After keeping up with the XXL Freshman class for the past couple of years, ever since the insanely memorable 2016 list. The 2016 Freshman list was quite a unique list as it featured mostly mumble rappers along with some interesting characters. While I think XXL did a great job of highlighting the artists that deserve their fame and success, I believe 2018 missed a lot of important names. I propose five lineup changes to the XXL Freshman Class. With so much talent and creativity in modern music, I believe four of these rappers deserve to stay on the list. The rappers that stay are Ski Mask The Slump God, Smokepurpp, Trippie Redd, and Lil Pump. Now let’s examine who deserves to take the spots of YBN Nahmir, Stefflon Don, BlocBoy JB, Wifisfuneral, and J.I.D.
Since the current list is only nine people, I believe an honorary mention should be enacted. I think Lil Peep should be honored since he more than likely would be on this list had he still been alive during the voting process. Lil Peep’s unique sound, style, and delivery make him worthy of at least being mentioned as an XXL Freshman. I think this would be a great way to bring more attention to his music while also honoring the late rapper. Perhaps, XXL considered this, however, I would wish to see it actually done especially since the list is missing one person.
Now time for my choices for the 2018 XXL Freshman list:
Rich Brian is hands down one of the most distinctive rappers currently working. Coming from Indonesia, Rich Brian has made quite the name for himself over the past two years. With songs like “Dat $tick” and his debut album Amen, Rich Brian has come far since his days as Rich Chigga. Rarely do we see we see an Asian rapper find success in America, which leads to me support Rich Brian even further for this list. I think had XXL listened to his album prior to choosing the slots, Rich Brian would absolutely be in consideration. Hopefully, they fix this for next year and give him the recognition he deserves.
YoungBoy Never Broke Again
YoungBoy NBA absolutely deserves a spot on the 2018 Freshman list, and I’m honestly surprised he didn’t get in. “Outside Today” is one of my favorite songs of this year and I am genuinely questioning why he isn’t on this list. He has connections, hits, and a huge following. It’s a shame that XXL didn’t realize his talent and put him on the list. I really hope he gets put on next year’s list as he deserves it more than almost anyone on the actual 2018 list. I hope XXL sees the mistake that made and could possibly put him on next years list.
Moneybagg Yo is more-or-less my guilty pleasure choice for this list. His album 2 Heartless is something I find myself listening to often and I seemingly can’t stop. I thoroughly enjoy this album and would put him on the list based on this release alone. I also think adding him would help compliment YoungBoy Never Broke Again since they’re known, collaborators and friends. Moneybagg Yo is my most ambitious pick out of all of these, but I simply can’t resist putting him on here for my own entertainment. I also believe he’s one of the few modern rappers who’d benefit from a cypher and freestyle so he can really show off his lyricism.
Cardi B is perhaps the best female rapper in the rap industry since Nicki Minaj first debuted in 2010. Cardi B is energetic, witty, and talented enough to make it onto this list. Since rap is primarily male-based, it would be great to see Cardi B on there since here song “Bodak Yellow” and album Invasion of Privacy, both of which have become extremely well known and received a great amount of praise. I think Cardi B should’ve been the first contender on this list simply based on her track record alone. I truly hope XXL makes her a Freshman at some point.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I placed Jaden Smith’s album SYRE at number one on my list last year. Not only am I a major Jaden Smith fan, but I also think he has what it takes to make it to the Freshman list. With SYRE being such a great album in 2017, I don’t see why they wouldn’t place one of rap’s main music innovators on their list. With Jaden Smith being unpredictable when it comes to genre and expressing himself, seeing a cypher with him on it would be an interesting and exciting moment to see, especially if I would’ve gotten my dream list.