakthrough MC of 2010" pick Wiz Khalifa has been on the grind for a while but appears poised to own the first year of the decade with his buzzy mixtape Kush & OJ. The tatted-up Pittsburgh rapper has been steadily building a loyal fanbase, layering his languid flow over spacey beats and collaborating with fellow "Hottest Breakthrough MC" nominee Curren$y. Among those checking for Wiz this year is Houston O.G. Bun B, who said the rising MC is close to making it really big in the hip-hop game.
"I think he's just really that one song away from actually cracking because he's made the connection with the people," Bun B told MTV News about the "Taylor Gang" MC. Bun said that Khalifa's innovative hustle, like many other young hip-hop artists, really makes use of the outsize marketing power of the Web to score fans.
"It used to be you make a song and put it out and then try to connect with [the] people, but now, there's a whole new D.I.Y. movement going on in independent music, especially in hip-hop," Bun observed. "These young cats are taking full advantage of the opportunities with YouTube and Twitter and all these other different viral video outlets that the Internet [has] and they're making it happen."
Bun isn't the only lyrical heavyweight with Khalifa on his radar. Rick Ross singled out Wiz and his sometime partner-in-rhyme Curren$y for the remix to his lush summer jam, "Super High." Wiz recently talked to Mixtape Daily about how it feels to have the Miami boss in his corner.
"It was a good look for me, because hasn't been nobody really big, anybody who's as influential in the game right now as Ross is, saying, 'I really f---s with Wiz,' or, like, been seen on camera with me. That was a big power move for the both of us [Curren$y and Khalifa]."
MTV News will be rolling out the top-five candidates for "Hottest Breakthrough MCs of 2010" all week — with the winner being revealed on MTV2's "Sucker Free Summit" on Sunday at noon!