The list includes names like Fivio Foreign, Chika, and Lil Tjay.
On Tuesday, XXL released its 13th annual Freshman class. Due to unforeseen circumstances like a global pandemic, the issue hit a few bumps in production. However, the list represents a variety of styles from artists around the country.
This year’s issue features Chicago MCs Polo G and Calboy and New Yorkers Lil Tjay and Fivio Foreign. Jack Harlow of Louisville, Kentucky makes an appearance, fresh off a number-one record. NLE Choppa gives Memphis another Freshman representative after BlocBoy JB made the list in 2018. Rod Wave hails from St. Petersburg, Florida, while Chika represents Montgomery, Alabama. Baby Keem holds it down for Los Angeles, while Mulatto and Lil Keed represent Atlanta. San Francisco MC 24kGoldn landed the 10th spot via fan vote.
XXL Freshman Honorees spoke with XXL and founders of the social justice organization Until Freedom about worldwide protests, police brutality, and social injustices. The issue will be available in print on September 1. The issue also features interviews with Freddie Gibbs, T.I., and Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray.
South Carolina producer JetsonMade joined the class as its first musical curator. In under two short years, Jetson’s produced three top-five charting singles on Billboard‘s US R&B and Hip-Hop charts: “Suge” and “Bop” by DaBaby and “Whats Poppin” by Jack Harlow.
The Freshman issue also features a previously-unreleased interview with the late Pop Smoke from January. The Brooklyn MC was chosen as the issue’s first Freshman a month before his untimely death in February.