The full cover for XXL’s highly anticipated annual Freshman list has arrived and ironically, it contains very few surprises this time around. After newcomers Blueface, DaBaby, and Megan Thee Stallion took over the viral conversation in 2018, it was only right that they would be some of the most prominently featured names on the list. This year’s cover also highlights Comethazine, Gunna, Lil Mosey, Rico Nasty, Roddy Ricch, Tierra Whack, YBN Cordae, and YK Osiris, all of whom had huge viral hits in the past year, dominating the discussion and distinguishing themselves from the hundreds of new rappers that seem to be cropping up all over the place these days.
Intriguingly, this year’s list has the most women featured on it (three — Megan, Rico, and Tierra) since 2015 had two (Dej Loaf and Tink), which is an indicator of the increased overall female presence in the rap game over the past year. The list is also coming with the usual Freshman Class cypher, with this year’s cypher led by Florida’s DJ Scheme. As in prior years, the 2019 list is not without controversy; within minutes of the list reveal, DJ Akademiks was on Twitter reporting that Chicago rap crooner Juice WRLD actually turned down the chance to be on the list, as previous rappers like ASAP Rocky, Lil Skies, Nicki Minaj, and Young Thug.
The full list and more details can be read here.