XXL has revealed its 13th annual list of hip-hop’s brightest new stars. The Class of 2020 includes NLE Choppa, Polo G, Calboy, Lil Tjay, Fivio Foreign, and Baby Keem, along with Rod Wave, Lil Keed, and Jack Harlow.
“I’ve been fantasizing about becoming a Freshman since I was a kid,” tweeted the “WHATS POPPIN” hitmaker. “To be the first one from Kentucky to make the list means everything to me. Thank you.”
Chika and Mulatto hold it down for the ladies, while “Mood” rapper 24kGoldn earned the most fan votes to land the Freshman 10th spot.
I used to go to the store and buy physical copies of XXL in middle school. I’ve been fantasizing about becoming a Freshman since I was a kid.
Pop Smoke was selected as the first Freshman for the 2020 list prior to his tragic death in February. According to XXL, he happily accepted but “circumstances out of our control prevented us from including Pop as part of the cover posthumously.”
The Freshman list has produced alum including Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Mac Miller, Lil Uzi Vert, Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa, and Travis Scott.
Due to the pandemic, the issue was delayed and the magazine wasn’t able to shoot the artists together for the cover, but they still plan on releasing freestyles and cyphers, soundtracked by producer Jetsonmade.