So this list brings a level of excitement to it every year and whatever. Everybody has their own opinions on it, including yo boy: itzdadiabolical. Unlike award shows and whatnot, I feel this list really matters. People on this list get looks, especially if they haven’t been heard of before. I mean, you can see the effects of last years list on Macklemore, Danny Brown, and Future’s careers; although I wouldn’t entirely credit XXL for that it was still a contribution. I feel that the XXL Freshman list is for talented new artists, OR relatively unknown artists/artists on the come-up to get a little breakthrough or push into more of a public eye. Obviously any artist on an XXL freshman list isn’t totally out of nowhere, but they should still be under that level of people knowing about them like that (not necessarily mainstream).
So I’m just going to go over the picks of this list and tell ya’ll how I feel bout them.
Ab-Soul: Why is he on this list? Don’t get me wrong, Ab is one of my favorite artists of this time, but he’s already known. Control System was a pretty popular album last year, any major hip-hop fan should know about it. He’s been on features with all types of people like the other TDE members, Joe Budden, Childish Gambino, Macklemore, Smoke DZA, etc. He’s also been rapping for a good while. You could argue so was Danny Brown and Macklemore last year, but they weren’t known like that. There were still hip-hop fans that haven’t heard of Danny Brown or “XXX”, Macklemore had a rather slow progress to the top with his single “Thrift Shop”, but people who weren’t into Seattle hip-hop and stuff didn’t know about “The Town” and other tracks like that.
Action Bronson: Should’ve been on last year’s list. Or the year before that. This list will have a minimal effect on his career at this point, like how late are ya’ll gonna be? This guy made a whole project with one of the most popular producers in the rap game (Alchemist). He’s a big part of NYC’s comeback in the rap scene. Had top mixtapes for like the past two years. Mad late, XXL.
Angel Haze: I’m cool with this one, although I’m not CRAAAZY bout this chick. She does fill the female spot on the list well, though. And I think she lived in VA or something too. Anyway, decent pick here.
Chief Keef: Oh wow, my mans Chief Keef sneaks into the Freshman 10 as the 11th pick. I halfway agree with this pick and halfway don’t. This dude made a decent name for himself (musically not in real life) and he makes hella catchy hooks and overall jamming songs. Plus he’s a young dude. On the other hand, this kid is signed to a major label, had a chart topping song/remix, has people’s name in his mouth basically. Somebody struggling could’ve used this 11th spot, man.
Dizzy Wright: I wouldn’t have picked him for the list personally, but I like this choice. I know cuz has been rapping for a minute or two, but I just started listening to him. He’s relatively unknown and pretty good so he should get some good looks off of this hopefully.
Joey Bada$$: He deserved this spot, no question. Young new rapper, released an excellent tape last year, still not quite mainstream level yet, etc. Good job XXL
Kirko Bangz: lol… nahhhhh. He had a buzz a while ago with that one single that name slips my mind at the moment, but it died out. And it’s not like his buzz dying is a travesty either. He’s kinda equivalent to the Roscoe pick last year. I don’t hate cuz or his music tho, I’m just saying.
Logic: Logic! MARYLAND WE IN HERE OAW8PWYTRIAPGSITY!!!! Sike nah, let me stop. I really can’t be anything but excited about this because he’s from my area. Not exactly my top 5 local rappers or nothin, but he’s still good. This is great for him and our area (hopefully).
ScHoolboy Q: C’mon man… Really? XXL just gon put every decent rapper that hasn’t been on the list before on this? Lemme guess, Nas gon be on the next joint… Q had one of the better albums last year, he has looks already. He’s heavily involved in not only TDE, but Danny Brown, A$AP, and Bronsolinno. I mean, “Yay Yay” blew up all over the internet last week. He didn’t need this at all. Maybe it’ll get Oxymoron’s sales a baby boost. Doubt it though.
Travis $cott (I think I put the $ on the right ‘s’ <.<): I’ve heard this guy’s name before, but never listened to him. I’m almost positive that he’s a hype rapper (a la 2 Chainz, Juicy J, Chief Keef, Waka, etc.) Definitely gonna get him buzz though, because I’m bout to check his music out now.
Trinidad Jame$: Well, well, well. I know some people are pissed about this. This dude is probably one of the coolest, most down-to-earth, realest dudes in Hip-Hop right now. That being said, he’s just awful at rapping. I haven’t been able to listen to anything but “All Gold Everything” without cracking up, and even AGE used to have me cracking up at “n*ggan*ggan*gga”. Still, I’m not sure why, but I have some desperate hope in this guy like all the support he gets from other rappers will eventually foster some talent deep within him. Or maybe he’ll find his own little niche in songs. Right now though?
Too many $ names on this list….
So maybe some of you guys are thinking, “Well itzdadiabolical you’re talking all this trash, but you haven’t made a list.” You’re exactly right! Not yet, anyway. Honestly, it’s hard to pick just ten people, but it’s not hard to know who NOT to pick… If I absolutely had to make a list or die, this is who I’d pick in no particular order:
1. Joey Bada$$
3. Fat Trel
5. Flatbush Zombies
6. Oxy X Moron
7. Casey Veggies
9. Mr. MFN eXquire
10. CJ the Genesis
Obviously biased, but only a little. It’s still better than this one XXL just farted out though.