Do The XXL Freshmen Ever Graduate?

xxl freshmen

XXL magazine’s annual Freshmen cover always generates some controversy and discussion. The big argument with this year’s freshmen crop is that Yelawolf is now featured on two consecutive cover stories. Isn’t this is what pop culture does with their artists tho’? Cramming them down your throat whether you fux with them or not.

XXL magazine has officially become the Tiger Beat magazine for the Hip-Hop set. Shaun Cassidy was mentioned or pictured on almost every cover of that rag for several years.

tiger beat

The real question I have is how good is XXL at supporting the artists they say have next? Some of these freshmen end up being dropouts (no KanYe Tudda). Like I mean dropping out of the scene altogether. When is the last time you heard mention of Ace Hood?

I figured we could take a quick look at XXL’s past freshmen and review their GPA to see if these dudes are still taking ’em to school or have they been left back.

Freshmen class of 2008

joell ortiz Joell Ortiz – One of the anchors of rap supergroup SlaughterHouse with two(2) albums completed. Joell Ortiz leads the future wave of NYC emcees

Crooked I – Another SlaughterHouse spitter who knows how to keep his name hot.
Saigon – Releasing his debut album ‘Greatest Story Never Told’
Rich Boy

Lupe Fiasco – Preparing his third LP: ‘Lasers’ and possibly carrying weed for Pharell
Lil Boosie
Gorilla Zoe

Young Dro – Hanging out a lot with underclassman Vado and wearing Polo

Freshmen class of 2009

cudi Kid Cudi – Holding KanYe’s best weed has helped him make that spaceship music

Wale – At least Rick Ross fux with him musically
B.o.B. – Grammy nominated which can also mean seriously overrated
Charles Hamilton – Still in school and sadly no one really cares
Asher Roth
Cory Gunz

Blu – prA’li the best rapper in this class but still needing that “push”
Mickey Factz – Making car commercials
Ace Hood
Curren$y – People love his ‘Pilot Talk’ mixtapes, but I’m waiting for him to really blow [ll]

Freshmen class of 2010

j cole J Cole – So much potential but does he have the work ethic?

Nipsey Hu$$le – A movement all by himself
Wiz Khalifa – The breakout star of this class
OJ Da Juiceman
Freddie Gibbs
Big Sean
Jay Rock

Freshmen class of 2011

lil b Lil’ B – His movement is already XXXXXXXXL without even being on this rag’s cover. XXL needs him to still be legitimate to a youth dominated demographic

Fred The Godson
Meek Mill
Mac Miller
Cyhi The Prynce
Kendrick Lamar
Lil’ Twist
Diggy Simmons
Big K.R.I.T.

16 Responses to “Do The XXL Freshmen Ever Graduate?”

  1. countee cullen jr says:

    XXL “freshman” worse than the worst season of “Welcome Back Kotter” + “What’s Happening” combined.

    Joell = Crooked fugazy fucking Yankees cap = WTF?

    And what 30 year olds who’ve already dropped many hundreds of verses– only a couple dozen of which were nice– are the ‘future’ of anything?

    Sean Price + Prodigy in 2011, most of the rest are DROSS.

  2. countee cullen jr says:

    p/s– with all respect to 40 Diesel, fuck Jay Electronica too, the future of NOTHING, alas (for those of us once hopeful, as I was once for Joell, who just doesn’t have it.)

  3. DirtyJerz says:

    I’m not sure why Action Bronson ain’t on that list, but I’m glad he’s not. Typically that XXL freshmen lineup be on some bullsh*t.

    But Lil’ B, tho? Let that boy cook….#SWAG!

  4. Amanda says:

    I’m still low key cheering for Donnis. I think he has potential but just needs his name out there better. Perhaps better management or promotion would help him.

    I want to give Wiz some time and see what happens a few months from now when the Steelers hype has died down and people are officially sick of Black and Yellow.

    I enjoyed more than half of J. Cole’s last mixtape. “Premeditated Murder” was fire. I see hope in that guy.

    The rest of them from 2010 though…iunno.

