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