While some of the names may be obvious to a few, XXL Magazine has definitely surprised many with some of its selections for its coveted annual XXL Freshman Class cover. From young talents who have seen meteoric rises in fame in a short time (Fetty Wap, OG Maco) to acts that have had major co-signs help spread the word about their skills (Tink, Kidd Kidd), this year's Freshman class is definitely a diverse group:
- Fetty Wap
- Kidd Kidd
- Def Loaf
- Vince Staples
- K Camp
- Shy Glizzy
- OG Maco
While lists are often subjective to a fault, all of the artists featured on this year's Freshman list have been at the center of conversations of hip-hop lovers and casual fans alike for the last year.
Fetty Wap's "Trap Queen" has taken off and become a scorching Billboard Hot 100 hit. Def Loaf's "Try Me" was one of the most popular rap songs of last year and her featured appearances on other records (Eminem feat. Various Artists, "Detroit vs. Everybody;" Kid Ink "Be Real") have only made her more popular. Tink's hybrid-singing and rap style and close partnership with super producer Timbaland have fans of all ages patiently waiting for her debut album. All in all, this list doesn't disappoint.
What may be more noticeable, as with any great list, are the omissions. Missing is Nuyorican MC Bodega Bamz, up-and-coming Atlanta trap stars Bankroll Fresh, Peewee Longway, and perhaps most glaringly, lethal Baltimore lyricist King Los.
Not only have each of these MCs developed their own viral, cult-like followings, but they have stories that resonate not only with hip-hop fans nationally, but hip-hop fans all over the world. In an age where popularity on social media often can be more influential than genuinely seeking out new artists, hopefully XXL will keep their ears a bit more open for next year's list.
Do you agree with this year's Freshman 10 selections?