It is here: As promised, the top-five vote-getters in our poll for "Hottest Breakthrough MC of 2010" will be revealed this week. These are the artists you guys voted for over the past month, and we can't express enough how overwhelmed we were by your participation in this project. More than 200,000 votes came in, and they were tallied as of midnight Friday. Keep in mind, the unveiling of the names this week are the top five, but in no particular order. The winner of the "Hottest Breakthrough MC of 2010," as voted on by the MTV News audience, will be revealed Sunday (July 25) at noon on the "Sucker Free Summit."
Chosen Ones: Travis Porter
Rising in the Ranks: Travis Porter have that underground mass appeal. They have their own thing. The love that has been keeping the unsigned Atlanta threesome thriving over the past couple of years is that they turn wherever they are into a huge party. Porter have tapped into the youthful exuberance of their fanbase with off-key melodies and rhymes about sex and partying. You couple that with a stage show that leaves fans needing hits from an oxygen machine, and you have three of the most sought-after free agents in hip-hop right now.
The Porter Boys (Quez, Ali and Strap) have been heating it up Down South the past couple of years with mixtapes and short films. In '09, they almost had their first mainstream hit, by guest-starring on an early version of Roscoe Dash's "All the Way Turnt Up." As the song spread from the clubs to the radio to YouTube and other websites, all the way to ESPN and "The Jim Rome Show," fans of the anthem were confused. They thought it was Travis Porter (who also use a sing-songy flow) featuring Dash instead of the other way around. Eventually, Dash took Porter off the record before it hit big nationally. While Roscoe parlayed the song's breakout into a recording deal with Interscope, Porter kept building on their own and released "Go Shorty Go," which kept their buzz high among the Travis cult following, a.k.a. the "Differenter Gang." Their core fans have made Travis one of the most popular groups on Twitter.
The group put out the mixtape Proud to Be a Problem this summer but have yet to sign a recording contract. They're in no rush. They enjoy recording their debut with no outside input, and they're living off show money, performing several times a week.
Early Insight: "You may say, 'I'm dropping a mixtape on June 7th,' and your mixtape comes out June 7th," Quez said about his trio's obviously keen self-promoting. "We say, 'OK, our mixtape comes out June 7th. We're going to drop a movie before that, and then after, we're going to drop five videos, and then we're going to do a countdown before it comes out.' "
Blistering Ballistics: "She say 'Quez, I love you,' oh really!/ Well I'm not lookin' for all that/ And I hope that you feel me/ Because I got a girl at home/ She find out, she'll kill me/ So when we out in public, don't come near me/ You feel me ... but girl, I hope that you understand that I cannot be your man/ See you in the club, girl I ain't gonna flex/ When the song come on, I ain't gonna dance/ And we ain't gonna buy no wedding ring, shawty/ You my outside lady, you my second string."
Forecast: Travis Porter will break through — it's just a matter of when and where. The free agents are going over offers from several major companies, but rather than cash a check from some bigwig exec, they might just decide to do it like they've been doing it: on their own.
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!