#YN Predicting The 2017 XXL Freshman Class . Written By @Repete617

The XXL freshman class is kind of like the NFL or NBA draft...

YN Blog . XXL 2017 Freshman List.JPG

Those rappers selected to the class are the next big thing in hip hop and this year’s class is going to make an impact on the industry. A lot of names have blown up this year with their bangers, lyrics, and beats and those names now look to take the next step in their careers. Some former XXL freshman include J. Cole (2010), Kendrick Lamar (2011), Future (2012), and Chance the Rapper (2014). So when the artists are chosen to make this class, they are in some elite company. A normal XXL freshman class usually goes through three big stages: a cypher, a freestyle, and a huge concert with all the newest freshman. A total of 10 rappers will make it this year, so who will grace this year’s cover? Let’s take a look at the potential class.


Rich The Kid

Rich The Kid

Rich The Kid

Rich The Kid - Photo Attribution

He isn’t even an option to vote for when voting for the 10th spot in this year’s class so you know he’s a lock for the cover but he deserves that big adoration. Rich the Kid is becoming another big rapper out of the city of Atlanta and his songs with the likes of Migos, Kodak Black, and Young Thug have propelled the young artist to the stratosphere. His songs absolutely bang and you can’t really say he has a bad song. Rich has been unbelievable since being released from prison and he will certainly bring star power to the 2017 XXL freshman class


Famous Dex

Famous Dex

Famous Dex

Famous Dex - Photo Attribution

Rich the Kid’s partner in crime should also be considered a lock for the freshman class this year. Famous Dex is certainly a new breed, his songs flow very nicely and his lyrics are interesting to say the least but his songs bang regardless. I would like to see Dex get on a cypher with just him and Rich the Kid because the two have such great chemistry that the whole thing would flow together perfectly. This time next year, I expect Dex to be in a much bigger spot than he is currently.


XXXtentacion

XXXtentacion

XXXtentacion

XXXtentacion - Photo Attribution

He has gained an enormous cult following since being in prison and releasing his song “Look at Me”. XXXTentatcion draws a lot of comparison to Lil Uzi Vert based on his music and looks but trust me, he is a different breed of rapper. He isn’t scared to say his true feelings and really has no filter but his songs, in their own way, are very unique. Yes the beat in “Look at Me” may be a little ridiculous but the song is still good in its own way. XXXTentaction is one of the most popular rappers of the last year and will hopefully make the XXL freshman class of 2017.


Cousin Stizz

Cousin Stizz

Cousin Stizz

Cousin Stizz - Photo Attribution

This man had one of the best albums last year and not a lot of people took notice. Boston’s own Cousin Stizz dropped Monda last year and it was an absolute classic. Stizz is a lyricist but raps about trap related things which is a rarity in today’s rap and his different style really sets him apart from other rappers. Stizz would be an excellent choice for the freshman class and who knows, maybe if he gets the nod we can get collabs from him featuring names like Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar, and Logic. All of these artists would make great collabs with Stizz.


Young MA

Young MA

Young MA

Young MA - Photo Attribution

This may seem like an out of left field pick but the bottom line is this, Young MA is very underrated. She gained superstardom with her hit banger OOOUUU and quickly gained the attention of some of the biggest names in rap. The Brooklyn native is best known for her lyrics and has drawn comparisons to Nicki Minaj but I believe she has some better bars than Nicki. She has a great flow as well and is a good freestyler. Young MA should be picked for the freshman class as she has proven time and time again that even though she is different, she can still be as good of a rapper as anyone.


