In its almost ten year history, the XXL Magazine Top 10 Freshmen list has always ignited debate and divided the hip-hop community on where the future of the art is going. This year 21 Savage, Kodak Black, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Dicky, Dave East, Denzel Curry, G Herbo, Lil Yachty and Desiigner were the new boys in town, each of them bringing their own fanbases and haters to the table to knock heads.
One Freshman who is largely without any of that dividing beef, however, is California’s Anderson .Paak, today joining his fellow inductees in giving a freestyle to celebrate his inclusion in this prestigious list. You can watch it below:
Having just announced a full length NxWorries album – his side project with producer Knxwledge – is finished and his best work yet, XXL have caught him as the wave well and truly breaks. His freestyle is the perfect embodiment of his continuing success – both in its delivery and its lyrics. His husky voice echoes in the XXL studio, like we’re witnessing the delivery of a spoken word prayer about being brought down at the top of your game. While other Freshmen’s freestyles might not hit as hard without instrumentals, Anderson .Paak feels right at home in the silence.
Making this list came largely off the back of his fourth album Malibu, the second under the moniker Anderson .Paak, released earlier this year to largely rave reviews. So rave in fact, that Dr Dre threw his support behind the crooner and signed him straight to his iconic Aftermath label only two weeks following. He’s been making waves ever since, also featuring on tracks by Kaytranada and Snakehips, venturing as he does best out of his genre comfort zone.
For now, with all of these accolades and plaudits to his name, it looks like Anderson .Paak’s star is only going to skyrocket.
Image: XXL Magazine