Wale, Cory Gunz, Jazmine Sullivan

In this exclusive, SOHH sizes up the competition in the “Artist To Watch” category for the 2008 Online Hip-Hop Awards.

Wale is among the up-and-coming artists that are vying for the highly coveted “Artist To Watch” award. The Washington, DC rapper will face off against fellow newcomers Jazmine Sullivan, Ace Hood, Cory Gunz and Ryan Leslie.

With such stiff competition, Wale thinks that the award could go to any of the final nominees.

“Everybody has an equal opportunity,” he told SOHH.  “Everybody deserves it I guess if we’re nominated.   I can’t say that I deserve it more than the next person.”

“Let me just give you the PC humble response because internet people be so sensitive,” he continued. “They be like, ‘Wale’s dissing everybody!  Let’s blog about it.’  So I appreciate being nominated.  If I win it I’ma have a great speech for y’all but if I don’t it’s a pleasure to be nominated.”


But Wale doesn’t have to plead his case.  He’s already scored collaborations with Cool and Dre, 9th Wonder, Green Lantern and Sean C and LV for his forthcoming Interscope Records debut and he’s got an endorsement from Underground King, Bun B.

When Bun B was asked which young artists he had his eye on he replied, “I like the young boy Wale in DC.”

Terror Squad rapper Fat Joe is impressed by the buzz of two of the other contestants, Jazmine Sullivan and Ace Hood. 

“R&B, I like the Jazmine Sullivan girl she’s right,” he said. “She’s on fire right now. Ace Hood of course, DJ Khaled‘s artist.  He got two hits in a row.  You gotta watch out for him.”

Ace Hood’s debut album Gutta will drop on Khaled’s We The Best/Def Jam imprint next Tuesday, November 18th.  It features guest appearances by Plies, Trick Daddy, Rock City, Akon, Rick Ross, T-Pain, Trey Songz and Lloyd.

Cast your vote for “Artist To Watch” or any of the other categories for the 2008 Online Hip-Hop Awards here. Voting ends, November 20th.