As you all may know, XXL Mag has released their annual list of new upcoming rappers for the XXL Freshman Class of 2017 issue. This year’s latest issue marks the 10th year anniversary of the freshman class series. The cover of this year’s issue was called “Generation Next”. This year’s list included Kamaiyah, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, PnB Rock, Madeintyo, Playboi Carti, Amine, Kap G, Ventura, Calif’s Kyle, Ugly God, and XXXTentacion.
Within the next month, XXL will be providing more coverage on these artists while releasing freestyles, cyphers and more insight interviews and information on this year’s freshman artists. The XXL “Generation Next” issue will be released to the public on July 4th. In the meantime, XXL can provide with artist’s information, music, and uprising. The 10 selected artists will also be performing at NYC’s PlayStation Theater on Wednesday, June 28 for the 2017 XXL Freshman List Show.
It’s safe to say each year XXL Magazine releases their list of freshman we may not always be as familiar with. Each artist’s rise to fame is different but there is always much controversy with each cover release every year. Some may agree some years are better than the others, while there’s always people who feel like some artists deserved the recognition over others. This year is not any different from the rest.
From last year’s freshman class, we’ve seen much growth, progression and success. But which year would we say is better than the other?
In 2016, XXL Magazine chose Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty, Kodak Black, Denzel Curry, G Herbo, Dave East, Lil Dickey, Anderson Paak, Desiigner and 21 Savage as their Freshman Class. These artists were dominating the charts last year and they continue to do so. For example, Lil Uzi Vert has just earned his third platinum single for his latest song, “XO Tour Llif3”. But in comparison to this year’s freshman lineup, the artists who made the list last year contributed a lot more to the industry and accomplished many things within their first initial year in the industry.
Last year, 21 Savage was known for his famous “Issa Knife” meme but he also released his album “Savage Mode”. During his reign on XXL, 21 Savage’s hit single “X” with Metro Boomin featuring Future went double platinum last year as well as “No Heart”. Many other artists on XXL 2016 Freshman Class list did the same as well. More impressively, Desiigner’s viral song “Panda” went platinum four times, while Lil Yachty’s “Broccoli” reached platinum status five times. With this being said, last year’s set of freshman we’re all about the music and were consecutively reaching heights some of the more veterans artists haven’t been able to hit.
This year’s XXL Freshman Class seem to have had more controversy than ever. For starters, XXXTentacion was selected as XXL Freshman Class of 2017 10th winner. His rise to fame began through Soundcloud and his substantial amount of followers and streams. Although XXXTentacion has a huge cult following, the one thing that really put him on was his beef with Drake. The 6 God previewed a song in Amsterdam called, “KMT” from his upcoming album at the time “More Life”. XXXTentacion was incarcerated at the time for an altercation with his pregnant girlfriend. His song “Look At Me!” blew up while he was in jail because XXXTentacion’s fan base called out Drake for supposedly stealing his flow. With this controversy, the rapper’s 2015 song “Look At Me!” quickly climbed the Billboard Charts and once XXXTentacion was released the attention was all on him. While some not support him because of his list of crimes and history of violence, XXXTentacion’s fans remain more loyal than ever.
Amine was also another artist who recently made a statement that had fans enraged towards the XXL Magazine issue cover. Amine was selected for one of the XXL Magazine Freshman Class of 2017, he is most famous for his song “Caroline”. While feeling honored to be on the list, Amine found out that XXL Magazine had a photo shoot for the Freshman Class issue and he was not called in for it. He took to social media to put out a statement on how he felt about the situation. In the end, things were cleared up and Amine will be appearing on the cover of XXL’s latest issue along with the other freshman.
In lighter news, this year’s issue also made history by awarding a spot to a female MC from the West Coast for the first time ever. The Bay Area’s Kamaiyah is the first female MC from the West Coast to earn a spot on the cover of XXL Magazine Freshman Class series. Fans and feminist supporters were definitely happy with the news and she deserved her rightful spot on the issue. Kap G was also finally awarded a position on XXL’s Freshman List since he was last nominated back in 2015. He dropped his highly anticipated mixtape “El Southside” and has been working with artists such as Young Thug, Cash Out, YFN Lucci, and Pharrell. So huge congratulations to Atlanta’s rapper natives Kap G and Playboi Carti. Playboi Carti has been one of the most highly requested artist as well on the XXL Freshman List this year. His hit song “Magnolia” and “Wokeuplikethis” have really turned into this summer’s anthem and go to songs. But aside from that, I believe someone who was unfairly left out of the list was Baltimore’s very own, “6LACK”. 6LACK is known for “PRBLMS” and “Ex Calling”. He released his album “FREE 6LACK” in 2016 which can be found on Apple Music. He did not receive any recognition last year because he’s mainly blown up this year. While spots are limited for the issue, Madeintyo earned a spot on the Freshman Class of 2017 issue. This to me feels as a delayed accomplishment. While I am not saying Madeintyo does not deserve this recognition, he deserved it more last year than this year being that both his hit songs “Uber Everywhere” and “Skateboard P” were released last year. If he would have received his position on last year’s cover it would have made more sense and it would have left a spot for 6LACK this year.
In all, just like every year, we expect this year’s freshmen to surprise us and keep their momentum up with all this attention and notoriety. Besides controversy and drama, each artist on this list has worked hard to get here and we wish them the best in the upcoming year. Let’s see what our freshmen have cooking for us for the rest of 2017!