Montana of 300

Montana of 300

Montana of 300

Montana of 300 - Photo Attribution 

Out of everyone on this list, Montana of 300 has the best lyrics bar none. This man is a rap machine (or as he likes to call himself, Rap God) and can go for hours on end freestyling. This would be Montana’s last year on the ballot for the freshman class but he really should of made it last year instead of Lil Dicky or Anderson Paak. Another rapper who is lowkey slept on for no reason, Montana of 300 would absolutely kill his part in the freshman cypher. Cyphers are really his bread and butter. His label FGE has around four cyphers and Montana’s parts in those are all unbelievable. His albums are very good as well but what he most kills is remixes. His remixes to songs like White Iverson, Milly Rock, Panda, and Trap Queen are better than the originals and he spits bars on those beats. Montana of 300 would really explode in popularity if he is selected to this year’s class


Playboi Carti

Playboi Carti

Playboi Carti

Playboi Carti - Photo Attribution

The newest member to A$AP MOB is one of the best trap stars of today. Playboi Carti had fans waiting a long time for his debut tape but the wait was worth it. Songs like New Choppa and Kelly K are bangers, Dem Callin is a great feature of his, and if you mix him with Rich the Kid or Famous Dex that has all the makings of an absolute classic trap song. Carti is one of the more creative names of the potential class but his star power should propel him to make the freshman class this year.


A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie - Photo Attribution

A Boogie Wit da Hoodie has quickly become a popular artist amongst the teenage population. He has hits like “Jungle”, “Timeless”, and “My Sh*t” not to mention his hit single “Drowning” featuring Kodak Black. A Boogie has that soulful flow and his lyrics really speak a clear message. He reminds me of a more in depth version of Drake in the sense he talks about deep stuff but it all flows together perfectly. A Boogie would be another big name added to the potentially stacked freshman class.


Kembe X

Kembe X

Kembe X

Kembe X - Photo Attribution

Kembe X may not seem like a household name at the moment but just give his album “Talk Back” a listen and you’ll see why he should make the freshman class this year. He is also potentially TDE's next signee as his producer is in TDE so Kendrick and Schoolboy may be getting a new running mate soon. His flow and lyrics sound like he is already apart of TDE. Kembe X isn’t the biggest name at the moment but if he is to make the freshman class then it is only up from there.


Pnb Rock

Pnb Rock

Pnb Rock

Pnb Rock - Photo Attribution

If you combine soulful lyrics with great beats, you get PnB Rock. The Philly native dropped his album “GTTM: Going Through the Motions” and it is a very well put together album. His hit single “Misunderstood” gives a lot of people a relatable song about relationships and the lyrics really hit home. PnB Rock is a special talent that deserves the nod to be an XXL freshman.


So that is it, the predicting is done and now its time to see if XXL will pick these artists to be in the 2017 freshman class. Some other potential picks for this class include Nav, Smokepurpp, Ugly God, Maxo Kream, and Trill Sammy. Nothing is guaranteed with picking the freshman class so it will be interesting to see how XXL mixes up this year’s class. In the end, there will be a few snubs but who those get picked really deserve that honor.

#YN Lil Wayne Has Influenced This Generation of Hip Hop... Accept It . Written By @KNGCRSN

For better or for worse, Lil Wayne has influenced this new generation of Hip Hop. Accept It.

Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne - Photo Attribution

Hip Hop is dead and though her alleged murderer(s) have been at large for a little over a decade now, some people still have not found the courage to move on. We've mourned, we've grieved and for the past 10 years, we've pointed fingers at plenty of people. But let's face it 90's babies, she's gone & no matter how many J.Coles, or Kendrick Lamars the universe decides to give us, that will be always be a fact. She's been gone for a long time and though many of us still have hope she'll one day return to this world. In the meantime, I think we should at least embrace this new age of music as well as pay homage to the pioneers who have influenced it. I believe Dwayne Carter AKA Lil' Wayne deserves most, if not, all the credit. Here are 5 artists who, without Wayne's blueprint, may not have been the stars we know today.


Quavo

Quavo

Quavo

Quavo - Photo Attribution

Though Quavo is a well-known member of the fast-rapping, action-packed, Atlanta-Based trio Migos, he can be found being featured (solo) on plenty of hit songs. Quavo has featured with many Hip-Hop All-Stars such as Post Malone, Drake, Travis $cott & many more. Wayne started the trend back in the early 2000's with a record of over 300 features in between the years 2000 and 2012. Wayne brought the "focus on you" aspect to the game where he showed artists, you can stay loyal to your team (HotBoyz/Cash Money/Young Money) and still get your money up.

