Being an XXL Freshman is something between a win-win and a double-edged sword. On one hand, the coveted XXL cover provides a platform for MCs to take their already burgeoning buzz to another level. On the flip side, not every upstart is equipped to handle the pressure that comes with being an XXL Freshman. Some (actually most) alumni have gone on to secure major record deals, released gold-selling albums and earned Grammy nominations, while others have squandered opportunities.
As the merit of this year’s class is still being debated across message boards and social networking sites, last year’s Freshmen are now reaching new plateaus (Wiz Khalifa anyone?). But what about the 2009 class? Where are they now? From Ace Hood to Wale, XXL revisits the 2009 Freshman class to see where they’ve landed since gracing our cover. –Georgette Cline