How You Like Me: 2010 Freshman Recap


After some delays, freshman mania resumed in 2010 when XXL released its third class. The bunch featured J. Cole, Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, Freddie Gibbs, Fashawn, Donnis, Pill, OJ Da Juiceman, Nipsey Hussle and Jay Rock. XXL looks back at the 10 for '10 freshmen to see what they've been up to.—Carl Chery (@cchery)

Wiz Khalifa


Wiz’s debut, Rolling Papers, was certified gold and its lead single, “Black and Yellow” was nominated for two Grammys.His highly anticipated sophomore album, O.N.I.F.C. is due out this year.

J. Cole

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Young Simba’s long delayed debut, Cole World: The Sideline Story, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and has since gone gold. He was nominated for Best New Artist at the Grammys.

Big Sean

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Sean’s Finally Famous debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart and spawned three smash hits. The Detroit spitter is set to appear on the G.O.O.D. Music compilation next.

Nipsey Hussle


Nip’s been making moves as of late. He recently released The Marathon Continues mixtape and announced a business partnership with DJ Skee. He’s rumored to soon join Rick Ross’s Maybach Music Group.

OJ Da Juiceman


OJ hasn’t exactly been missing in action, but the three mixtapes he released in the past year have gone unnoticed. His sophomore LP, The Otis Williams Jr. Story, is still in limbo.

Jay Rock

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JR trekked with Tech N9ne on his All 6’s & 7’s Tour and finally released his Follow Me Home debut on Strange Music. The album peaked at No. 14 on the Independent album chart.

Freddie Gibbs


Gibbs inked a deal with Young Jeezy’s Corporate Thugz Entertainment, but his debut, Baby-Faced Killa, has yet to hit stores. He’s been holding his fans down with collaborative EPs with Statik Selektah and Madlib.


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Fash has expectedly emerged as one of the underground’s more reliable talents. He released Higher Learning, Vol. 2 in early ’11 and appeared on projects by 9th Wonder, Evidence and Alchemist’s Gangrene.


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Donnis hit the road with Travie McCoy and Pete Wentz on the Sgt. Schlepper's Who Needs Hearts Club Band Tour, but his Fashionably Late LP never got a release date.



Pill's yet to recapture the buzz of 2009’s The Prescription. He joined Rick Ross's MMG and appeared on the crew’s Self Made, Vol. 1, but the alliance was short-lived. He’s no longer on Warner Bros.