Last week, we presented a glimpse at XXL's Freshmen 2010 class from the magazine's photo shoot, and while XXL still won't let us tell all, we're leaking two more names. The special edition of the publication has boosted MCs like Kid Cudi, Wale and Asher Roth over its two-year history, and thus far the magazine's staff has been pretty spot-on when predicting the next big stars.
In 2008, rappers like Saigon, Lil Boosie and Plies made the cut, while last year, B.o.B and Charles Hamilton graced the cover. Other members of the '09 class were Kid Cudi, Ace Hood, Curren$y, Blu, Mickey Factz and Cory Gunz. XXL's Vanessa Satten said the editorial staff started deciding the 2010 class two months ago. Along with their own research, they also took recommendations from the magazine's editors at large and freelance writers.
"Last year, in general, the class was more Internet-driven," she told MTV News. "It was kind of a different class. The office would make fun — it was more of a nerdy class. The rappers involved might get offended by that, but it was definitely to the direction of the Internet audience, the Internet rappers. This [new] class is a mix of that and a little bit more street. And more of hodgepodge."
Last week, Fresno, California MC Fashawn, Georgia trapstar Pill, North Carolina's J.Cole and Los Angeles' Nipsey Hussle were outted as part of the Freshmen 10 while they rhymed a few bars in the shadows, to conceal their identity, during the magazine's photo shoot.
"I'm from the land of cans of spam, hand to hand, dope deals made, dollar for dollar gram to gram, you could follow me and see just how much a man could stand," rhymes Freshman #7 Gibbs in his clip through his Midwestern accent.
The announcement of Freshman #8 OJ Da Juiceman hit the Web via a viral video on Wednesday (February 24). [In the clip, the protégé and sidekick to the incarcerated Gucci Mane sat in darkness, revealing only his jeans, sneakers and bejewelled wrists and fingers as he spit.
"Six rings on like a basketball player, freshmen of the year like a basketball player/ what it do good, man I'm here to stay, aw man gurl man we in your face. Ay!" he drawled, ending his performance with his trademark yelp.
Controversially, neither Drake, arguably the most well-known new MC in rap right now, nor Nicki Minaj are part of 2010's Freshmen class.
"Technically [Nicki Minaj and I] were freshmen when [XXL] didn't put us on," Drake said recently, according to RapRadar.com. "Now it's just returning the favor."
The XXL Freshmen 10 issue hits stands March 13. Satten said there will be a DJ Whoo Kid mixtape to promote the issue in the coming weeks, as well as a party and Freshmen 10 tour featuring a few of the artists.