XXL 2018 Freshman: Predictions !!!

In a few months, XXL will anoint a fresh batch of freshman into their ranks. Usually, people look at the freshman on the list and will write them off as trash or unworthy of the praise they’re getting. Started in 2007, the XXL freshman list is actually interesting to look at as it relates to the most upcoming names in the industry. The list has had names from the greats like Kendrick Lamar in 2011 to ASAP Rocky in 2013 to Lil Uzi Vert in 2016. Whether you like them or not, XXLs freshman list is a big deal and will play a big role in the careers of budding artists. Here are some of our picks for this years list. 


Lil Pump 



Lil’ Pump’s hit single “Gucci Gang” has been at the top of the charts for weeks. Lil’ pump is taking over in the age of streaming, trap rap repetition rappers who are making a name for themselves online. Pump started releasing music in 2016 on soundcloud. If admitted he’d be one of the youngest Freshman at 17 years old.


Rich The Kid 



Rich the Kid has blown up over the last year with his release of Rich Forever 3 tape and single “New Freezer” featuring Kendrick Lamar. The single was one of the most popular songs of the year. The Atlanta native has been making waves since 2014 but his recent signing to Quality Control, the Migo-led record label, will arguably make him a force in 2018 and one to watch for.


Jay Critch 


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Yet another Rich Forever member, Jay crutch has managed to make himself known in 2017, albeit with the help of big Rich Forever names like Famous Dex and Rich the Kid. Jay Critch arguably has more talent than his more notable counterparts, but his career will most certainly catch eyes at the tender age of 20.


Famous Dex


Dexter may be the most controversial name on this list. While Dex has made waves this year with his hit single “Pick it up” as well as a handful of notable features, he’s drawn criticism for his domestic violence allegations, while it is not clear the Chicago rapper has been to court for the incident, he did serve time in jail, and lost his clothing deal with Puma. This may subside since recent Freshman, XXXTENTACION, has been facing similar issues.


Cardi B 


Perhaps the biggest name on the list, Cardi B absolutely skyrocketed to the top of the charts. With her most recent tape receiving the most mixtape attention of any female rapper and her 2 hit singles “Bodak Yellow” and “Bartier Cardi” monopolizing the number one position on the charts, Cardi B is not only one of the top female rappers, she’s one of the most influential musicians of the year. 


Lil Baby 


Lil Baby is the latest Atlanta-born rapper that has been making waves industry. Similar to rappers like Lil Yachty, Lil Baby only had been rapping for a year before blowing up. His latest project “Too Hard” hit the top of the apple music charts and appears on many tracks in the Migo led Quality Control mixtape: “Control the Streets Vol.1” 


Trippie Redd


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Trippie Redd is arguably the most unique artist on this list. While the rapper/singer may gravitate toward somber/dark trap beats, the Ohio native’s voice sounds like that of a grunge rock lead singer. While the young blood doesn’t have as many Top Chart singles as some the other artist on this list his youtube and soundcloud fame are more than enough to get him recognition. 


Lil Skies 


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Skies is another SoundCloud breakout star that has been gaining more and more traction. With songs like “Red Roses” topping charts and “Nowadays” garnering millions of views on youtube, the biracial, rose tatted young star may just make a name for himself in the double XXL.


Tee Grizzley 



23-year old, Detroit rapper Tee Grizzley it a top contender for XXL’s list this year. As a new comer to the industry, Tee Grizzley’s debut album did huge numbers and he’s already collaborated with some of raps biggest names. Including a joint project with former XXL freshman Lil’ Durk.


It’s also worth noting that many Rappers have in fact turned down the cover, either because they feel their talents and clout exceed what it means to be a “freshman”, or they personally aren’t able to come with the right material it takes to satisfy the requirements (no freestyle/cypher performance etc.) Young M.A and YFN Lucci were cited by editors as turning down the list for feeling they deserved the whole cover or not having enough music to play for editors, respectively. Drake and Nicki Minaj turned down the cover in 2010. Post Malone turned down the cover 2 years  ago. So if these names don’t make it onto the cover, it’s not necessarily because the XXL editors didn’t ask. 

MusicAlec Bose