It’s that time of year again for the reveal of the new XXL Freshman Class. This one is particularly special because it marks our 10th anniversary of the Freshman franchise. We launched the first issue in 2007 and the Freshman franchise has exploded into popularity over the past decade. And it comes together the same way as when it first started. We talk to everyone we possibly can—industry tastemakers, rappers, our friends, fellow hip-hop heads, the guy working at the bagel shop, whoever—to get their input on who they think should be picked for the class. Then they argue it out as a staff and narrow down the list.
This year’s Freshman Class includes the Bay Area’s Kamaiyah, The Bronx’s A Boogie Wit Da Hoddie, Philadelphia’s PnB Rock, Tokyo representer Madeintyo, Atlanta’s Playboi Carti, Portland’s Amine’, Atlanta’s Kap G, Ventura, Calif.’s Kyle; Houston’s Ugly God and 10th Spot winner XXXTentacion.