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As you all may or may not know, XXL Magazine releases a Freshman Class every year This class highlights the best up and coming rappers for that year. My two favorite Classes are 2011 – because of names like Kendrick Lamar, Meek Mill, YG, Mac Miller, Big K.R.I.T., and Cyhi the Prynce – and 2016 – the year that soundcloud rappers got their roses. There are always arguments each year of who should and should not have made it, so let’s get into our review for this year’s class.
Polo G: Polo G is next up from Chicago! He gets influences from his fellow Chicago native, Lil Durk, but he manages to add his own style to separate himself from the rest. I like him because he has a great balance between tough, ignorant music and music that actually has a message for the people. Let us know how you feel about this pick.
Rod Wave: Rod Wave can be considered a crooner more than a rapper, but dont get it twisted. Rod is very much about that life. Growing up in Florida, you have to be a little tougher than the average. You can here is pain and tribulation in his lyrics. Let us know how you feel about this pick.
Baby Keem: Baby Keem is pure energy! I can’t help but go stupid when I hear his music. He manages to mix the west coast style with the mainstream new age sound. Take a listen and let us know how you feel about this pick.
NLE Choppa: I can’t help but think of NBA Youngboy when I see NLE. They have a similar look, similar sound, and great star potential. As the youngest in this class, I feel like he has the potential to be one of the biggest stars on this list. Give us your take on this pick.
Mulatto: She may go down as the baddest XXL Freshmen, but here rap style matches her looks. She takes the new sounds of female hip-hop and adds a southern flare to it. I love to see the queens winning; how do you feel about this pick.
Lil TJay: This guy has definitely has talent, but he is my least favorite pick for one reason. HE SOUNDS EXACTLY LIKE HIS PEERS. In this time, a lot of artists sounds the same, but they find a way to make themselves standout. I just don’t see that with him, but let us know what you guys like about this pick.
Jack Harlow: Jack definitely got the lob of the year with the features on the “What’s Poppin [Remix]”, but he has been making bangers for the past five years. I am excited to finally see him get his credit. Let us know how you feel about this one.
Chika: This female artist isn’t an artist who could get famous solely from her looks, luckily for us, her music is HEAT! She is someone who I see lasting in the game for a long time because her talent speaks for itself. She will not rely on trends to get poppin but will continue to bring genuinely good music. Let us know if you agree or disagree.
Calboy: This is my second favorite pick on the list. He is a singer-rapper who actually has a great voice and you can tell he knows how to use it on various styles of songs. WIldboy was a near perfect tape and he has continued to drop heat since. Give us your opinion down below.
Lil Keed: This is EASILY my favorite pick from this class. It took everything for me not to add all of Long Live Mexico. This was a perfect mixtape with all styles of rap, R&B, and pop. Lil Keed is the next to blow from the Lil Wayne Family Tree. There will be more on that later.
Fivio Foreign: I can’t help but think this spot was reserved for Pop Smoke, but Fivio is well deserving. Being one of the forerunners for a brand new sound in music definitely should land you a spot on the XXL Freshman Class. I just wish he would stop hiding the fact that he is 30 lmao!
24kGoldn: This pick has a very strong pop sound, and quickly made his way into the mainstream. He has perfected making a catchy song with fun lyrics and nice flows. I see this artist trying to step outside of the “Rap” bubble and dipping into multiple genres.
Jetsonmade: This is one of the most poppin producers of the past couple years. He has produced on early projects for 21 Savage, but you all probably know him from DaBaby’s “SUGE”. He has been tasked as the curator for this Class and he has already produced for many artists on this list. I am excited to hear more from Jetsonmade.