Here is a full list of Wayne features.


Lil Uzi Vert

Lil Uzi Vert

Lil Uzi Vert

Lil Uzi Vert - Photo Attribution

From the flow, the sound, the outrageous hairstyles, the questionable clothing, to the fact that "Lil" is in homie's name! Lil Uzi came into the game at the perfect time. Implementing rock music layered with trap snares & deep 808's, Uzi is doing what Wayne started back in 2009 with his first all-rock album Rebirth. Wayne tapped into something that many people around that time period weren't ready for and took a risk on a new sound for the hood. Needless to say, we were still infatuated with the Ross & 50 Cent beef, so the gangsters weren't ready to trade in our guns and yayo for skinny jeans & fender guitars, just yet. What I see now, almost a decade later is Uzi taking that sound and taking it to heights not even Wayne could. #SorryNotSorry


Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar - Photo Attribution

Yeah, I said it! Kendrick Lamar has given Lil Wayne credit for his inspiration on numerous occasions. In an interview with Karen Civil, K Dot states that he was influenced heavily by certain flows and sounds that Wayne gave to the game. On Dot's legendary C4 Mixtape, Kendrick uses his cover to emulate Wayne's infamous "Fear God" tattoo on his eye lids with the word's "Fear Kdot" to pay homage to Wayne.


Young Thug

Young Thug

Young Thug

Young Thug - Photo Attribution

Young Thug, a member of Cash Money Records, owes Waynes career more than any rapper in the game.

Let's break it down : 

February 2011 -- In an interview posted on Youtube, Young Thug predicts that he would one day sign to Young Money Records with Lil Wayne. (https://youtu.be/4vtPMmFOWkM)

January 2014 -- With his singles "Stoner" and "Danny Glover/2 Bitches" buzzing with artists like Drake and Kanye West, Young Thug gave one of his first interviews since 2011. He said that he'd rather work with Lil Wayne more than Michael Jackson.

October 2014 -- Young Thug told MTV that he planned on doing the ultimate homage to his idol by naming his album Tha Carter VI. He also said that "[Wayne did] (Carter) 1-5... I'm going to do 6-10." Birdman was present, of course, and didn't say anything.

April 2015 -- Lil Wayne allegedly disses Young Thug when saying "ain't no motherfuckin' such thing as Carter 6" at one of his Release Partiez show in Colombus, Ohio.

April 2015 -- Days before its release, Young Thug said, in a now deleted Instagram post, that he was forced to rename the release from Carter 6 to simply Barter 6, out of respect.

Credit - (http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/the-juice/6634752/lil-wayne-young-thug-beef-timeline)

It's obvious Thug, at least in the beginning, was inspired by wayne more than anyone else named on this list thus far. Question for the up and coming artists reading this article: Would you rather work on a song with Lil Wayne, the greatest rapper within his own right ? Or Michael Jackson, the greatest entertainer of all time ? Clearly Thug feels Wayne is the better option.


Drake

Drake

Drake

Drake wouldn't have made it into the game without Wayne and though he's surpassed Wayne in plenty of categories, Drake always take the time out to pay homage to the "Best Rapper Alive". Drake is probably the highest-paid, most well known, most successful rapper to come on to the scene since Hov or well, Lil Wayne. With hits stemming back all the way to his early tapes (So Far Gone & Comback Season) which feature Wayne heavily and #1 songs featuring some of Waynes greatest and/or most memorable verses. Such as Miss Me, Forever, HYFR, The Real Her, & The Motto, Drakes success was literally built on the back of Lil Wayne's career. Through that relationship, in the past 7 years Drake has been able to transcend to heights most artists in this industry never even get to see. Drake wouldnt be the artist he is today without Weezy.

