The halls of XXL Magazine are open again, welcoming in its new freshman class of carefully selected artists based on merit and a whole lot of clout. Enter the 2019 Freshman class of rising artists: Megan Thee Stallion, Gunna, Rico Nasty, Blueface, DaBaby, Tierra Whack, Lil Mosey, YBN Cordae, YK Osiris, Roddy Ricch, and Comethazine. Class is in session! Now the conversation begins via disgruntled tweets and suggestions.
The story of the XXL Freshman class stretches back to 2007 when it was first implemented. The idea was simple: a list of rising artists poised to become hip-hop's most notable faces based on what they've shown so far. Whether it's video views, an outrageous aesthetic, or just good music (often times all three), these carefully selected picks are brought together for a photoshoot and rap cypher to showcase their skills. Then they're sent on their way to see if they live up to their status. Most of them do, so it's become a great way to keep an eye on the who's who of hip-hop.
This list is comprised of many of 2019's hottest artists. Gunna creates magic, most often with Lil Baby, and has made the term "drip" into a national treasure. Blueface popularized the term "Thotiana" (although it's arguable whether he's the first) and created one of the hottest dances of the summer. Rico Nasty, Megan Thee Stallion, and Tierra Whack are three of the hardest rappers in the game period, containing more energy in each line of a song than many rappers often do over the course of their careers. Each pick makes a ton of sense.
Other of the lesser-known names on the list are on the rise. Roddy Ricch's "Die Young" was a breakout hit that pushed him forward to take advantage of 2019, which he has on a collaboration with Marshmello called "Project Dreams." DaBaby took over car stereos and curated playlists with "Suge," and Lil Mosey's coming into his own with his new single with Chris Brown called "G Walk."
Here are some of the best reactions to the 2019 Freshman announcement thus far.