Diggy Simmons wants to make one thing clear: Hip-hop is not just a hobby for the
"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 Diggy rocked over Nas' "Made You Look."
"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 MTV News' Hottest Breakthrough MC candidates 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 Hottest Breakthrough winner Wiz Khalifa. 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.