XXL's 2012 Freshmen List.
Obviously, I am not posting this to let you know who made this year's XXL Freshmen List because I'm sure you already know and you're already heated over it. So, I'm posting this rather to give my two cents because I have a fuckin' blog and I feel like doing a post about this shit.
So yes, we are all disappointed by this list-AS USUAL! Since their '09 edition of this issue that had Kid Cudi, Wale, Asher Roth, Ace Hood, etc, XXL's Freshmen list have gotten more disappointing by the year. It seems like they always manage to put the wackest emcees on there and then maybe one or two emcees that actually make sense when it comes to their picks. What are these lists for anyways? At first, I thought it was to inform us of emcees that are on the rise and that we should pay attention to. But now, it just seems they put anyone on the list, no matter how long they've been in the game or how good of emcees they actually are. I could have sworn there was a difference between a Freshmen list and a Hottest In the Game type list.
But no matter what the list is suppose to be, I just hope XXL knows that they are not informing us of shit! The people catch wind of 90% of artists on the rise before any magazine, radio station, or record label does. Had to point that out just in case XXL was confused on why the people get so irate about their Freshmen lists. If XXL wants to present a list on the "freshmen" of the game to the people, just let the people decide all 10 of the artists who will make the list. Then maybe the feedback won't be,"Are the people at XXL on crack?".
About this year's Freshmen class issue, ...where do I begin? Okay, let's start with the overall look and concept of the cover-duh fuck? Gold tools and big ass speakers? What? If this concept has some deeper meaning, someone please explain. Smh, on to the next thing, the emcees who made the list. I don't know if I am more disappointed about the artists who didn't make the list or about the artists who did. I understand why MGK, Iggy, and Future are on there-if this list is based on "hottest emcees who already made a name for themselves and are going from underground to mainstream". Then them being on the list makes perfect sense. French Montana, I'm not a fan of his but I've seen what he has done career wise. I lowkey think he has passed the 9th grade of Hip Hop. He's like a sophomore now, not a freshmen. Same thing with Danny Brown even though he has more an underground appeal compared to French Montana. But Danny paid his freshmen dues. I know who Kid Ink is but I don't know of Kid Ink (if that makes sense). I personally don't think he's made any kind of impact that would make him worthy of this list. Hospin got his spot because XXL couldn't get Earl Sweatshirt. I guess Don Trip being on here makes sense as well. Roscoe Dash... if they wanted to put him on a Freshmen list, they should have done that like two yrs ago, like really? And what is a Macklemore?
Now let's talk about our favorite emcees who didn't make the list. I'm going to go off the available choices XXL gave us when they gave the power to the people to choose one of the 10 freshmen emcees. Casey Veggies hands down should have been on this list. Toured with Mac Miller, shut shit down on CDC with Dom Kennedy and cARTer, dropped Sleeping in Class, and is about to have his first headliner show in LA-C'MON XXL! How did they just let Casey slip like that? Same thing with Rockie Fresh! Rockie has a growing fan base, drops some of the dopest projects, and he is on tour-again, C'MON XXL!!! We got no Schoolboy Q, no Action Bronson, no XV,-I could go on and on with this. We got no A$AP Rocky neither BUT I feel like it would be an injustice to Rocky and the impact he has made this past year if they belittled him and put him on this list. I'm also aware that XXL offered a spot to Chip Tha Ripper but he declined-smart move. Chip should have BEEN on this list years ago.
And speaking of emcees declining, we can't be too mad some of our favorites didn't make the list because sometimes, they just don't want to be on the list! And depending on what emcee you're talking about, declining a spot could be a smart or dumb move. Dumb for those who truly are making moves, are actually dope at what they do, and deserve for the world to know of them. Smart for those who have been making moves, already got magazine covers/features, been on tour, and been doing their thing for some years now. Because let's not forget, XXL is calling these emcees "freshmen".
I know some people are probably like,"Fuck that, a magazine cover is a magazine cover! That's exposure!" But now look at the backlash these emcees might face or are actually facing now? People are already dismissing them as good rappers period just off the fact that they made the cover. Got people calling Iggy a hoe and saying she sucked dicks to get on the list and they probably never heard an Iggy song in their life! I think XXL really needs to go back and review the reasons and purpose of making Freshmen lists to begin with because there is no doubt that the purpose of these lists has changed over the years.
Why exactly do they pick the rappers they pick for these lists? Can't say you pick one cause they are an amazing emcee and another because they are controversial and another because they may not be the best but their music gets people going. Like there has to be an equal playing field here.
All I can say to you, the people, is don't expect these lists to be what you want them to be. Continue to speak up and fight for the artists you feel deserve to have some shine. Whether its on this list or in the industry in general. Continue to support and show love to your favorite artists, they need that. Oh Hip Hop, I'm praying for you girl.