Hate it or love it, the underdog is on top! Since he first began to make noise with his 2010 mixtape Lace Up, Machine Gun Kelly has worked his way into hip-hop's collective consciousness. It wasn't always pretty (see MGK's August flash-mob arrest or his tiff with Yelawolf), but it's always been passionate.
Now, thanks to that passion, Machine Gun Kelly can stand alone as MTV News' Hottest Breakthrough MC of 2011, it was revealed on "RapFix Live."
The competition was tough, and ever since the fan-driven Hottest Breakthrough poll opened on the RapFix blog last week, Kells was jockeying for the #1 position, fighting off Lil Twist and Mac Miller. A$AP Rocky, Future, French Montana, Freddie Gibbs, Kendrick Lamar, Meek Mill and Roscoe Dash were also in contention, but in the end, it was MGK who held the crown after hundreds of thousands of votes were tallied. When all the math was complete, MGK finished with 44 percent of the vote.
Miller, whose Blue Slide Park debuted at #1 last month, was an early favorite. Twist, who finished in the #2 spot with 39 percent of the vote, proved to be MGK's most formidable competition, thanks to his die-hard fans, Young Money team and best friend Justin Bieber, who all tweeted in support.
In August, MGK appeared on "RapFix Live" and announced that he had signed with Diddy's storied Bad Boy label, but rather than try to force him into the marketplace before his time, it was decided that the record company would continue to grow Kells organically. One of the things that first impressed Puff was Kelly's dedicated fanbase, the same one that voted him the Hottest Breakthrough MC.
"He has just such a movement, just hundreds and thousands of loyal fans that came from the place he came from in different parts of the country," Diddy gushed during that "RapFix Live" appearance. "He wasn't always the coolest kid in school, and just the process of growing up and the problems that they all encounter, they relate to him in such a way."
Influenced by DMX, Cleveland's Machine Gun Kelly began battle-rapping around 2004 while he was still in high school. His passion grew from the corner ciphers to the studio, where he would lay tracks for his 2006 mixtape, Stamp of Approval. Back then, the MC (who got the Machine Gun part of his moniker because of his rapid-fire raps) was just getting his feet wet. In 2010, MGK would drop two mixtapes, 100 Words and Runnin' and, his most notable tape, Lace Up. From there, the energetic spitter would develop his following thanks to his spirited live performances.
From the very beginning of the competition, MGK had his eyes set on the #1 spot. "To be considered for the Hottest Breakthrough MC of 2011, it's obviously an honor, but I want to be the hottest. I've never been comfortable with sharing anything: I was a single child," Machine Gun Kelly said on "RapFix Live."
Who did you vote for in the Hottest Breakthrough MC of 2011 poll? Tell us in the comments!