The wait is finally over: XXL magazine has revealed its "10 Freshmen for 2010," for which the publication has chosen a motley crew of MCs from across the U.S.
Representing the West Coast you have Nipsey Hussle, Jay Rock and Fashawn. O.J. Da Juiceman, Pill and Donnis are holding it down for Atlanta. North Carolina native J. Cole also made the cut, as did Pittsburgh's Wiz Khalifah. The Midwest's own Big Sean (Detroit) and Freddie Gibbs (Gary, Indiana) round out the roster.
"It's always interesting to assemble the guys, because you don't know what kind of vibe you're gonna get," XXL Editor in Chief Vanessa Satten told MTV News about the photo shoot a few weeks ago. "The first [class in 2008], they were kinda brooding. They were kind of boring on the actual shoot. The second one, they were exciting. This year, we didn't know what to expect from them, because the first two [classes] were so opposite of each other. You never know what you can expect when you get those 10 rappers together. It could be pretty much anything.
"You're not dealing with divas like you normally do with a bigger cover," she added. "But at the same time, you're dealing with people who've got these insecurities, who are not used to the situation and not as recognizable. You gotta get them to be a bit more animated and be a little bit more interesting so the photos could be spectacular. It's a little different when you put a bigger star on the cover.
"Last year, in general, the class was more Internet-driven," she said. "It was kind of a different class. The office would make fun — it was more of a nerdy class. The rappers involved might get offended by that, but it was definitely to the direction of the Internet audience, the Internet rappers. This [new] class is a mix of that and a little bit more street. And more of hodgepodge."
XXL's Freshmen 10 issue of XXL will be on newsstands March 16.
What do you think? Did XXL get it right? Did they make any glaring omissions? If you had to the keys to the XXL kingdom, what would your list be? Let us know in the comments section below!