The XXL Freshmen Class has been revealed. For those who aren’t hip to the annual magazine cover, it is a list of 10 of the biggest up and coming hip hop artists that any and every music fan should have on their radar. For years, XXL has gathered quality groups of hard-working musical artists in an effort to offer publicity for the artists and lessen the search pool for fans. With previous hard hitters like J. Cole, Wale, French Montana, Future and Kendrick Lamar, the Freshmen Class has earned a certain level of respectability over the years.
This year’s Freshmen Class has been described as one of the worst covers since it made it’s iconic debut in 2008. With the general lack of lyrical quality, I can’t help but wholeheartedly agree. Not only are many of the contenders far from freshmen in the hip-hop game, but compared to some of the past artists that have made the list, this group of individuals is slightly subpar as a whole. There is a subtle lack of variety littered throughout the group.
Where are the lyricists, the poets, the wordsmiths? Have we surpassed a time where hip hop has any true substance or depth? Is this what we are doomed to listen to for the remainder of our lives? Say it isn’t so! While Fetty Wap may have provided us with our summer anthem, (and I thank him for that), I can only wonder if there is a true lack of lyrical talent or if XXL is only giving the readers and fans what they want.