Ah, it’s that time of year again. When the hip hop community unites to celebrate the upcoming fresh faces of the rap game, only to bitch and moan because their favourite artist wasn’t picked. XXL has continued their annual tradition and announced the class of 2015 freshman, and there are some surprising additions. They are as follows:
- Dej Loaf
- Fetty Wap
- K Camp
- OG Maco
- Shy Glizzy
- Vince Staples
- Kidd Kidd
It is rather refreshing to see the likes of Raury on the list, with his eclectic sounds and his unique mashup of folk, soul and hip hop music. It is also interesting to note the female influence amongst the freshman class with the likes of Tink and Dej Loaf, as the class of 2014 did not include a single female artist, with Rapsody being the most notable snub, and an outrageous one at that, as she is one of the most lyrically talented artists regardless of gender.
Kidd Kidd was awarded the 10th and final spot in the class, which is voted via the fans, however this is the inclusion that has caused a rather negative reaction from the hip hop community already. Kidd Kidd is no stranger to the rap game, and has been around for close to a decade; he is hardly a freshman. A New Orleans native, Kidd Kidd was discovered rapping on a street corner by none other than Lil’ Wayne himself, and was signed to Wayne’s label, eventually appearing on one of his mentors biggest singles, the 2008 smash Mrs Officer. If an artist is collaborating on the same label as one of the veterans of the rap game for close to a decade, surely this spot could have been vacated for an up and coming artist who could have benefited from an increase in publicity? Quite frankly, it is decisions such as this that make the XXL list look more and more comical. The magazine has an incredible opportunity to showcase new talent and create new buzz amongst the community, instead they continue to make questionable decisions. I seriously doubt that any “fan” would have voted for the inclusion of Kidd Kidd. It’s a joke.
Twitter is of course relishing in an opportunity to criticise the list:
Kidd Kidd ain’t no damn freshman, that fool dropped out and came back for his GED. 😂😂😂 #xxlfreshmen
— Shepp (@SHEPP4KING) June 3, 2015
It is going to be interesting to see how the rest of the community reacts to this news as the day passes. Despite the controversy, I am excited especially excited for the inclusion of Vince Staples, who has provided a forward-thinking and refreshing approach to hip hop, particularly in his collaborative work with Earl Sweatshirt. Let’s hope that future lists actually showcase an entire list of up and comers, not washed up rappers who are looking for some new exposure.