Wayne has done alot of good for the game. He impacted a generation of rappers so his name will forever live on through the music industry. I wrote this article because though I'm not a Wayne fan, I wouldn't be a true hip-hop fan if I ignored the stain he's left in the game. Lil Wayne deserves all the credit & recognition for the way he's change the game.Thank you Weezy. Thank you for everything.

#YN #TrueLife How I Became A Wiz Khalifa Fan . Written By @Sicksteen_216


I have a bad habit of not paying attention of things...

until the buzz surrounding them has died down. I think people gravitate to whats popular so they won’t feel left out, not because its dope. So I wait until the smoke clears before I see what I can take from any new development.

The same thing happened when I was introduced to Wiz Khalifa’s music. I saw his name being mentioned in the blogs and although there was some buzz I just didn’t look into his music. Shortly after, someone I knew advised me to listen to the ‘Flight School’ mixtape. I wanted to form my own opinion and not go along with what everyone was saying so I went to Dat Piff to listen to my first Wiz mixtape. The cover was cool and a little different from what most rappers were doing so I was interested.

Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa


However, I really didn’t like the mixtape. The beats didn’t connect with me, I didn’t like the video game like sounds. I also didn’t like his half rap half singing flow. Nothing about it stood out to me, I was done, gave it a shot but not for me. 

Fast forward a year or so, I was working at a new job and speaking to one of my co workers when he said, “Do you listen to Wiz Khalifa?” 

I told him that I tried once before and his music wasn’t for me. He told me to listen to his new mixtape ‘Kush and Orange Juice’ specifically the song titled ‘The Kid Frankie’. I trusted my co workers opinion and decided to give Young Wizzle Man another shot. I found ‘Kush and Orange Juice’ on Live Mixtapes and listened to ‘The Kid Frankie’. 
 

Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa

The results were the exact opposite of my experience listening to ‘Flight School’ ‘The Kid Frankie’ sounded fresh, it sounded like something I had never heard before. In comparison to ‘Flight School’, the music on ‘Kush and Orange Juice’ stuck with me, it was something about the beats and Wiz Khalifa’s approach to rapping that made me feel like there was much more to learn about hip hop music. 

‘Kush and Orange Juice’ is the definition of a mixtape to me, especially in the new age of hip hop with the internet being a major key. The new mixtape is essentially an album, less freestyles over industry beats and more original instrumentals and skits. The new age mixtape is more of a promotional tool then just an outlet to release music. Your mixtape has to have the ability to not only catch the listeners ear, but to also make them connect with the artist’s personality. 
 

Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa: Photo via Cesgekacer (Link - http://tinyurl.com/zaxc8ya)

Another thing Wiz Khalifa showed me about hip hop is that building a brand is a must in order to be successful. Not just a fanbase, a brand, a culture, a way of thinking that resonates with your fanbase on multiple levels. The ‘Taylor Gang’ was dope because it represents Wiz Khalifa and by extension represents his fans who feel the same way he did before someone came along to express it. 

Wiz Khalifa’s music is fun, he doesn’t beef he minds his own business, and he always puts a positive spin on things. A part of hip hop is competition, beef, being the best rapper of all time. But Wiz Khalifa showed me you can still be ambitious without comparing yourself to what anyone else is doing. Wiz Khalifa exudes an attitude of ‘live and let live’ or ‘do what works for you and I’ll do what works for me’. It’s motivational to see someone so focused on success they don’t even have time to get angry with anyone else, let alone care.
 

Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa: Photo Via WeSharePics (Link - http://tinyurl.com/z5p5me2)

My appreciation for Wiz Khalifa goes much further than just the music, he showed me it isn’t all about music. Music is an expression of art but those topics and feelings you rap about can be addressed in more ways. 

As a member of the ‘Taylor Gang’ you could wear your Chuck Taylors, camo shorts, and crewneck and connect with anyone who feels the same way. The music described a lifestyle at the time I was living, young, on my own, having fun but still being responsible for real life situations. I wasn’t rich but I had enough money that if I used it wisely, I could make an impact on my rap career. Wiz made it cool to do what you want to do, regardless of what others may think and his success shows his method not only works, it is loved by fans.