XXL Magazine Publishes its Most Diverse Freshman List of All Time

Saucy Santana, Nardo Wick, Doechii, Babyface Ray, and KenTheMan are among the emerging stars of 2022 for XXL Magazine’s Freshman Class.

On Tuesday, XXL Magazine announced the 2022 Freshman Class. The list, which — with the exception of 2008 — has been published every year since 2007, highlights rappers who will be breaking out. Among the numerous standouts this year is a diverse mixture of rappers who’ve created a lane for themselves. The list features Saucy Santana, Nardo Wick, Doechii, Babyface Ray, KenTheMan, Cochise, SoFaygo, Big Scarr, Big30, and KayCyy. BabyTron is the 10th Spot Winner, while Wheezy Outta Here is listed as this year’s Freshman class producer for the cyphers.

This year’s selection got a pretty warm reaction on social media:

Before XXL’s staff selects the class members, they hold daily meetings with nearly 100 of rap’s newest stars starting in January before wrapping in April with the final 12 artists chosen. Over the next month, XXL will be releasing freestyles, cyphers, interviews, and more content with each member of the Freshman class. This year is the 15th anniversary of the first Freshman cover. So XXL will release content with additional interviews with Lupe Fiasco, Pi’erre Bourne, NLE Choppa, DJ Dahi, Chloe Bailey, a breakdown of every Freshman Class from a numbers standpoint, and a look back at the 2021 and 2016 Freshman classes.

In the years since its inception, numerous rappers have been featured as part of XXL’s Freshman classes including Anderson Paak, Kendrick Lamar, Nipsey Hussle, Megan Thee Stallion, Wale, and Flo Milli to name a few.

You can buy the 2022 XXL Freshman Class issue and check out the photoshoot here on XXL.


Kia Turner

Kia Turner is a freelance journalist and music historian from Newark, New Jersey. Managing her album-based series Deconstructing or talking about Pussy Rap, you can find the Hoodaville princess at @ChasingKia on all platforms. 

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