Freshmen Do It Better


The moment all hip hop fans have been waiting for has arrived: XXL Magazine revealed the cover for the 2016 Freshman Class. The reveal of the cover is similar to the anticipation of the BET Awards for every hip hop fan wants to know whether or not their favorite artist made the cut.

The 2016 Freshman Class may look like an accurate representation of hip hop to some. While others see it as a popularity contest, and not a representation of true artistry. This year’s contenders include: Anderson. Pakk, 21 Savage, Kodak Black, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Dicky, Dave East, Denzel Curry, Desiigner, G Herbo, and Lil Yachty.

For those of you, who may not be familiar with XXL Freshman Class, it is a cover that includes 10 of the most promising talents in hip hop. In 2014, August Alsina made history by being the first R&B artist to make the cover. The Freshman Class began in 2008, including some of the most popular artists today such as: Sagion, Plies, Rich Boy, Gorilla Zoe, Joell Ortiz, Lupe Fiasco, Lil Boosie, Crooked I, Papoose and Young Dro. Chicago and Georgia artists remain the reigning champ of the Freshman Cover. 

The most memorable cover took place in 2010 which featured North Carolina’s very own, J. Cole. Another staple from the 2010 Freshman cover was Kanye West's protégée, Big Sean. Taylor Gang’s CEO and founder, Wiz Khalifa, made his appearance in the 2010 XXL Freshman Class.

King Kendrick graced the cover in 2011. Along with, Philly rapper, Meek Mill, Big K.R.I.T., and Compton native, YG. Some die hard hip hop fans will argue, the XXL Freshman Class is a gift and a curse. After appearing on the cover an artist career can either prosper or fail miserably.

There is a tremendous amount of controversy around the selection of this years’ Freshman Class. Some hip hop fans believe YFN Lucci deserved a spot over Brooklyn native, Desiigner. Another argument fans pose is overlooking artist because their catalog of music may not fit into the southern trend.  Do you feel the XXL Freshman Class is based of popularity or talent? What artist would like to see make the cover next year?

-Krystal Ketcham

IG: @krystaldnk