Class is back in session, and XXL magazine continues its yearly tradition of cherry-picking new rap talent for their annual Freshman issue. Lupe Fiasco, B.o.B, Wiz Khalifa, J. Cole and Mac Miller have all at one time appeared on the annual cover, and this time out, XXL inducts 10 more artists for the fifth year in a row with their April issue.
MTV News’ 2011 Hottest Breakthrough MC, Machine Gun Kelly, stands front and center on the cover alongside his Bad Boy labelmate French Montana. Atlanta hitmaker Future and hook master Roscoe Dash also made the cut along with Detroit’s Danny Brown and Memphis, Tennessee, MC Don Trip.
While most of this year’s freshmen have been fixtures on various blog sites and the mixtape circuit, others like Macklemore, Hopsin and Kid Ink may be lesser known, but they’ve more than earned their keep. Macklemore has already sold out countless shows across the country, while Kid Ink and Hopsin have built quite a digital following.
Australian-born raptress Iggy Azalea makes history as the first female MC to grace the cover of the Freshman issue. The blond-haired Interscope beauty made waves with her 2011 mixtape Ignorant Art and has since hooked up with T.I. to produce her upcoming debut album The New Classic.
Like it does every year, this latest Freshman class has already caused a fuss on the Web, with fans and industry ilk both supporting the list and wondering why their favorite artists didn’t make the cover.
What do you think of XXL‘s 2012 Freshman Class? Tell us in the comments!