For the past nine years, XXL Magazine has put out what they’ve called “The Freshman Class,” where they highlight the next ten up-and-coming rappers and hip-hop artists. The magazine pumps their viewers with freestyle content, exclusive interviews, and the most contented part – the public arguing about who should or shouldn’t be there.
Notable XXL alumni have included: Kid Cudi, Curren$y, Wale, B.oB., Cory Gunz, Blu, J. Cole, Wiz Khalifa, Freddie Gibbs, Big Sean, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, ScHoolboy Q, Kendrick Lamar, Meek Mill, Big K.R.I.T., Cyhi the Prince, Yelawolf, Mac Miller, YG, Lil B, Future, Iggy Azalea, French Montana, Macklemore, Hopsin, Roscoe Dash, Trinidad James, Joey Bada$$, Logic, Action Bronson, Travi$ Scott, Ty Dolla $ign, Kevin Gates, Rich Homie Quan, Vic Mensa, Vince Staples, Fetty Wap, OG Maco, Tink, GoldLink, Chance the Rapper, and Danny Brown.
This year, XXL has given 2016 to Lil Yachty, Desiigner, Dave East, Denzel Curry, G Herbo, Lil Uzi Vert, Anderson .Paak, 21 Savage, and Kodak Black.
I have nothing wrong with this list in all actuality. It seems up to code with how XXL usually forms these lists. Every list always has like three people who deserve to be there without any questions (Anderson .Paak, Lil Dicky, Dave East), one guy who’s had like only one or two hit songs so they put him in for hype (Desiinger), a bunch of trap rappers with weird hairstyles who you’ll never hear about come 2017 (Lil Uzi Vert, Kodak Black, Lil Yachty), and one or two people you’ve never even heard about, to the point that I start to believe they’re making them up (G Herbo?). I swear there’s been some guy named G Herbo on like every cover since 2007.
Artists aside, this 2016 XXL magazine cover by itself may also be the worst yet. Lil Yachty looks like he’s trippin’ out and trying to eat the world’s largest corn on the cob, Kodak Black apparently couldn’t wear the same color white as everyone else, Desiinger only has one song but he’s got the best smile / maybe only smile, and Lil Dicky’s wearing a bathrobe and giving a hesitant thumbs up, like the whitest thing he could have done (I love it though). However, I refuse to let the internet weigh in on the list without contributing myself. Instead of writing a little blurb about why I think they should be there, I’ve chosen to include examples of their music, and let their work speak for them – after all, it’s all opinion anyway. So without further ado, here’s Roseanblog’s 2016 Freshman Class: