When Freddie Gibbs joined Sway on "RapFix Live" in September, the Gary, Indiana, native was firm in insisting that he would never stray from the deeply lyrical gangster rap that fans now expect from him. His recent deal with Young Jeezy's CTE label bolstered his efforts and kept the spotlight on his releases this year, earning him a nomination for MTV News' Hottest Breakthrough MC of 2011.
Despite a fizzled deal with Interscope Records in 2007, Gibbs (born Frederick Tipton) continued his rise to lyrical prominence by dropping popular mixtapes, including 2009's The Miseducation of Freddie Gibbs and Midwestgangstaboxframecadillacmuzik. The success of those two mixtapes landed him a spot on XXL's 2010 Freshman cover, but that was only the beginning for Gangsta Gibbs.
The 29-year-old rapper continued his manic music run, releasing the independent EP Str8 Killa No Filla via Decon Records in 2010, and in April he made his biggest career move thus far, inking a new deal with Young Jeezy's CTE (Corporate Thugz Entertainment).
Besides teaming up with the Snowman on singles like "Run DMC" and "Do It for You," Gibbs put in some extra time in the lab, turning out his mixtape Cold Day in Hell in October. The project showcased his growth, with standout cuts including "Anything to Survive" and "Menace II Society" and a slew of guest features from Freeway, Jeezy, Juicy J and 2 Chainz.
Major label or not, don't expect Gibbs to soften the content of his material anytime soon. "I wanna be taboo. I want your parents to not want my music in your iPod," Gibbs told MTV News. "I want your mom to be scared of what I'm talking about because it's so real." His fellow contenders for Hottest Breakthrough MC should probably be scared too.
Hottest Breakthrough MCs was established by MTV News in 2010 as a fan-driven initiative that spotlights, celebrates and cultivates new talent. MTV News chose a pool of young rappers and urged fans to vote for their favorite. When it was all said and done, Wiz Khalifa emerged as the Hottest Breakthrough of last year. The competition was tough, but the Taylor Gang General beat out runner-up Nicki Minaj, ATL group Travis Porter, Diggy Simmons and J. Cole. This year, you can vote for Machine Gun Kelly (or your favorite up-and-comer) over at RapFix.MTV.com, and be sure to check back for daily updates and poll results.
Each day, we'll spotlight a new Hottest Breakthrough MC before we conclude on December 13 when the polls close at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2011 Hottest Breakthrough MC will be revealed during December 14's "RapFix Live," during which the winner will appear as our in-studio guest. There will also be a special announcement about MTV News' upcoming Hottest MCs in the Game list and debate.
To be considered a Hottest Breakthrough MC, an artist cannot have released a major-label full-length album. Finalists from 2010's Hottest Breakthrough MCs poll will not be eligible for 2011 consideration, so unfortunately, Diggy Simmons and Travis Porter won't be part of this conversation.
Who do you think should be 2011 Hottest Breakthrough MC? Share your picks in the comments!
Stick with MTV News as we profile the 2011 Hottest Breakthrough MCs before announcing the winner December 13 on "RapFix Live" — vote now!