    I think the biggest discrepancy in this, though, is how the FUCK did SAIGON make the FRESHMAN list in 2008? I can distinctly remember blasting his music in like 2002-2003. That’s half a decade before that issue came out. And “Greatest Story Never Told” was SIX YEARS in the making and dropped in 2011, which means he began it in 2005, well after a nice run of mixtapes that gained him nationwide notoriety. Saigon ain’t a freshman, he’s the dude that took six years to graduate high school probably because he went to jail sometime in the midst of it all. What’d he get that placement based off of, the Just Blaze joint with the so-so video that people are blasting again like they didn’t already hear it 4 years ago? Cmonson.

  5. caqlilow says:

    BIG KRIT is the truth

  6. That list was a hunk of shit. Great observation, Dallas. The list does get worse every year.

  7. @Countee Cullen Jr….

    If you cut me do I not bleed as well? LOL.

    I got love for Jay Elec and will support his journey but it seems right now he peaked with that run of “Exhibit C” and that Cole/Mos/Kweli joint in what seems like an eternity in these modern rap years ago. My homie out West calls him “a One Hit Wonder” now. I try to remember that Nas went like two years between “Halftime” and when “Illmatic” finally dropped and major props for the level of patience and stick-to-itiveness to the homie Saigon who waited a lifetime for his album to drop (and is a great offering!).

    So I’m wondering what’s the deal with Roc-Nation on this point. Seems like we’ll get a Willow Smith album on RocNation before anyone else. J.Cole has lost all his buzz right now and Jay Elec is relatively stagnant to the point where you’ve heard nothing new (I’m gonna ignore that Bad Boy job application called “Ghost of Chris Wallace”), I don’t even see homie on the Twitters no more like he used to. My hope is that he’s somewhere being a father, banging out the notebook and putting in work. It would be a shame if his career was more MIMS than monumental…

    Time will tell?

  8. the_dallas says:

    I like that CCJ is upset by Joell’s Yankee NY cap.

    Sit the fux down. LOL

  9. Smear says:

    Freddie Gibbs from 2010 deserves more shine…Lil B just took it….(i don’t understand it tho) and DANNY BROWN should have been front and center…
    Don’t sleep on KRIT or young Kendirck Lamar… the kid is Compton like you’ve never heard it b4….
    Otherwise i could give 2 shits really…

  10. I don’t even know any of Lil B’s music, however I love using the term “Thank You Based God” at the most random moments in a conversation….

  11. chillin wit ya home squirrel says:

    da godson got some bars he should do more rhymes about looking like a pokemon…

    based god is bigger than all these rappers who supposedly ‘made it’
    i think rap could grow in a really futuristic way if artists tried to reach a more specific audience and each rapper could have their own genre of rap maybe. the mistake all these dropouts made is they tried to blow up, don’t think any of them thought about who they were rappin 2 for a second.

  12. PS – Diggy Simmons needs to do right by JoJo and sign him as his DJ or something. Because word to DJ Hurricane, them Simmons boys look out for each other real proper like.

  13. Mark Dub says:

    “caqlilow Says:

    February 28th, 2011 at 1:59 am
    BIG KRIT is the truth ”

    ^^^ Indeed.

    If you are sleeping on Big K.R.I.T., you should never be allowed to wake up. Download his FREE (the magic word for semi-consumers) mixtape, “K.R.I.T. wuz here” off of datpiff, and tell me I’m wrong.

    And if you do indeed tell me I’m wrong, then you’re pra’li a crab, and not worthy of oxygen.

  14. If only Lupe was actually holding weed for anyone, maybe by osmosis he would become a somewhat normal dude again and not a whiny ass robot.

  15. $yk says:

    what Mark Dub said…

    y’all sleeping on KRIT

  16. BIGNAT says:

    whoa dp what is with the hate on curren$y.
    Curren$y – People love his ‘Pilot Talk’ mixtapes, but I’m waiting for him to really blow [ll]
    those are albums indies ones and he is eating good off them. plus he has filled his cd with rappers we have not heard of yet. putting shine on for his city and his people. on top of that i heard he just signed with warner and got his jets label. also getting two of his buddies solo deals under his label. jets fool for real and he has been working hard everything he is on he goes in on. jumping on tracks with people i don’t know and they are making great music

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