Diggy Simmons Says He's 'A Breath Of Fresh Air' For Hip-Hop

Upstart MC is ready to make a mark with his debut album, and that's why he's one of MTV News' 11 for '11.

Diggy Simmons wants to make one thing clear: Hip-hop is not just a hobby for the [url id="http://www.mtv.com/shows/runs_house/season_6/series.jhtml"]"Run's House"[/url] star.

"This is what I do," he told MTV News. "I get in interviews: 'Is this a hobby?' I almost feel like stopping the interview, you know what I'm saying? I don't get why they think just 'cause I did the show I can't do this. [TV] wasn't my profession. It was something that we were approached with and we did. The reality show, for me, obviously, wasn't anything that I really wanted to do with my career. So I don't get why people are like, 'Oh, now he's doing this?' It's not 'now'; this is the beginning of me going toward something I really want to do."

The teen MC — another one of our 11 for '11 stars to watch — got his buzz started last year when he put out a viral video of him paying homage to his famous father, Rev Run of Run-DMC fame, when [article id="1639070"]Diggy rocked over Nas' "Made You Look."[/article]

"The flow I cater, it's something major/ An indicator of what happens later," he spits. "It's greater than you've anticipated/ Some people love it, the way I does it/ That's why n---as buzzing/ 'Cause they calling me sick, something like Robitussin/ I hear you coughing, I treat you often with freestyle/ And as I'm walking the people talking, they see now/ And I don't rap for my age like Lil' Bow Wow/ The son of a king, so why would I ever bow down?"

In 2010, he put out a pair of mixtapes, Airborne and Past, Present(s), Future with DJ Premier, and also earned a nod as one of [article id="1644277"]MTV News' Hottest Breakthrough MC candidates[/article] to cement his transition to full-fledged rapper.

Now, the 15-year-old is working on his debut album for Atlantic Records, home to heavyweights like T.I., B.o.B and [article id="1644448"]Hottest Breakthrough winner Wiz Khalifa[/article]. Diggy is hoping to turn the tables on his reputation as a reality-TV talent to bona fide hip-hop heavyweight.

"Me just writing and the expression of different things that I go through," Diggy said, describing his forthcoming collection. "People are like, 'Man, what is he even gonna write about?' But if you listen to the mixtape or listen to the tracks, there's a lot of different topics and things that I touch on. And a lot of people are like, 'Oh, I can relate to this at any age.' It's like a breath of fresh air. So I'm really thankful for all the support that I been receiving over the past year or couple months."

Check out MTV News' 11 for '11 — actors, musicians and TV stars who are about to have a huge year — all week long.