By Maurice Bobb
This year’s XXL Freshman class is one of the magazine’s most celebrated covers in years, so it only make sense—dollars and cents, that is—that the publication take the rising hip-hop stars out on tour and capitalize on the buzz.
“The goal we try to make with Freshman is to show that we support new talent [and] to give opportunities to people who will kind of take a long time for them to come around and get that opportunity or be on the cover,” XXL Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Satten told MTV News last month.
Monster Energy is teaming up with XXL and Idol Roc Entertainment for the groundbreaking “Monster Energy Outbreak Tour Presents XXL Freshmen Live 2013.” The tour will showcase TDE affiliates Ab-Soul and Schoolboy Q, Mr. “All Gold Everything” Trinidad James, Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$, Kirko Bangz, Logic, Travis Scott, Angel Haze and Dizzy Wright, who earned his place as the 10th Freshman during an online pole held on XXL’s website.
“Monster Energy has had a long-standing relationship with music, and in particular, a rich history of getting involved with young artists early on and showing their support which is the very essence of the Outbreak Tour,” said Outbreak Tour producer, Steve Glazer. “XXL does an incredible job at curating the Freshmen talent and just like last year we’ve once again married these two culturally influential brands to bring forth a one of a kind tour that truly unveils the new class of hip hop stars.”
The tour will start in Philadelphia, PA (May 1) with Big K.R.I.T. and Action Bronson, then hit Los Angeles, CA (May 18) with Bronson, Ab-Soul and Schoolboy Q performing for their home base and move on to New York City (May 21) with all of the Freshman class hitting the stage. More dates will be announced soon, but Chief Keef, who got the honorary nod as the 11th Freshman, is not scheduled to perform on the tour at this time. His inclusion on the much-debated cover drew ire from the annual cover’s most vehement detractors, but Satten and her team felt that it was “wrong for him to not be part of that group.”
“We locked Chief Keef down as one of the first Freshmen, and that was back in October,” Satten said about the Finally Rich MC. “There was no album, there was no jail bid, there was no legal drama. So that happened after we locked him down.”
XXL’s 2013 Freshmen cover arrives on stands nationally April 23rd.