Whether you hate it or love it, every year hip-hop fans wait in anticipation for XXL Magazine to release their Freshman cover. In the past the hip-hop print staple has celebrated stars like B.o.B, J. Cole, Wiz Khalifa, Kendrick Lamar and MGK before their major-label debuts, and this year they crown a new crop of rap newbies.
The largest cover line on the upcoming May/June 2013 issue reads: “2013’s Freshman Class Best Ever?” And while that notion is clearly up for debate, there are some pretty notable choices. Schoolboy Q, Trinidad James, Joey Bada$$, Ab-Soul, Action Bronson, Kirko Bangz, Travi$ Scott, Angel Haze, Dizzy Wright and Logic all appear front and center in a group shot while the non-present Chief Keef gets a head-scratching distinction as the “11th Freshman.”
Trinidad James, with all of his “All Gold Everything” success, seems to be a slam dunk, as does Schoolboy Q, who is prepping the release of his major-label debut, Oxymoron, for later this year. Coincidentally, both Trinidad and Schoolboy will be guests on Wednesday’s “RapFix Live” on MTV Jams and MTV.com at 4 p.m. ET. Q’s TDE partner-in-rhyme Ab-Soul also made the cut as they both join their Black Hippy cohorts Kendrick Lamar and Jay Rock as XXL alum. New York MCs Joey Bada$$ and Action Bronson have made plenty of noise in rap’s underground, as did Dizzy Wright, who earned his spot courtesy of an online fan poll which the mag launched late last year.
Angel Haze, Kirko Bangz, Travis Scott and Maryland rapper Logic round out the cover subjects, with Logic being perhaps the most unknown of the group. The 23-year old Maryland MC took to Twitter early this morning to celebrate his come up. “From the basement with my team, to magazine covers,” he wrote.
Do you agree with XXL’s Freshmen picks? Who would you like to see on the cover? Sound off in the comment section!