Hello, I’m MusiCommentator, and if there is one event that I look forward to in music, it would be the annual release of the XXL Freshman List. Just today, XXL released the contenders for the 2018 list, and the vote for the 10th spot is on!
I made a post last year ranking the 2017 Freshman Class (link inserted in the next paragraph–click the blue words), and I explained what it was, but in shorter terms, XXL, a popular hip-hop magazine, compiles ten up-and-coming rappers/hip-hop artists to feature in their magazine. Each member also does a freestyle and a cypher for the company, which can be found on YouTube. I also explained my love for the Freshman Lists in my previous post, so I would go check that out if you have time.
A lot of people have already made their predictions, but I decided to hold off until the contenders list came out, because then we can see who really has a shot at it. In this post, I am going to pick ten rappers featured as contenders who I think will make it. I am picking my selections based on a mixture of their overall popularity and my personal opinion, so this list might be different than who you think will get in. Also, this post will not be as formal as my 2017 XXL Freshman Class Ranked or my 2018 one I will do once the freestyles and cyphers come out. I am just throwing out my opinions now because I have extra time and a lot of passion for this list. Also-also, I will list them in alphabetical order so there is no favoritism given to one artist or the other.
I’m not sure whether numbers go at the beginning or end of alphabetically ranked lists, since I’ve seen both, so I’ll put him here.
6ix9ine has been picking up a lot of attention lately due to his hit song GUMMO released last year. His shouting flow has attracted many, and his newest mixtape “DAY69” has done considerably well so far. While I’m not a super-fan of the guy, I do not find him terrible. Some of his songs are just good to aggressively jam out to. He is a pick, though, that I am almost certain will make it.
#2: BlocBoy JB
BlocBoy JB is a Canadian based rapper who has been blowing up with his song featuring Drake titled “Look Alive”. So far, he’s a one hit wonder, but he just released a song with 21 Savage recently, so he might be on his way to the top. Personally, I’m not that into this guy. His flows are pretty simple, and his constant use of the vocal chops at the beginning of his lines to fill up space annoys me. However, I feel if he was given the right materials, he could be great, and getting onto this list might help him with that.
#3: Famous Dex
The farther I’m going into this list, the less I’m liking these guys.
Famous Dex has been making waves online for a couple of years now. I would be surprised if XXL picked him because they rejected him last year due to a video of him hitting a woman surfacing. However, XXXTENTACION was in trial for domestic abuse when he got on the list, so I guess it’s a grab-bag. If you did not read the first sentence, I don’t like this guy at all. The only song I liked him in was A$AP Ferg’s “Mattress” Remix, so I guess we’ll have to see what XXL does with this guy.
#4: Lil Pump
#5: Lil Skies
I have never listened to this guy’s music, but I’m hearing his name more and more frequently now. He released an album this year, and songs like “Red Roses” have been becoming popular off it, so I think he might have a chance at the list.
#6: Lil Xan
Lil Xan is another rapper who has been blowing up online recently, mostly due to his song “Betrayed”. He’s not my favorite, but I like him more than Lil Pump or Famous Dex. I could definitely see XXL picking him this year.
Phresher isn’t one I’m expecting to get in, but I would really like it if he did. I mentioned him on my Top 5 Best EPs Of All Time and how I find his style of energetic trap so appealing. For being as small of an artist as he is, he has worked with a lot of big names, including Remy Ma, 50 Cent, and even Eminem. Yeah, you read that right: he’s worked with Eminem! Again, I don’t think XXL will put him in, but he definitely deserves it.
#8: Rich Brian
Being another rapper I genuinely like, I think Rich Brian has a lot of a better chance than Phresher. Back in 2016, he had a pretty popular single titled “Dat $tick”, but he came out with his debut album “Amen” this year, which has received praise from fans and critics alike. I mainly feel that this album is what should get him the spot, as it combines trap with personal emotions and Rich Brian’s own experiences in coming to the US. It would also be really cool if he made it, too, as he would be the first Asian rapper to make it on the list.
#9: Ski Mask The Slump God
I was debating on whether I should put Ski Mask The Slump God or Smokepurpp on here, but I think Ski Mask is more likely to take the spot. Ski Mask has had a bigger hit than Smokepurpp (“Catch Me Outside”) and he has a stronger fanbase. I’m no die-hard for this guy, but I respect his ability to bring real flows into a genre of rap that generally lacks it.
#10: Tee Grizzley
I would bow down on both knees and praise XXL if they put Tee Grizzley on here. His flows are incredible, his lyrics are raw, and he even had a real hit a couple years back (“First Day Out”). He’s had cosigns from artists like JAY Z, and his recently-released project “Bloodas” with Lil Durk (a former XXL Freshman) is one of the best trap albums I’ve heard of all time. Please XXL, if you are to put anyone on the 2018 list, please please please let it be Tee. I might even subscribe to your magazine if you do that for me (well, I’m not that desperate, but you get the point).
Thank you for reading my 2018 XXL Freshman Class Predictions. Again, these are my opinions and have no real bearing to who will actually be on the list. If you liked this post, make sure to follow my website, Twitter, and Instagram, like this post, and be sure to check in to read my future reviews. Also, if you have something you want to see me review, tell me in the comments. Until then, keep on listening to good music, and be sure to check in when I make my 2018 XXL Freshman Class Ranked post! I know I will.