With arguably the best mixtape and rap album of the year and the biggest street banger of 2010, it was a no-brainer that The Source named [artist id="2000082"]Rick Ross[/artist] its Man of the Year. The Miami MC graces the cover of the magazine’s year-end issue along with upstart [artist id="2427571"]Wiz Khalifa[/artist], who was named Rookie of the Year. The issue is the first handled by new editor-in-chief, veteran XXL editor Bonsu Thompson.
In it, Ross responds to rumors that he walked out of the Soul Train Awards earlier this month (the show was taped on November 10) after Eminem bested him for an award. So is there beef brewing between the two rappers?
“Not at all,” Ross told the mag, citing production issues as the reason for his early exit. “I been going to award shows for a long time and I’ve never had a problem with who won. I’m happy I’m recognized. We were in the trailer, going over these particular [performance] issues [with the show's producers]. Out of respect, we came back out there to give them a reaction to the nomination. They gave the award to Eminem. I applauded. Big record. That wasn’t the issue. Like I said, the things we requested weren’t met.”
While Wiz had stiff competition up against Ross, Em, Jay-Z, Drake and Kanye for Man of the Year honors, the upstart easily took the rookie crown with his Taylor Gang fanatics helping him to sell out shows across the country.
The Pittsburgh rapper is riding the success of his first breakout hit, “Black and Yellow,” but prior to climbing the charts, he still had a base that could make veteran artists envious. Some say it’s his breezy green appeal, though Wiz — who was busted on drug charges earlier this month — said it goes beyond that.
“It’s not just the weed. The music is awesome,” he explained. “The music is great. Just from the beats that I pick, I’m a fan of my producers. They push me. The vibe is so positive, you can be who you want to be. The weed just goes with it. See, when I was in high school, I wasn’t in the streets. I had friends that were in the streets, but I just smoked with them. I had straight white kids that I just kicked it with and they smoked more than the kids in the streets. So I kicked it with everybody, but we were all on the same sh– mentally.”
The year-end issue of The Source hits newsstands December 14.