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No offense to the XXL staff members… but what the hell?
Beginning in 2007, XXL has released an annual list of 10 up-and-coming artists to showcase new talent in the hip-hop genre. The first few years were awesome and accurately predicted the artists with the most potential. In 2011, they introduced an annual cypher, which was a great addition.
In 2014, the tide began to turn. The freshman class of 2014 consisted of 5 talented rappers and 5 people that made me seriously question the selection process. The unbalanced talent in the 2014 class was very evident in the cypher because half of the participants rapped like they’d never touched a microphone before.
2015 and 2016 were total disappointments. Just when I thought they couldn’t get any worse, they released the 2017 freshman class.
This year’s class is undoubtedly the worst one yet. The cyphers are sure to be a laughable mess and I’ve basically lost all faith in the XXL decision makers. The annual list was originally intended to showcase artists who represent the future of the genre. I pray that XXL’s 2017 list isn’t an accurate prediction of where rap is headed.
Below, I’ve made a list of 10 people who should’ve been chosen.
At the 2016 BET Hip Hop Awards, she delivered what XXL Magazine described as a “show-stopping freestyle… one of the best freestyles of the night.” I can’t speak for the LGBT community but I’d imagine they’d be happy to see her in the 2017
I’m really surprised J.I.D. wasn’t picked for this year’s freshman class… especially after J. Cole signed him to Dreameville Records.
Why was D.R.A.M. not picked? He has the personality that makes a superstar and he’s collaborated with popular artists like in the song “Broccoli” which features Lil Yachty. There’s no logical explanation for D.R.A.M. not appearing on the cover in this year.
KYLE is one of the few rappers who earned their spot in the 2017 freshman class. Congratulations, KYLE. Well done.
Token has yet to drop his debut album but if it’s released in 2017, his name will blow up. He’ll be picked for the 2018 or 2019 for sure and, as a seasoned battle rapper, he’ll perform well in the cypher.
Montana of 300
Montana of 300 was originally signed to Lyor Cohen’s 300 Entertainment but has since left that label. Regardless, he should have been chosen for the cover. According to his facebook, “So I found out that I had the most votes for the XXL Freshman cover and I still didn’t get on there. They said my fans was going crazy….disrespecting the director and ppl in charge of the XXL cover. Rather my fans was disrespectful of not, we all know I wasn’t gone get on there anyway. It’s all about politics. Everybody, including every rapper on the cover knows who Montana of 300 is. But guess what….since idk anybody that’s connected with them (that’s vouching for me heavy), and I’m not dealing with any major record labels to push for me AND I’m not paying to get on that bitch either, that’s why my votes ain’t mean shit. The power of intimidation is a mf. It’s not about talent, it’s about politics.”
RJ is a talented rapper who’s known for collaborating with YG and DJ Mustard. His recently released album, Mr. LA, is a solid project. I imagine that he’ll be chosen for the cover in 2018 after he gains a little more notoriety.
He’s selling out shows wherever he goes and his music video views are off the charts. His debut album wasn’t mind-blowing but Russ is making waves. Kap G was picked for this year’s class and as a GA native, I can assure that Kap G doesn’t accurately represent popular music in Atlanta.
I personally think XXX is complete garbage but he’s popular among the younger crowd so being chosen for the 2017 freshman class made sense.
Joyner Lucas is a true lyricist with a rapidly growing audience. Having Joyner Lucas on the cover would’ve made up for Xxxtentacion’s lack of talent. In the words of Forest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.”
What did you think of the 2017 Freshman Class?
Who do you think should’ve been chosen?
Please comment below
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