XXL has released the magazine’s annual “Freshman Class” list for the brand’s 2020 edition. Since 2007, the issue features ten artists-to-watch each year, showcasing the finalists on the front cover. Formerly, the list typically illustrates underground and rising rappers.
This year’s “Freshman Class” includes Polo G, Rod Wave, Baby Keem, NLE Choppa, Mulatoo, Fivio Foreign, Jack Harlow, Chika, Calboy, Lil Keed, Lil Tjay and 2kGoldn, who won over fans votes for the tenth spot on the roster.
The magazine commemorates Pop Smoke’s footprint in the music scene as well as his association with the brand, as he happily accepted the first Freshman spot in the class before passing away in February 2020. The publication features an unreleased interview from Pop Smoke’s visit, one month before his death.
Video interviews are organized by prominent names involved in activist and social justice organizations. These names also have heavy associations with the hip-hop music genre. Tamika D. Mallory, Angelo Pinto, Mysonne Linen, and Linda Sarsour speak on problematic conversations that are currently existent such as police brutality, social injustice, the recent protests and racism.
The Freshman issue’s intended release date is September 1st, incorporating an array of interviews, conversations regarding all things music and talk relative to the role that hip-hop has in today’s political movement. Congratulations to this year’s 2020 XXL Freshman Class, as they optimistically persevere their ways to the top of the rap/hip hop scene.