Written by Nate Spurlin
Just in time for the summer, XXL Magazine comes through with their picks for XXL Freshmen of 2021. The list of ten rappers is meant to highlight those who are thought to be up and coming, close to disrupting the rap game with unprecedented levels of success that nobody saw coming. In the past, rappers like Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Lil Uzi Vert, and Megan Thee Stallion amongst others have been featured on the XXL Freshman list either cementing or springboarding them into the upper echelon of Hip-Hop.
To represent the Freshman class of 2021, the staff at XXL chose rappers, 42 Dugg, Flo Milli, Morray, Pooh Shiesty, Lakeyah, Coi Leray, Toosii, Blxst, Rubi Rose, Iann Dior, and DDG. Some rappers like 42 Dugg and Pooh Shiesty have already made an impact within the culture through features like 42 Dugg’s presence on the 2020 Lil Baby hit single “We Paid,” or through working with rappers already in the upper echelon, most notably Lil Durk’s presence on Pooh Sheisty’s hit song “Back in Blood.” Others like Flo Milli and Morray have a lot of talent that shines through their music but may not have had the machine behind them to propel their careers to spots where their talent dictates they deserve to be. However, for some, the jury is still out, and only time will tell how deserved this freshman pick was along with how impactful it is to one’s growing career.
The announcement is the first domino in what is the “rollout” of sorts for the 2021 XXL Freshman class. Next up, fans will be treated to interviews, cyphers, and freestyles from each of the ten selections. Nevertheless, it appears this year’s cover is guaranteed to drive the conversation about what the next iteration of Hip-Hop will be.