XXL Freshmen predictions
Every single year, XXL releases a new Freshmen list bringing in new artists that become the next big thing, or one hit wonders. Success is not always guaranteed but attention is. Many debate what qualifies to become apart of this list every year as we have seen transitions of underground, soundcloud to mainstream artists, whether they should be lyrical or not it still continues. Hip Hop’s sound has become more versatile outside of it’s traditional instrumental given from each coast. When hearing past XXL listers such as Chance The Rapper to Lil Yatchy who both have had successful year. My next question is will XXL not only show Hip Hop’s versatility in it’s sound but diversity in it’s people. For the past few month, more women have been killing it in mainstream Hip Hop; Cardi B, Kamaiyah, Noname, Princess Nokia, Young MA, Kodie Shane and many more and I’m curious to see if they will be qualified for a XXL Fresh (wo)men List. Here are my predictions, not all will be listed but here are a few.
A Boogie wit da Hoodie
Born in the Bronx, A Boogie wit da Hoodie has created a buzz all over the internet since 2016, releasing his first mixtape Artist that featured hits from “My Sh*t” and “Jungle” that sooner than later, landed A Boogie wit da Hoodie a co-sign with Drake, performance with Future and even a song on the Fast and Furious soundtrack. With songs that are inspired by heartbreaks and trap music, Boogie has found success through mixtapes is defiantly one to watch for upcoming XXL Freshmen list.
KYLE, also known as SuperDuperKyle is no stranger to exploring new sounds in his music as he talks about and samples video games over electric beats on “Sex and super smash bros” to curly headed cuties over a upbeat summer hit such as “ISpy”. Kyle is from the new generation of Hip Hop with artists from Lil Yatchy to Chance the Rapper who he has collaborated with that all strongly believe in stepping out the boundaries of music and being themselves.
Toronto’s music scene continues to reign with upcoming artists such as Jazz Cartier who doesn’t stop working till his voice gets heard. From playing songs like “Red Alert” at Raptors Games and commercials to performing crazy crowd surfing to “Dead Or Alive” at music festivals such as SXSW. (Tory Lanez got some competition) Jazz’s music is inspired by the city of Toronto, that many may say is dark and sinister but can be defined more as electric towards it’s energy.
From Love and Hip Hop to Hip Hop Billboards, Cardi B has had a crazy successful year through making music and just simply having fun by expressing herself. Cari B bodies her boss ass chick anthem with “Foreva”, and gives in some gangsta bitch music with bars in “Hectic” and hits on “Lick”. Cardi B is the definition of care free and independent women as she is not afraid to be sexual or run up on a chick. Her energy is exciting and never fails to entertain an audience.
Many were introduced to Chicago very own Saba through Chance The Rapper’s mixtape “Acid Rap” on the song “Everybody’s Something” and ever since we couldn’t get enough of him. Saba’s music is influenced by smooth jazz and soulful r&b which can be heard on his latest project “Saba’s Bucket List Project”, where he mentions the three things off his bucket list including f***ing Kylie Jenner.
Hard work goes a long way and for Russ, it was all about perfecting your craft and your work doing all the talking. As the internet made producing music easier through sites like soundcloud, it is either a hit or miss to shoot your shot for success and Russ took advantage of that. From releasing over 80+ songs from mixtapes on soundcloud to having Billboard hits, “What They Want”, Russ is starting to get the recognition he deserves.
Dreamville’s best kept secret is on his way to success through his debut album “The Never Story”. J.I.D’s sound is like a breath of fresh air with his dynamic rhyme scheme, ass kicking punchlines, and versatile production that can be heard on tracks like “NEVER”, ”Underwear”, “Hereditary” and many more on this album, the list goes on and it is just the beginning for him.
XXL always announces an R&B singer on their list from past artists from August Alsina to Anderson.Paak. My predictions range from Pnb Rock to 6LACK. Pnb Rock, well known for Billboard hit “Selfish”, Pnb Rock’s relationship anthem has caused a storm through social media through memes, musicallys and many more, and will remain a hit for as long as people have break ups or even make ups.
R&B’s dark prince is on his way to reign the charts as he has become a worldwide name as he is currently on tour with The Weeknd. His music ranges around in the sub genre of what Bryson Tiller calls “Trapsoul” which is a combination of trap and r&b music which isn’t a bad combination at all. Although, he is not the only one, with competitors in this genre like Bryson Tiller, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Tory Lanez and more, 6LACK remains to stay on top of the charts with hits “PRBLMS” “Ex Calling”. 6LACK is definetly here to stay.
Playboi Carti has been a popular name within mainstream Hip Hop, with collaborations with Rich The Kid and Kodak Black on “Plug”. Playboi Carti has more up on his sleeve as he recently released his first self titled album “Playboi Carti” that features catchy BANGERS, “Wokeupliekthis*” and “Magnolia” that have brought Playboi Carti to a whole other level. (I listen to Magnolia religiously and Milly Rock like no tommorow. I wish i was joking about this too.)
It took a while for Noname to announce a full completed projects as we were impressed by her guest verses on songs with artists from Chance The Rapper and Mick Jenkins, took a little time to realise that the wait is worth it. Her rhythmic flow and unique voice brings poetry to life in her music that is accompanied by sweet jazz and gentle r&b on her “Telefone” album. It is as if we are having a one on one conversation with her through personal songs like “Forever” and “Reality”. We are introduced to her style of music as an artist on this project and are loving every bit of it.
Chicago has built an empire of rappers and artists with unique styles and exciting flows; from Chance The Rapper, to Chief Keef and Famous Dex is one of them. Continuing the style of Hip Hop’s famous trap music, Famous Dex brings a dramatic piano trap beat with “Drip From My Walk” that has been remixed by artists from Sauce Walka, Rich the Kid, and Lil Yatchy.
Representing Atlanta, Kodie Shane has become a popular name within the new artists to watch out for. Bringing in the emotional turn up anthem’s like “Sad” that features Lil Yatchy, a song that would go hand in hand with Lil Uzi’s XO Tour Life for your future emo playlists. Her music brings a lighter side to trap music that sounds euphoric while her lyric may contrast with heartbreak or isolation. Kodie Shane will be releasing an EP, Little Rocket later on in June.
Atlanta has been on a wave with bringing in artists that have given us summer anthems all year long. Madeintoyo, short for Madeintokyo, was on the Billboard Hot 100 all last year for his bass heavy hit “Uber Everywhere”, that brought many popular memes, and videos, the song then featured remixes from artists Travis Scott and Tory Lanez as they were fans of the song as well. Madeintoyo has collaborated with artists from Big Sean, 2Chainz, Roy Woods and many more as artists can’t get enough of Atlanta’s very own.
Other predictions (will probably do a part two with artists below)
Allan Kingdom, Bas, Kamiyah, Amine, Ugly God, Kamiayah, XXXTentacion, 24hrs, Rob $tone, Smoke Purpp, Lil Peep, Joyner Lucas,Kur, Smino, Boogie