Look at Me Now: 2008 Freshman Recap

It’s hard to believe it’s already been four years since XXL’s inaugural Freshman class. Dubbed leaders of the new school at the time, in ways, the ’07 edition was more of an old guard than a new generation in comparison to succeeding Freshman classes. When the November 2007 issue hit newsstands, hipster rap was unheard of, the internet had yet to truly boom and mixtapes were slowly transitioning from CDs to zip files. Now veterans, the ’07 class has had to keep up with hip-hop’s perpetually morphing climate. XXL looks back at its first Freshman class to see how the students’ careers turned out.— Dan Reagans

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    only Lupe Fiasco , joell ortiz Crooked I and Papoose are good the rest of them sell burgers at burger king

  • Elo

    Lupe Fiasco, Joell Ortiz, Papoose and Saigon are the only dope lyricists on this cover…

    • joe p


  • Stephen Hillard


  • 404Monster

    I see what yall expect from music by who yall name and my brothers i respect that one hundred percent, but PLEASE stop sleeping on Young Dro because he spits also. Gorrila Zoe might not be relavent (spell check), but he can spit also. Boosie might not spit lyrics, but his style of rap is straight raw and can really be felt if you can relate to it. Everywhere down south i go, from my city of Atlanta, to the rest of the south, his music is respected and loved, but thats probably not the same in other parts of America.

  • Tru Talk

    I think Rich Boy still has potential because he hasn’t over sold himself, so I think the best of him is still to come…. Plies is a beast on his song writing ability, he might not be the best lyricist but people can’t hate on the songs he writes…. Lupe by far the best all of them for sure, in my opinion he has made 3 classic albums…. Saigon, Papoose have been the biggest dissapointments to me, they were supposed to resurrect New York but they just lost steam due to label bullshit….. Joell Ortiz and Crooked I finnally got something going signing to Shady, they can both spit so its a good home for them….. Young Dro and Gorrilla Zoe is trash and Boosie pissed his talent away….

  • Don mcCaine

    Saigon, Papoose have been the biggest dissapointments to me, they were supposed to resurrect New York but they just lost steam due to label bullshit…..

    ^ so how could they have disappointed you when you stated they fell to label politics…

    Pap just never released any music worthy of buying so I can understand that disappointment (BKLYN what it do) but Saigon had a career going if they would have released GSNT then…don’t know if you heard it or not but it’s a damn good album.

    And I fUx w/Dro’s music, Rich Boy too…and co-sign what homie said about Boosie, but he’s got serious issues to deal with that are important than the raps.

  • Mike T

    Rich Boy is skilled, he just dont come out w nuttin

  • jimmyjam

    so nonchalant about lil boosie.

  • teddy

    i didnt even bother reading any of them except lupes dont need xxl to tell me they havnt done shit


    YOU FUCKS HAVE NO CLUE WTF IS GOING ON IN THE STREETS…. IF THIS IS HIP HOP I FUKN QUIT… DO UR FUKN JOBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • matty21

    damn, kinda seems like 4ever ago…but damn, it was different back then…da artists were way more established back then, and had been around for a lot longer when they did this “freshman” cover… shit, da majority had albums out 4sure at least, some multiple, couple were WELL established…it has definatly went more towards the “freshman” cover, by meaning…back then, boosie was damn near a vet(and is), dro, papoose, rich boy had an album coming or it was already out(and he had a hit at least), lupe album coming or already out, ortiz?, plies was doin his thing HEAVY(takeoff), crookedI, saigon, ZO…yea damn it changed a lot, and da artists way different in da past cuple years and in da present… more towards da “freshman” and we dont know 4sure what we gonna get; guess it’s better for it’s meaning?

  • matty21

    and on this note; BOOSIE BAD AZZ needs a cover…throw da boy, 1 of da sickest, realest, and UN-DEBATABLY rawest artists in da game; throw him on da cover…sometime, lord and american justice willing, after dis situations passes…give boosie a cover! and fuck it; put tip and boosie on a cover whenever boosie back on da scene tearin da game up…

    free boosie

    free tip; cant wait til’ u get home boy! ur fans patiently waiting; and da game is missing u hard

    (likewise for boosie, but we hoping for da best right now, and hoping u get through dis bullshit and make it 2 c da other side, cuz it gonna be something else) . . .

  • matty21

    and *Boosie aint had a hard time “recapturing” success; he’s maintained success if nething, has gotten better, and has given us some of da best, passionate, and realest material in da game, period; in ways in da history of da game(not many have done it or can do it like boosie has)…some of it didnt make it’s way da most mainstream(like sum did around that time), cuz he a completly different artist for 2day’s market(he too real lol), and along with his situations out da booth…and him passionatly addressing those situations relentlessly in his art…he brings heart, a passion, and an honesty to da game 2day that isnt there, combined with MAD talent, from progression and years of grinding in da game; and his choices to say fuck it, show da size of his balls and bravery, and address things EXACTLY da way he feels…continuing to do so, well after this cover; and one da reasons he has da dedicated, real fan base he has 2day…but best believe, boosie has progressed, grown, and maintained success throughout da time

  • The187Worm


  • JB

    sooo basically Luoe fiasco and thats it…

  • Dub

    This group probably has the most niggas I listen to

    Crooked/Dro/Boosie/Ortiz/Lupe are all up in the Ipod

  • angel

    Im a female and I know ra music, I am also saying boosie all the way his way of rapping is raw and straight hood…he has a big fan base bcuz ppl can relate to his lyrics…his struggle the thing he has been thru cummin up im jus sayn so don’t judge if you havent listend to his album