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2014 XXL Freshman Class: Who Are These Guys?

Get to know the latest crop of newcomers on the magazine's cover.

Every year XXL Magazine puts out their annual Freshman class cover, where they give fans a new crop of hip-hop talent to check for.

In the past B.o.B, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa and Macklemore have all graced the list and this year’s cover boasts 12 fresh faces with a range of talents. Some guys have had hits and some have been building strong fanbases a bit under the radar; some are from the East Coast, some West, some Midwest, some South. But they’re all sure to get fans talking one way or another.

Get to know the guys on this year’s list below.

What do you think of this year’s selections?

CHANCE THE RAPPER
Age: 21
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Last release: Acid Rap
Random Fact: Has decided not to sign with a major label thus far.
Listen To: “Everybody’s Something”

RICH HOMIE QUAN
Age: 24
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Last Release: I Promise I Will Never Stop Going In
Random Fact: “Type of Way,” his breakout single, hit No. 50 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Listen To: “Type of Way”

TY DOLLA $IGN
Age: 29
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Last Release: Beach House EP
Random Fact: Sang the chorus on YG’s 2010 single “Toot It & Boot It”
Listen To: “Paranoid”

TROY AVE
Age: 28
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Last Release: White Christmas 2
Random Fact: Troy offered a money back guarantee on his New York City: The Album LP.
Listen To: “Show Me Love”

AUGUST ALSINA
Age: 21
Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana
Last Release: Testimony
Random Fact: His brother was killed shortly before August turned 18, which motivated him to increase his focus on music
Listen To: “I Luv This Sh–”

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VIC MENSA
Age: 20
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Last Release: Innanetape
Random Fact: Joined the J. Cole and Wale “What Dreams May Come” tour last year.
Listen To: “Orange Soda”

ISAIAH RASHAD
Age: 22
Hometown: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Last Release: Cilvia Demo
Random Fact: He’s the fifth member of Top Dawg Entertainment to land on the XXL Freshmen cover, following in the footsteps of Jay Rock (2010), Kendrick Lamar (2011), Ab-Soul and Schoolboy Q (2013)
Listen To: Ronnie Drake

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LIL DURK
Age: 21
Hometown: From Chicago, Illinois
Last Release: Signed to the Streets
Random Fact: Signed to Def Jam, and affiliated with French Montana’s Coke Boys and Chief Keef’s GBE.
Listen To: “Dis Ain’t What U Want”
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KEVIN GATES
Age: 28
Hometown: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Last Release: By Any Means
Random Fact: Signed to Atlantic Records in 2013. And he loves reading.
Listen To: “Satellites”

JARREN BENTON
Age: 32
Hometown: Decatur, Georgia
Last Release: My Grandma’s Basement
Random Fact: Before his rap career started popping, he worked as a dental assistant and an exterminator
Listen To: “Don’t Mind If I Do”

LIL BIBBY
Age: 19
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Last Release: Free Crack
Random Fact: He hopes to release his debut album, The Book, in 2014.
Listen To: “Water”

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JON CONNOR
Age: 29
Hometown: Flint, Michigan
Last Release: #BestInTheWorld: A Tribute To The Notorious B.I.G. Vol 1
Random Fact: Signed to Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment label late last year.
Listen To: “Judge and Jury”
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